Spring has finally come to Camas Meadows. This is a view from our small gravel road taken on my morning walk. I no longer have to pick my way over treacherous icy patches. The road is clear, if a bit muddy. The meadow is mostly free of snow, only a few cold white mounds remain. Birdsong fills the morning air and frogs fill the evening shadows with their soft melody. Crocus are pushing up through the brittle gray strands of last year’s grass and yellow pine lillys dot the hillside on the drive up Camas Creek Road. 

The unfolding of spring around us speaks to me of resurrection. 

Romans 1:20 says that “God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made…”

God shows Himself in the world around us and spring tells of how we are made new. Three little girls chose God last week for the very first time. They are new, like spring, breaking across the meadow in all of its fresh beauty. Our Lord came down among us so that we do not have to stay cold and dead like an icy winter night. We are made to live and grow. Seeing springtime change the meadow around me, gives me a glimpse of all that God wants for us. Resurrection, new life, growth and change and beauty. Like the new shoots of the wildflowers, stretching past the dead leaves of yesterday and daring to become something new.

John 12:46–“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

Spring in the forest

Spring in the forest


Boo Boo


Scruff has been wanting to do some more woodworking. Consequently, he’s spent some time perusing table designs online. He was scrolling through a bunch of pictures when a certain table caught my eye.

“That one.” I said, stopping him before he moved past it.

Both of us paused and admired the table. A gargantuan plank had been sawn from a single massive trunk. The surface cut and sanded glassy smooth and treated with a gleaming finish. What made this lovely bit of craftsmanship stand out from all the other beautiful tables?

The wood was damaged.

Something had gouged out or perhaps eaten away a large chunk from the center of the tree. Dark and irregular, the deep wound rested at the heart of the magnificent table. The damaged place reduced the practicality of the piece. I could imagine businessmen losing their coffee cups and pens down inside the blackened crevasse. As a mother, the thought occurred to me that cooked carrots might be hidden inside, or small jars of bugs or captured frogs. I suppose the table had lost some of its usefulness because of the gaping wound. It had been damaged.

Oh, but it was beautiful.

The utter loveliness, caught my breath and stilled my eyes as they roved over the other pieces of furniture. This one was more amazing than all the rest.


You tell me. Here is the link. Obviously, I cannot afford this table any time soon. But anyway… for me, the character of the piece is what drew me in. There was nothing else like it. The tree must have been ancient and enormous, great and tall and strong. It had survived some deep wound within itself and had lived on. It continued to grow and thrive and the rest of the wood shone with the rich colors and intricate grain that always enchant me. But that deep gouge at its heart, this bought my love. The table was simply gorgeous.

We are like this, you know. You and I. Is there any among us who has not been wounded?

A rental group was up a few weeks ago. The speaker was Chris Weedin. He spoke for us at Sr. High Teen Camp last summer. Chris asked Scruffy to start out their testimony time on the last night of their retreat. Scruffy’s testimony is not pretty. God called him out of a dark and terrible place. But then, isn’t that what God does for us all? Without Him, we are diseased and dying. Then The King rides rampant through our darkness and makes us new. After Scruffy started things out, kids got up to speak. One after another, after another, after another. Broken, bleeding, and beautiful. Until 1:45am they came.

I can imagine their Lord, watching from His throne as each one stood and walked forward.

“That one.” He said. “I want that one.”

For just as I stopped and stared in amazement at the beauty of that wounded table. Our Lord sees the glory waiting within each of us. Gleaming wood, delicate grain, wounded heart. So lovely. Do not forget, my friend, what you are to your Lord and King.

 Psalm 34:18–“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”



Boo Boo

Camp Perks

There are two sides to every coin. Every beauty is paired with a difficulty and hardship, yes even hardship has its advantages.

I was reminded of this yesterday during our family’s “Screen Time”.

Now, there are a few difficulties associated with living and working up at camp. Before the new power system was put in, we would occasionally lose power for…oh two months or so while waiting for a part for the generator. Pulling stuck cars out of the ditch is a regular part of life. And joyful teenagers who want to talk will occasionally drive up to our house at 1:00am in the hopes that someone is still awake and eager for conversation. Luckily, Scruffy usually is because I am always in bed by then.

But the perks, camp perks are the absolute best.

It was my youngest boy’s pick for screen time yesterday. He really wanted to play Lego Indiana Jones. And so I let him…the only problem. His brothers wanted to play a different game with Choco downstairs. My little guy was all by himself without anyone to play with. He was really sad and I had a particularly complicated dinner to prepare. I was able to spare 15 minutes to play with him, but had to get back to the kitchen after that. Then a gift of God wandered through the door of the staff house. Sméagol was up to work in the kitchen. I inquired about his interest in Lego Indiana Jones. After he rushed off and checked in at the kitchen, Sméagol came up to our house and played Lego Indiana Jones with my little guy. He was ecstatic. One of our cool, fun counselors all to himself. This was little boy heaven. And I was reminded of the beautiful perks of living and working at Camas Meadows. So I would like to remind you, dear counselor, of a few of those camp perks. In case you get discouraged, because yes, it is going to be hard. But hang in there, much blessing will come as well.

If you chose to become a camp counselor this summer, there will come a moment (probably more than one) where you find yourself overwhelmed and discouraged. Yes, we prepared you for this job in Staff Training. But somehow it all seems much more difficult when it is your camper who ran around the lodge 10 times on a dare right after the ice cream eating contest.

Camp holds vast quantities of fun and is a whole lot of hard work to make happen. So for those hard days, I wanted to remind you of some of the camp perks that you can expect along with mopping the kitchen at midnight and having to be the donkey in your cabin skit because no one else wants to and your hair is the shaggiest.

Camp is in the forest. Not a park or a little patch of woods outside of town, we are situated in the actual forest. There are deer and elk, bear and cougar, chipmunks and porcupines and owls. How often do you get to look up at the night sky without any light pollution? How often are you able to walk back to your cabin without a flashlight because the full moon is so bright that it causes actual shadows to stretch out under the trees? We are smack dab in the middle of God’s creation and camp is a beautiful place to be.

Camp is busy. Bored? Not if you are at camp. There is always something going on. Paintball, horseback riding, hike to The Stone Face, campfire, Meadow Games, Lake Day, midnight walk to Inspiration Point, Night Games, Skit Night…One is never bored at camp. Exhausted, but never bored.

Your friends are at camp. What? You don’t know anyone at camp? That doesn’t matter. Friendships are forged through the fire of accomplishing a worthy task together. Facing difficulty for the sake of others. Striving and sacrificing so that the kids can have an awesome time, has a unique perk of its own. You meet other people who are willing to give, work hard, and stretch themselves to the limit for the sake of the Lord. They make the very best kinds of friends and you get to keep them after the summer is over.

So there you have it. Hard work does have its own rewards, but it is nice to know that you gain more than personal improvement. Yes, you will learn and grow, gain skills and toughen your resolve to follow your Lord. But you will also gain so much more. The Lord is generous in His gifts. I have found this time and again. This week I got to see God’s overwhelming generosity to our family. God is good. He brings us beauty among the ashes of our hurting and joy to garnish the frustrations of life.


Boo Boo