This is a catch up post, but we’ve had so much going on here in the last several weeks! We just got back from doing a loop around most of the state of Michigan!
Before we left, I helped out with the play for Faith Covenant’s VBS again. For years when I was on staff there, I wrote and directed the play, and this was a script that I wrote along with my play-writing partner, Terry about 6 years ago. Terry did the directing this year, and I just came in to give some last minute advice and also led the songs during the week (these are songs that I also wrote for the play). What was so fun for me personally was that my daughter, Rinnah, is finally old enough to be in the cast (she has been waiting forever, she says!) and so we got to do it together. It really is amazing to be a part of something like that and to know that there are kids in that audience who know Christ at the end of the week who didn’t know Him before. It’s such a privilege!
After VBS, I had a week to prep which was so needed since I was speaking for a family camp and had to prepare 5 hours of talks. I also had to prep for the two church services I was doing on either end and pack a family of five for 10 days, so it was a pretty intense week! To make it just a little more interesting, we spent one day up at Lakeside with my whole extended family, and we decided to do one group jump into the lake. Unfortunately, I forgot to remove my glasses first. So that was one expensive jump, and for a pretty blind woman, not the best complication to give myself right before needing to be out of town for an extended period of time!
We left on the weekend and spent a little time with Nathan’s brother’s family on our way up. Nathan’s family is scattered all over Michigan, so no matter where we’re headed up there, there’s usually someone to visit! We managed to see his whole family over the course of this trip.
Sunday morning I was with Saranac Community Church just West of Lansing. This is a smaller church who has had me in before, and they have a very special place in my heart – when I was really feeling led to start speaking and doing more women’s events, they were the organizing church for a large retreat up in Michigan, and were the first to really give me a shot. That’s been years ago, and I’ve been asked back to that retreat several times (I’m going up there again in September!), but it has always meant so much to me that they wanted to help me fulfill what I felt called to do! Things have changed a lot since then, both for them and for me, but I am still so happy to get to be with them and catch up and see all the changes at their church – they are such a sweet congregation! I had a great time there doing most of the service, and am happy I’ll get to see a lot of those women again at the retreat in September – they are the salt of the earth, absolutely.
After the service we kept driving up North of Muskegon to Silver Lake where Grace Adventures Camp is located. I did one of the women’s retreats up there last fall and it was wonderful. During the week, several of the women suggested me as a speaker for the family camp, and I was thrilled when they asked me because I knew my family would love this camp too! I had been told several months ago that the theme would be sort of a castles and kings thing, but a few weeks before they let me know that the kids were learning all about Judean kings, ending with Jesus. That is a pretty challenging subject! But I really felt strongly that the parents and kids should be learning about the same things so they could all be talking about it together, so that’s why the prep was so much more than usual – I don’t just have 5 talks about Judean kings lying around in my office! Well, I guess I do now. 🙂
We had a great time at camp and met so many wonderful families. One of the things I love about summer is that my family gets to come with me and we have such diverse experiences. One of the hard things is that we almost never get to do the same thing twice, and all of my kids wanted to come back here every year – they just fell in love with the camp and made so many friends! I do hope we will be back one of these days, although I’ve already had interest on the West Coast for next summer, so it’s probably not then. It was so great to not only minister, but also have my family ministered to, and I was so impressed by all their staff. Shout out to Vince, our personal helper and techie dude – you were awesome!
After camp we headed to Nathan’s parents across the state on Friday and spent one night with them and also left our younger two kids with them for a few days which we do every summer. Rinnah couldn’t stay this time because we had to take her to camp on our way home. Then on Saturday we drove down to see his other brother’s family near Detroit where I was singing on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning I was back with Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills near Detroit. I get to guest lead and do some special music on their service every year – they’ve become a home away from home for us. We also laugh about that because the church I served as music director for years was also named Faith Covenant – I’ve now sung at Faith Covenants in four states! Maybe I should make that a tour. 🙂 But it was so fun to be with them all again. It’s always good to catch up! And I got to share some of the new things we’ve done this year such as the new video for “Your Child” and also our trip to the Dominican Republic with World Vision.
On our way home we dropped Rinnah off for her camp, and now we’re here all by ourselves! What a crazy feeling. We’ll head back up to get Rachel and Toby tomorrow, so it won’t last long, but I’m thinking going out to dinner is in order. Maybe we’ll go do that now. 🙂