The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Retreats And Attitudes

We were away this weekend on our camp's annual Year-Round Staff Retreat. When I say we, I mean Ben and I. It's a spouse inclusive, children excluded weekend. It always proves to be a good time. Staff and spouses come out of their shells in this different environment. People (ah hem, including your truly) expose things about themselves that perhaps many others didn't know. We laugh more than usual. Compliment more than usual. Become better acquainted with those we might not normal take the opportunity to converse.

It's always enjoyable.

And this year, I was not really looking forward to it.

There are a lot of things to prepare and get in order before leaving an almost-two year old and a three and a half year old for two nights. Especially with someone they've met a small handful of times. Especially when they've never been left with anyone but grand-parents overnight. Especially when this person can only arrive a 1/2 hour before leaving. And, especially when life is just busy.

Having vented some personal frustrations to an empathetic Ben earlier in the week, I simply was not anticipating a great weekend away.

Yet, I was determined to give it my all...strong-willed enough to convince myself that if I put my "all" into the weekend and it still tanked, then my desire to not actually want to be there would be justified. So, Friday afternoon we stepped on to the bus with the rest of the staff...

I put my best foot forward...

And surprise, surprise I made new friendships and reaffirmed a couple old ones. I mixed with some with whom I may not normally "push" myself to engage. And it was good.

One of our group exercises on Saturday was to brainstorm (different given topics) on large sheets of paper. The papers were then taped up all over our meeting room. Sunday morning we went around and soaked in other groups' brainstormed thoughts. All the topics were either camper, camp, or summer theme related. Some ideas were unique. Some thoughts I saw repeatedly. There were several common themes.

One word I read only a single time, near the end of my "tour around the room", that jumped out more than I anticipated, that caught me off-guard, and that really helped define my weekend, was:

There it was. Glaring at me. Almost bouncing off the page. As if to say "Ha!". A word that, though it likely blended with the rest of the dozens of other words on the page, leapt at me.

Call it fluke.

Call it coincidence.

I call it God.

And, at the end of a weekend when I had had a good time but was also reminded of how much I missed a friend, I needed to be reminded that my attitude provokes my actions. And my actions speak louder than my words. And my words are what most will use to judge me. Right or wrong, that is reality.

So, as I step forward into this new year - and it is still a new year - I have been challenged.

Responsible as a daughter to the King, I am obligated to focus upward instead of inward.

To seek servitude, honesty, and integrity.

To act with an attitude of grace.

1 comment:

Lola said...

I was sad this last weekend. It doesn't really seem fair that I wasn't there. But I'm glad that you had a good time. I can't wait to find out all the "specs" for this years camp! It was good to chat for a second on skype too. Anyway, Attitude has been a theme of mine too since moving. It's a daily struggle. Glad you posted on this. Miss you!