Tuesday, March 23, 2010

God's Mountain recap, 2010 trip!

The boys and I headed down to God's Mountain camp for our 2nd mission trip in Rushville, MO. They were amazing traveling kids! I don't think I ever heard a cry and I only heard a "are we there yet" about 30 minutes from the camp! Answered prayers for the first part of the trip!!

One of the super fun things about this group... Jaxon had one of his good buddy's on it!

 The college students worked hard, played hard, and slept hard! One of their many projects here...re-siding Cliff's home. Cliff is a faithful server at the camp. He is 76 and is kinda goofy, but he has a big heart and lots of skills to share!

 Part of being able to go is having amazing helpers... I could not go and serve the way I do without the loving hands and time of such wonderful people! Ellie, Cindy, Faith, Sarah, Pam, Heidi, Erin, Becca, Olivia, Hope, Anna, and everyone else who spent time with my kids when I was in the kitchen....THANK YOU! Your kindness left a huge imprint on my heart!!!

 You may wonder what the heck a mom with 2 kids does with a group of college students on a mission trip? Well, I wondered at times what the heck I was thinking too...  but I have a great system set-up (partly due to past expereince with my dear friend Becky who could not come this year) and staying organized and on task is one of the keys to pulling off a mission trip with 2 young kids! Small groups would come in and help at meal times and with everyone pitching in we pulled it off quite well. (It also was a huge bonus that the leaders on the trip were AMAZING and some of the hardest workers in the kitchen!! Thank you Chestnut's & Mickey's & Heidi!)

One thing I love is that Jaxon will dig right in at times when he can.  Power washing some steps here so they can be painted later.
Hauling some junk to get burned up. 

Some great kitchen helpers! I got to have some great conversations with a variety of people this year. What a treat for me and it just made the trip even more special.

Some of the gang hanging out during a quiet time. This mountain has many opportunities to find quiet and peace in your heart, your mind, and for your body too.  I think I could just hang out here amongst the calmness and never get bored. Made for great bonding and relationship building!
 Plenty of time for silly fun too... feeding the fish at the pond. 

Hikes & walks on sunny days were an extra bonus from being there. This was a beautiful afternoon with all the kids at camp this year.

the boys... WELL past their bed-time but so worth it!We watched the sun go down together this night, hung out on the roof for a loooong time, and sat by a fire. A perfect ending to a long day.

What good mother doesn't stick a bowl of carmel corn in front of their clingy 2 year old when she has to get dinner on the table for 100 people? He loved it and I went with the whole "we're on vacation" excuse :)  Look how happy he is!
Of course their is PLENTY for boys to do here... it is after all a camp that focus's on raising up strong men.  Hiking, burning stuff, paint ball, car racing, 4-wheelers, fishing, and yes, running around with a chicken's head just butchered off. My dear son met me at the kitchen door with this lovely surprise.  I had to practice my acting skills very quickly... "oh, cool!". or not. Gross, son!! (PS I am sorry to all you girls whom he chased eagerly around the camp :)

Of course, the boys fell into a deep sleep late each night.  Once we figured out good sleeping arangments we were all functioning better after a rough first couple nights. One of my favorite things about coming here... a great excuse to snuggle and sleep with my two boys every night!!

We met some sweet little friends here last year from MN. They came back this year for the last day and Jaxon got to spend some fun time with them before we left. Here's the crew watching a live owl on-line getting ready to hatch some eggs! Cool!
 The boys being great listener's as they follow the 1 finger up rule about being quiet and listening to the person giving directions.

Less then 10 miles away from camp once we left. Two boys completely filled from the past week with joy, peace, friendship, and well... exhaustion!  They slept 3 of the 5 hour trip back home :) Gave me plenty of time to cry, reflect, laugh, and sing worship songs after a wonderful week at the camp.

 I wanted to include this final picture to reflect a bit.  Last year this was a dorm that our group spent a good chunk of time fixing up.  In December it burned to the ground, probably from a chimney fire coming from the wood burning stove.  When I arrived I felt a little disappointed that all the work the crew did last year now seemed wasted.  By the end of the week I saw this pile of ashes differently.  So often we come to camp or go on a mission trip to do the work. To serve someone physically.  We take that with us and feel good knowing we bettered someone else's life this way.  I think as Christians we get caught up in the "doing" for one another and sometimes over-look the "being".  I truly believe we have to be do-er's in life but this comes in short of truly living when we forget the "being" part of it.  That group from last year that worked so hard has nothing left to show physically from their trip. It burned up in flames and is no more. What IS still going strong is the relationships that happened during that week.  Relationships and people. We made great connections with the William's family and even though their building burnt down, that relationship was still there and meant even more.That is what has stood out for me so much this week.  We can do and do and do, but until we are still and just be with people we lack a lot of the way I think God intends for us to "do" life. My heart was touched very much this week by different people.  I came back with an urge to create more time to just be with the people in life whom I care so much about and making time to just be with those I want to know better or whom I can share life with. That burnt down building reminded me that sometimes being still and taking time to know God more and the people in my life is far more important then any meal I can cook for someone, house I can repair for someone, things I can provide for someone, or any "doing" thing.  I want to become a better "be-er". (I made that word up :) 
It was a crazy but wonderful week! Like last year, we're already looking forward to going back! Sorry this got long.... just didn't want to forget the great week !!!


Maribeth said...

What a beautiful montage of photos and words, Jess, and what a gift you were to those on the trip! Thanks for sharing!

alisha said...

I am so impressed! I'm not sure I'd have it in me to take my two boys on a mission trip! You are an amazing mom! Maybe next year I can be that brave!! It looks like you had a wonderful time, and learned a lot. Good for you -- memories you'll always cherish, I'm sure!


Becky Bartlett said...

Jess! you made me miss this so much!! I'm so glad you survived another year in the kitchen. We'll be partners in crime again soon. My favorite picture was of Austin and the caramel corn... OF COURSE that's what you do when you're trying to feed 100 people!! :)

Stephanie Bardal said...

Awesome & inspiring reflections, Jess...looks like another great trip - you are BOLD & COURAGEOUS as a mom & follower of Christ...what an excellent example you've set for your two beautiful boys! :)

Kris Hoskinson said...

i love your writing here. and i am with becky, my favorite part is where austin is sitting with the caramel corn. perfect excuse- it is vacation! :) LOVE IT!