Girls Camp was amazing this year. I feel so blessed to know some of the most amazing and beautiful girls.
It was a hard camp. It was really primative, and I had been battling kidney infections all summer that turned into something more serious. I didn't want to deal with it. I wanted to fulfill my responsibilities and get on with life.
I got a shot from my Dr. and promised I would have the CT scan when I got back. I am so glad I did.
We went high up into the mountains, and it was beautiful. Wildflowers were everywhere. It rained a lot, but that helped out with the flies, so it was a blessing in it's own way.
On the second day, we participated in the 3 mile hike. The Stake leaders made it into a treasure hunt where we recieved tokens at different stops that represented each of theYW values. It was very creative and meaningful. The only rules during the hike were to stay on the trails, ask for help if we needed it, and to help each other.
We walked along, enjoying the activity and each other. It was hot and some of the girls were struggling. There were 2 guys on 4-wheelers just off the trail who were offering the girls treats and drinks to get them to step off the path. I didn't really realize what was going on at the time. But I needed help for one of my girls who was not going to make it unless she got something from the tent that we had left at the campsite. I asked the guys if they were mobile, and if they could go to the campsite to get an item from the tent.
As one of the guys was packing up to help me, the other guy shoved a snickers in my hand. At that point I felt like it would be rude not to take it. So I did, and then they handed me a bag of dirt! I asked why I needed it. They told me I would find out soon.
It wasn't long before I figured out that the bag meant I had screwed up. I didn't mean to, and I was mad. I was just thinking of someone else and trying to help them, and now I had this bag of dirt I had to carry around. I felt like people were looking at me and judging me. Whether they actually were or not I don't know, but I felt it. And I didn't want to carry around that stupid bag of dirt.
I did for awhile. I even tried to hide it sometimes. I let people know I was just trying to help! I saw the camp director as we were walking down a trail. A few other girls had bags of dirt too. I told her I had a problem with my dirt.
She smiled and asked me why I was carrying it. I told her the guys told me I had to. She asked me if I wanted to carry it. I said no. Then she said, "well then give it to me."
Was it really that easy?
It was. I asked if the other girls in my group could give her theirs as well. They all gave it away. She took it from us and all we had to do was to give it up.
Never in my life has The Atonement made more sense.
The director then told me that my journey was over, and that I had to leave the girls and come with her. It took me a moment to realize what she meant. I said goodbye to the girls, and walked with the director to the top of the highest peak in the camp. It was beautiful there. I waited with the other leaders for our girls to finish the hike and join us.
I was so happy and excited when I saw my group of girls making their way up the mountain. And I noticed that no one was carrying bags of dirt, and in all honesty, I couldn't remember who had even had them to begin with. It didn't matter.
I gave letters that we, the YW's presidency and I had written to each girl. They found a quite spot among the wildflowers to read all about how wonderful and they are. Then we took a few minutes to look at the view below.
It would be difficult in this place to doubt the love that Jesus Christ has for us all. It would be impossible in this moment to not feel his love.
I was not able to finish the entire week. I ended up in the ER the following day to deal with my neglected health problems. But I am so grateful for my experience there. And I will never forget that moment when I realized I don't have to carry any dirt around with me. All I have to do is give it away.
So I have not done a public post for a long long time. I still blog, but started just keeping things more private, just for myself. I have changed a lot in the past 2 years. And I have realized one thing that I know for certain. Life is hard. But no matter how dark things get, something will come to help us get through it.
I read somewhere that people who can lose themselves in movies do not have a firm grip on reality and are somewhat neurotic. Knowing that everyone falls into some kind of spectrum in some kind of mental illness, I will accept that as I write how I feel about the movie War Horse.
I thought about this movie all throughout the last year. How during a time of War, when people were suffering all kinds of physical, emotional and spiritual anguish, this horse would come into their lives for a short time. He was always there. Even though he didn't lift the burden, he was a beautiful presence in their lives. I also noticed that the people who found this horse were all good, decent people just trying to do what was right. It was a beautiful message, and one I have thought about over and over again.
My life has not turned out the way I have planned. But in some ways, it is even better. I see improvements I need to make in many areas. I need to take better care of myself and my body. I need to be more patient with the sweet children that are in my care everyday.
I have taken to say that I love my job, but hate working. Only because so many things have gone to the wayside at home. I used to feel like I was a really great mom. Now, I am just a tired mom. Entering into the adolescent phase partnered with a full time consuming job has made me feel like I pretty much fall short every single day.
I have watched many other friends struggle with life changing events and feel like I need to be more helpful and supportive to them. But I feel like I am functioning at full capacity, and sometimes I just feel like I want to lock myself in my room and sleep for days at a time. During this past winter, there were several Saturdays I did do just that. Winter has been long, dark and cold. But on days like today, when the sun is out, I work in the yard with Jeff, and plan out an herb garden, my heart feels happy. Summer is coming. It is almost here!