The day to day, comical happenings and sweet moments from my life as a nanny.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Created to Serve

So far I'm failing at this whole "regular blogging" thing. We are constantly checking our budget and scraping the last of the pay-checks to pay bills and internet just isn't on the list. Oh the days of being a college grad trying to make it in the real world.

My "normal" life (which is far from anything normal) had me sitting in a 24 hour laundry mat today in Florence. KY with a baby to entertain and gross camp clothes in the washer....

I tried to take advantage of the wireless and get this written, but of course when the baby wakes up and needs entertaining and the only outlet is back behind the arcade's pretty much insanity. I looked just a little strange and out of place with my fancy computer, ringless finger, hyper baby and sweat dripping down my face...just thought you should have a nice vivid image....

Seriously why do they not put air conditioning in a laundry mat...I mean with 20 dryers running and 105 degree weather outside...I was sweating like a pig.
Do pigs even sweat?
I dunno....

Isn't she adorable?

ok focus.

 So this past Thursday we packed 100 kids in a hot school bus and headed for the middle of nowhere Kentucky for a hill billy themed summer youth camp.

Sounds exciting right?

Well when you describe running around all day in the hot sun, listening (and watching) high-school drama play out, keeping middle schoolers in line, and doing hand-checks throughout the whole thing it may not sounds exactly like the best way to spend a weekend. At least I wasn't so sure it's how I wanted to spend my weekend.  


I did.

Now not saying there wasn't drama, hand-checks and pesky little middle schoolers. There were. But I truly loved every minute of it. It reminded me of a promise I made back when I was in High School. I made a promise to God that if He ever opened the door for me to walk alongside and speak into young students' lives that I wouldn't walk past with my eyes blinded, but instead would jump in head first  and be the person to them that I always wanted in my own life.

We did some crazy things and heard some crazy good messages. Small groups were awesome and the girls dove right into getting real with each other and dealing with some tough issues. I was so proud of them. I learn so much from them and their passion for life. While at the same time I try so hard not to get frustrated when I see them walking down destructive paths, heading for heartbreak...I want so badly to fix it and have them learn from my mistakes instead.


What a good lesson in patience and giving it up to God.

Deep down though,
These kids are amazing.

 I have never seen such a close-knit group and I've never seen High Schoolers lead and welcome in Middle Schoolers like this group does. I was truly sad to have to leave early and miss out on any part of the experience.  That one break through, that one heart-felt discovery, that one kid that has finally broken down a wall is worth every bit of boy drama, gossip, and tough confrontation.  Not to mention summer camp is a great excuse to bring out the youth in you. I mean when else does a 24 year old get a chance to play on a giant slip n slide, go tubing,  or plan pranks without being called completely immature?

I had a blast.

And despite being covered in sunburn, bruises and not being able to move a single muscle without pain (my goodness I think I'm getting old)....I feel completely refreshed and ready to continue walking with my girls and encouraging them as they face hard decisions and situations in their young lives.

Someone made a comment today about me coming straight from youth camp to nannying out of town for a week and how I'm called to work with kids.
Such a simple comment, but it struck me smack in the face.
So many times I try to run away from what I do best and what I really do enjoy doing. I get it in my head that I have to do more things that are age appropriate for a single, child-less 24 year old and that I need to try to step out of always playing caretaker.  Then at camp, without thinking, I fall into taking the role of camp nurse, making sure kids are drinking water and listening to people joke about me being "Mommy Kelsey" or "Nanny Kelsey".
 For some reason I take it as a bad thing, but it's who I am.
It's who God has called me to be.

And I love it.

I like serving with my hands, getting dirty, comforting people, guiding young people. I don't mind  blood, cleaning cuts on feet, changing diapers and getting baby-food spit at me. It really doesn't bother me. 

I realize that as much as I tell my youth girls that they need to not worry about what other people think and they can be what they feel God calling them to be, not what other's tell them to be....I do the same thing. I listen to all these people tell me I need to just live a life more appropriate to my age and I listen.  
Don't get me wrong, there is some truth to it and I need to learn to take time to myself, hang out with people my age and seperate myself sometimes. But I need to remember I am an all or nothing person and be aware when I'm thinking in extremes.

Extremes are not always the answer.

This weekend was a good reminder. 
Balance can be found. 
I can fully be who God created me to be and use the gifts and passions He gave me and still take time to myself. 
Funny how quick I can lose sight of such a simple concept. 

Anyway it's a crazy two weeks.
Now I'm ready to get home...from camp I was picked up and headed straight to Cincinatti with one of the ladies I nanny for and her sweet baby girl (see photos from our past trip below), and from here I get dropped off with Todd and Angie and their sweet girls in Louisville...then finally home on Saturday night...only to move that week.


never a dull moment.

Maybe one day I will know what "normal life" is.

or maybe I don't want to.

So that is my very deep I know...but felt I needed to at least give a little update on life and share some fun photos.

Be looking for a slideshow from the Smith family photo session!!! Working on it now and going to get it up this week. Such a beautiful family, so dear to my heart.

I am so incredibly blessed.

*F.Y.I. the pictures lately are taken from my phone...I know, I know...I'm a photography and I love photography...but lately it's just too crazy to be dragging a big camera around. I need full use of my two hands to chase after kids so my phone has become my new best friend. Don't be judging the bad quality pics....although I do love instagram :)*

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