August 17, 2009

11 Weeks Later...

Well, I'm home. What a summer.

It was difficult. I'm exhausted.

I forgot about the physical work that is the CIT job. I forgot how exhausting it is to clean 350 dishes after every meal, or to scrub every sink, toilet and shower, or to sweep...everything. By week 11 I didn't want to touch another dish or broom again. My feet and back and hands ached by the end of each day. But through all of that exhaustion and pain, the Lord gave me deep satisfaction. There's something amazing about watching all of that work get done in a little amount of time. Watching hundreds of bowls and plates go from being disgusting to completely clean in a mere hour is almost miraculous. Doing these jobs was a reminder that God created us to be people who work. And yes, there were days (especially by the end) where it got harder and harder to take joy in work, but I loved being able to come home and think about all of the things I'd done that day.

And for all of the physical exhaustion, there was the emotional and spiritual exhaustion that comes from living in tight community for a long period of time. Ministering to the girls and trying to meet their needs as a mentor and friend took all that I had. I learned quickly that "all that I had" wasn't very much, so the Lord had to step in for the rest. Living in community also means that, eventually, you're going to see and experience your own brokenness and the brokenness of the people around you. I learned so much about intentional community this summer; how do we address our brokenness with each other? How can I meet your needs, and how can you meet mine? What a blessing to be able to ask those questions of people who know me and love me. And what a blessing to know that we are able to know and love each other because we are known and loved by the Father first.

I'm still reflecting a lot about this summer. I loved my job so much. I loved working with Geraud, I loved living with Lauren, I loved being with my CITs, and more than all of those things, I'm seeing (and loving) how the Lord is transforming me in real and concrete ways.

I learned more this summer than I could'v hoped for, and more than I've been able to fully process. Last night, Whitney spent the night at my house and we just debriefed the summer for a few hours. It was a blessing to verbally process the things that are happening...I'm excited to keep doing that.

Camp happened. It happened in a big, big way...I'm glad it happened, I'm glad I got to be a part of its happening, and I'm glad - in some ways - that it's no longer happening. It's time for the next stuff to happen.

But for right now I'm sleepy and ready to do nothing for a while. I've made plans and committments to friends with whom I'm going to be intentional, and I'm ready to spend some time with my family. I might go to Pittsburgh this week for a Pirates game, and Washington over the weekend for a Steelers/Redskins preseason game. I might go to the Thayers after that and spend some time with my second family :)

It's good to be home, even if it's a tough transition to be away from so many people whom I love...but the Lord is faithful and I'm where I need to be.