Thursday, June 28, 2007

End of the Road

Who am I?
Who does Satan tell me I am?
Who does God tell me I am?
These are the questions that I, my co-leader, and our ten campers wrestled with throughout the course of last week. It was a hard week, but it was a week full of blessing. For me, it was hard to watch 10 15-year-olds come to terms with the idea that Satan wants them to believe all kinds of lies about themselves. It was hard asking them to be honest with themselves about who they think they truly are. But, it was incredible to be a witness as they realized that God loves them for who they are now! And, not only does God love them for who they are, He forgives them for what they've done; and He can wipe it all clean!
For me, though, last week was more than just watching these teenagers grow in the knowlege of God. I came to terms with a few things as well. Last Tuesday night, one of the camper groups was doing a skit about the things they had learned during the day. They mentioned a lady they had met at a nursing home during their service project. This lady was telling them that her husband had passed away not long ago, and she was now searching for her identity without him. As they continued telling this woman's story, I began to realize that that could have been me. Until about 6 months ago, if I had gotten married, it would have been difficult for me to separate my identity from that of my husband. I sat in that room in total awe of my Lord!
He has led me on a journey that was designed only for me. He led me into a painful wilderness knowing full well that I would emerge on the other side declaring Him my Prince Charming...claiming my true identity as His daughter and bride! The last several years (especially the last 10 months) have been purposefully scripted in order to teach me how to be in love with God before I fall in love with any man. He has also taught me about what my identity in Him looks like: what it looks like for Kristi Renee Lowery to be a daughter of the King. He has shown me how to cherish the gifts He has given me, and to be ready to use them in conjunction with the man He has for me instead of putting them aside for the sake of a relationship. What a mighty God I serve! He has been so patient with me as I have struggled and questioned His timing in my life. After last week, I emerged ready to say "the end" to this chapter of my life. This is the end of the road for that lesson. I will cling to Him as He continues to remind me His timing is best and His love is fulfilling. But, this journey is over! Praise the Lord for being faithful!!!! He has been good to me!
"Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him."
Ps. 126: 5-6

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Kadesh 2007: Identity

Tomorrow evening around this time I will be introducing myself to a group of high school students who have signed up to experience Kadesh Life Camp at ACU. I am thrilled to be able to participate in this coming week. I experienced Kadesh as a camper during the summers of 1997-99. The lessons I learned during those three weeks (one week a year) were life changing for me. To me, Kadesh wasn't just a spiritual high. Sure, there were elements of it that were the typical camp "high" where after a few days of being back home you kind of feel like you have plateaued emotionally. But there was something deeper about my experience at Kadesh. It was a time of spiritual formation for me. I was discipled at camp, not just spiritually entertained. Each week was spent in intense Bible study and real-life application. There are several passages of Scripture that became personal to me simply because of my experience at Kadesh, and everytime I reread those passages I think back to what made that truth hit home to me!

As of tomorrow, I get to experience Kadesh "on the other side," so to speak. I am going back as a group leader. I will be expected to lead kids on this spiritual guide them as they discover new truths about being a disciple of Christ. This week at camp, we will be focusing on our identities. Who am I? Who does Satan want me to be? Who does God say that I am? How do I conquer the lies I hear from Satan? Where is the victory in Christ, and how do I achieve it? These are just some of the questions we will be diving into in the coming days. As I have been studying and preparing for this week, I have realized what a special opportunity I have been given to be able to watch young hearts and minds discover how much God loves them! I pray that God will work in the hearts of my campers. I pray that my leadership will simply be an outpouring of His love for me and those students. I pray that God will work in amazing ways this week in the lives of every individual camping at Kadesh.

"They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land." Numbers 13:26
(see Numbers 13 and 14 to discover the significance of the camp name "Kadesh"!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Little Miss Rori Girl

As I jump back into the blogging world, I thought I would share a little about my newest addition. Yes, I recently became mommy to the sweet little Shih Tzu puppy you see pictured here. This picture was taken about 2 or 3 weeks before I got her, so she is a little bigger now. When I got her almost two weeks ago, she was just shy of 11 weeks old and about 3 lbs. She's growing already, and we are off to the vet tomorrow to see how big my little girl actually is.

Entering mommyhood, even if it's "just a puppy," has been quite the adventure. Rori (taken from the show Gilmore Girls) has, thankfully, slept very well in her new crate. She has only woken up once in the middle of the night! Many nights she goes 8 or 9 hours before whining to get up. I am very thankful for that. What I've learned about puppies is the constant attention they take. I was prepared for this, but being mentally prepared is still nothing like experiencing it. She will go to the bathroom outside, but only if I pay attention to when she needs to go as she is lacking the ability to remember to "ask." She loves her new environment so much that she just can't stop from biting every new thing she sees! Mostly she loves my toes and ankles. She is proving to be strong-willed when it comes to obeying the "no" that comes after biting mama's toes. To her, my brightly painted toes are the perfect toy! To me, they are a necessary body part that I would like to keep in tact!
Though time-consuming and at times frustrating, having a puppy has huge rewards. In a few short months, the rewards will be even grander. I love the companionship of a dog. The loyalty that has Rori whining if I leave the room and she can't get to me is priceless. She has a wonderful personality, and I am so excited to have this little one to call my own!
So, how about you? Are pets a big part of your life?