We continue our advent series in this final week of advent with the word Love. The reflection today is from Peggy Lovegren, Director at Wallowa Lake Camp:
Want to know the best Christmas gift idea?
It doesn’t have to be back-ordered, there’s no shipping, doesn’t take up space, is free, recyclable, reusable, can be re-gifted, takes no wrapping or tags, and is available for everyone to give. Oh, and it is good for the environment!
We all know about LOVE, but could we really be better at giving LOVE?
Yes, this is one of the busiest times of the year, but I’d like to challenge you to try something fun.
No matter how jolly, tired, busy, anxious, happy, frustrated, bored, or lonely you are feeling, start each day doing this:
breathe in LOVE….hold it in….breathe out apathy....
breathe in LOVE….hold....breathe out apathy....and again….
breathe in LOVE….hold….breathe out apathy.
Now, pretend your body is a lantern with an adjustable flame or light. Turn the flame/light all the way up. Close your eyes and see the light, God’s Holy Spirit of LOVE, shining from you. It is in you, all you have to do is turn it on! No electricity, batteries, or matches needed.
Now, take your glowing, LOVING self out into the world. Quit thinking about yourself and really notice the people you are around, notice each and every one. And now, try treating every person as if they are having their worst day ever.
Start with those people you live with or around.
There's that angry driver who cut you off, and the cheerful barista who made your coffee. What about those co-workers, even that lazy one and the one you really don’t like? What about the person grumbling behind you in the grocery line? Then there is the annoying phone solicitor and that friend who talks too much. Notice the frustrating neighbor, the tired pastor, the ignored housekeepers, the impatient customer, the harried doctor, the kind medical assistant, the sullen teen, the frazzled mother, the screaming child, the patient caregiver, the sweet teacher, the invisible, the loud, the scary, the humble, and the obnoxious.
What if we treated every single person with LOVE? The same forgiving LOVE that God treats us with? What if YOU were the one bright light in someone’s day? What if you helped God change the world?
Oh, and notice the gift you have just given yourself! You can’t help but feel the same LOVE!
Wishing you a Christmas full of LOVE and a very bright New Year
from Wallowa Lake Camp!
Wallowa Lake Camp Director
firstname.lastname@example.org (I’d love to hear about it!)
*PHOTO: Volunteers at Wallowa Lake show love as they clean and sanitize buildings in preparation for campers (Peggy Lovegren).
We all know that camp is awesome. But did you know that intentionally seeking awe can be beneficial for our physical, mental and emotional well-being? This article outlines the benefits of "awe and wonder" for kids – as well as for adults.
*PHOTO: Just another awesome sunrise at Wallowa Lake (Todd Bartlett).
The Go Camping E-News will be taking a break next week as Conference offices close for the holidays. We'll be back on January 5 -- that's 2022! All our staff wishes you a Christmas both joyous and peaceful. See you in the new year!
If you click on the link above for the article about awe, you'll discover that research shows one of the best ways to encounter awe is by experiencing the goodness of other persons. Another way of saying that: love is awesome! As Christmas approaches, we are aware that the only way to describe the events of the nativity story is with the word "awesome." In a world of oppression, poverty, and fear, Love was born, and it was awesome. Today, we share that love through camps and retreats, and it IS awesome! Looking for awe? All you need is love. You can experience both when you donate now to camp and retreat ministry. And Merry Awesome Christmas to you!
*PHOTO: Campers at Sawtooth open gifts from their local church (Todd Bartlett).