Tuesday, April 14, 2009


What says SPRING to you?
I'm participating in WriteFromKaren 's picture challenge...posting a picture representing SPRING...
GO CHECK OUT THE OTHER PICTURES AND VOTE FOR MY PICTURE WHILE YOU'RE THERE!! Voting begins April 18th at 5:00 p.m. U.S. central. time. Voting ends April 22nd at 11:00 a.m. U.S. central time.
(You can join in, too, by following the link)
Photo Contest at writefromkaren.com

My "spring" picture below reminds me of the JOY I find each Spring when I'm blessed to be a youth counselor at our spring-break youth retreat at the beach.

During planning, praying, skit writing, studying curriculum and buying agape gifts for our cabin mates and small groups, we immerse ourselves in the teen mindset, striving to become part of their world to reach their inner ears, their inner hearts with the love of Christ.
Sometimes throughout the weekend, we're invited to participate in a game or activity we "older ones" aren't too sure we'll be able to finish or accomplish.

My challenge came while taking pictures on the beach. I had easily caught multiple shots of these young, energetic, fit and thin teens jumping for the clouds (some got at least four feet high, hands and feet extending with hair exploding wildly away from their heads!)

How could I say no once the gauntlet was thrown--one of the girls wanted to see OUR jumps. (I realize this looks totally ridiculous...an older, larger lady jumping on the beach. But, I COULD that day, rather I DID that day, and God-willing I will jump again another day!) Another day to possibly embarrass my daughter in another way she never expects (when I do something unexpected, she tilts her head while rolling her eyes, leans in to her friend and moans, 'welcome to my world!').

My goal was not to embarrass but to PARTICIPATE and show I was very happy to be there and be able. There was something very "freeing" when I allowed myself to jump...letting go of inhibitions of dd's reputation and mine, letting go of "they're gonna think I look stupid"...allowing myself to "feel like a kid" for a brief second as I hurled "my all" up in the air.

Being in my "year of jubilee" makes it harder than ever to get up my gumption to do something this daring...I could fall over and break something, step wrong and pull something, or fall backwards into the freezing water and bring up half the sand in my shorts!

I'm glad I didn't listen to my head that day and decided to follow my heart...it was FUN...and it makes me LAUGH when I look at the picture...and I didn't fall or get wet!

May I carry this "Jesus-jumping joy" throughout the remainder of my year, appreciating where I am, what I have, who I have in my life and how His grace covers my human sin for all time! ... now that's something to JUMP about!

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So, now I'm gonna use this as a "jumpin' off spot"...jumping into my first-ever give-away!

Have you celebrated your 200th blog?? I enjoy seeing how different people commemorate this point in time. I've enjoyed writing and sharing on my 200 blogs...some written quickly, some written after pondering for days. I've also enjoyed getting to meet many other believers as we share across the web.

So to give something He has given us...
something reliable,
easily accessible,
and applicable to every situation...
God's promises came to mind.

pocket-sized BIBLE PROMISES FOR YOU (Zondervan's, NIV).
Name 'em and claim 'em...His promises NEVER fail. Leave me a comment between now and Friday, 4/17, to be in the random drawing. (and don't forget to also go vote for my picture @ WriteFromKaren)

2 Peter 1:4 "...given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature...."