I am home from Family Camp. I am completely exhausted – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have never been so tired. But, I have never felt so good, so filled with life and love, so fulfilled, so joyful.
The theme for Family Camp this year was “Holy, Holy, Holy” and our daily themes were “Open My Eyes,” Open My Ears,” “Open My Heart,” “Speak In New Ways,” and “I Live Within You.” The daily themes were all taken from the song “Open My Eyes” by Jesse Manibusan. Every day, we were encouraged to look for God’s presence in nature, in our family members, in the Eucharist, in the community. It was a great week for me and I feel very close to John, our children, God, and the priests and families who were at Camp with us.
At Camp Koinonia (where Family Camp is held), there is no internet or cell phone reception. I wrote some blog posts ahead and had them automatically posted while I was away. I missed writing each day and letting my blog friends know what was happening. I know that I have a lot of comments to answer. I thank you for them and will respond as quickly as I am able. It is really difficult to sum up a week in just a few words, but I will do my best.
Being Spiritual Directors is a huge blessing. We have the gift of working with families to help them see how wonderful they are. There are many graces given to John and me in the course of this ministry. One grace is the privilege of participating in a daily practice of “staff sharing,” where each member of the staff shares a high point, a low point, and a closest moment to God for the day. We heard phenomenal sharings from the teen staff members. If ever I worry about the future of our church or the faith of our Catholic teenagers, I only have to think back to Family Camp sharings for reassurance that today’s teens are wonderful, deep pools of faithful spirituality. It was an honor to work with the teens over the past two weeks.
Another wonderful grace was the gift of working with families – families with teens, families with young children, families with young adult children – all the families worked so hard at strengthening their ties and learning to show their love and reconcile the hurts that are part of normal family life. We renewed relationships with old friends and got to know some wonderful new families.
I am sure that insights from Family Camp will come out in my posts over the next few weeks. Mostly, tonight, I am grateful that my vision improved enough so that I could continue this ministry. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend so much time over the past two weeks in a place I love with people I love so very much. Tonight, I will sleep well, thankful for the opportunity to serve families in this unique way. Peace.