Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paper trail to my heart...

I have gone to Simpson Park camp for the last 22 years of my life. I've never missed a summer. It is with great sadness that I tell you that I will not be able to be there for the full week this year. Praise God that I will be able to be there for at least 3 days, though. It is going to be very hard to not be at a place that literally molded me to love the Lord, and seek God and know that He desires a relationship with me. The thought of being there takes me to a happy place, a place of peace and comfort.. of raccoons messing up garbage and crickets chirping all night long. One thing that I started to do when I was at camp was collect items in my bible. We, as campers, always sat through the long adult service and wrote notes and drew picture. In my "teenage" bible, they are all still there and all still mean something to me. Letters from friends during the year, or important pictures would be stashed in my bible. My safe place.

Laying on my bed tonight, I hung up the phone from Josh and accidentally knocked all of the papers that have been stored away in my bible off of my bed. I don't look at them all too often, but in my "adult" bible, I have a lot of different things that I store in there for safe keeping. Isn't it funny, that in this book- I know that even my paper possessions are safe? Could this also mean that the safety and security that we so often long for, but never find, could also be right inside this book??? As I picked up these items off of the floor, I realized that they were all very important and significant to me. They all have a direct line to my life and a clear shot into my head. I want to share them with you.

1. Walmart receipt for the dog cage I bought little Thelma. That is to remind me that I need to listen to the Lord when he says, "probably not." I learned a lot through that experience with the great dane pup.

2. Three plane tickets from the first time I flew to Austin to see the love of my life, [[Joshua Thomas Rickard]]. These are from 11 months ago. Yes, that means one month from Sunday we will be celebrating our "One year of Love" [[ i don't like the word anniversary yet]]. These are special to me.

3. A letter of confessions I wrote during a trip to panama city. It was a time of surrender and crying out to Jesus- confessing my sins and letting him heal me and forgive me. I like to read through this and see the things that I have let go of, and the things I still am struggling with.

4. A list of the groups in Panama City. I led that trip for 2 years, went on it for 3, and every year that trip meant something different to me. God worked in so many ways. It was the most awkward trip, but it was God's and he always made it fantastic.

5. A 3x5 card with a note on it from a dear friend in college before we went to Panama City, encouragement.

6. Notes from a podcast that Josh sent me to listen to during my last summer in Nashville. It was one of my favorite podcasts, obviously bc i listened to it 2 times and took notes..

7. A letter that little Braylon sent me. Abby wrote on it, but you can see Braylon's scribbles, I miss them so much.

8. A very old letter that I found in some old pictures that my dad wrote to his grandparents after his mom died. It is a funny letter because as a 15 year old, he spelled everything wrong. At the end though, even though this kids MOTHER had just died unexpectedly, he said-- and I quote " don't worrie it's working out, God had his plan. and that's that. by" Oh my gosh. That one sentence pulled me through the darkest times in my life. I read this every day for a long time, and although my father was not there- God knew that I needed him to tell me everything was going to be okay. It is still a comfort for me to read that.

9. A letter that my best friend in the world wrote me after I found out my sister was pregnant. I love that baby more than anything, at the time it was tough news. Beth wrote this letter and it also has some stick figure drawings of our friendship ;) priceless, friendship is truly priceless.

10. A list of 44 things I want to do before I die. I am crossin' those suckers off left and right.

11. Sticky note- Psalm 116 March 17, 2007. Dead smack in the middle of my parents divorce. 1st night of panama city. " I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the Lord. " O LORD SAVE ME..." Look up the rest. It's wonderful, Our God hears us- and he saves us. Awesome.

12. A shopping list :) hehe.. who knows how that got in there..

13. I usually keep a picture of my mom in there, just because she's beautiful, I miss her and I need to remember to pray and lift her up to the Lord daily.

14. Movie ticket stubbs to "The Blind Side." The first movie Josh and I ever went to together :)

15. A pink sticky note. "Pray for Aunt Prudies Husband." That's been there since she got me this bible. God is so good to her and he knows what she needs... She has taught me that the Lord is the best husband a girl could ever ask for and that He is honestly all that we need.

15. A letter from Josh, that he just recently wrote. It's truly beautiful and I'm so blessed to be in Austin with him.

Ok that's all. Now your wondering how I even close my bible.

Hebrews 12:7- Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as a Son...11- No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Cry out to God, let him train you and discipline you. So that whatever comes next, you will be prepared.



  1. So you are my morning cuppa' joe! Greatttt way to start my day again... and so funny I can relate to it! My bible, "Teen Edition" is JAMMED full of everything... even from when I was like 10... :) My "Adult" bible, not so much... but you've inspired me to get back in that habit! Love you so much, Happy Thursday!!

  2. I knew your grandmother long before the Childs and Spear families became intertwined. She was THE nicest person on my very large SAginaw News paper route. I was so sad when she passed. LOve you Em!

  3. :):) Love you sister-

    wish I knew that lady uncle phil!