June Update

Camp Grace, God
Forty-one. The number of days since I started working at Camp Grace full-time. They have easily been the 41 busiest days of my life, but also some of the most incredible. This morning I spent a few hours just being with Jesus and meditating over the past six weeks so I could gather my thoughts for this update. There was much needed filling up after weeks of pouring out.
 I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have at camp. I love my job. I love watching kids with heartbreaking stories join a family with eternal hope. Witnessing heart changes makes 16 hour work days worth each second. I’m tired, and Galatians 6:9 has been a reoccurring theme for the summer. Although I am called to work hard, I also know that there is a time for everything, especially rest.
 I have felt overwhelmed lately with the amount of roles I have at camp. Publicist. Designer. CIT director. Social media strategist. Supporter of leadership staff. Camera(wo)man. Head of the #MediaTeam. I would be lying if I said I never grow weary. However, I am reminded that I am nothing without Christ, and my true identity is in Him. When I fall short in my jobs (which I often do), I’m reminded that I’m free to fail because I’m defined by Christ’s actions, not my performance.
Some days I am still discouraged, but God is faithful to remind me what a gift it is to serve here. My favorite reminder was given to me on Friday. I had just finished shooting an interview with an urban partner, when my boss, Carrie called me over to the high zip line.
“Michael is about to conquer his fear. I want you to film it.”
I sat on a platform for 30 minutes while several of us encouraged him to jump from the top of the tower. It was not pleasant. The heat index here has been around roughly 110 degrees, so sitting with my camera aimed up was uncomfortable. Lucas, our camp director, sat on top of the zip talking to Michael. Things got quiet. Carrie looked at me and I realized that the child was praying a very important prayer on top of the tower. After he was done, he jumped, and I gained a brother in Christ as we all sweated at the high zip. I was also able to interview him right after, and it was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve ever had behind a camera.
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I wish I had time to type all of the stories of life change that we witness each day. It’s surreal and an honor to help be the eyes of Camp Grace that show the public what we do. Thank you for your support!
  • Please pray for the hearts of the hundreds of children who will come through camp in the next month.
  • Pray for this next week, as we will host over 90 foster children. Pray for the staff that they will show grace and love amidst brokenness.
  • Pray for the strength and energy of all of staff as we enter the second, more difficult half of the summer. Pray that we will always remember the ‘WHY’ of camp and that we do everything for Christ’s glory.

SUPPORT KATIE AT CAMP 

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Island Life 2013.

Travel

As promised, I decided to take a getting-ready-for-school break to post some beach pictures!

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I’ve been vacationing at Saint Simon’s Island since I was an infant. It is my first beach love. I’ve been almost every year, so this beach is has become a central part of my summer. It’s relatively close to home, and is very peaceful compared to many of the gulf beaches I’ve visited.

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We have several traditions that are crucial for a successful King vacation. One is to make a “Dribble Castle,” aka, a sand castle heavily decorated by dribbling wet sand.

An ariel shot of this year's castle, complete with a moat.

An ariel shot of this year’s castle, complete with a moat.

Another tradition is to visit Barbra Jean’s for some insane seafood. I’ve actually have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Barbra Jean herself, since she started her chain of four on SSI, and enjoys hanging around the original restaurant. Barbra Jean is pretty neat, and she is an incredible cook. Her crab cakes are famous and they are one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever had.

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Barbra Jean’s

Pictured top left is pumpkin bread (my family’s favorite) and jalapeno cornbread. Top right is she-crab soup, which is deliciously creamy and spicy. Below is the famous crab cake (cue singing angels) with a side of squash casserole.  Needless to say, this year’s meal at Barbra Jean’s was phenomenal as usual.

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Although I’m sad that beach time is over for a while, I’m very ready to move into my newly-rented house in ATH, and I’m even a little excited about starting new classes. Coming soon: a very grown-up update from my new place of residency!

Sunset in Paradise

Sunset in Paradise

K

Ode to Summer Music

Just Life and Stuff

Several events have inspired me to write this post. Firstly….

I GOT TICKETS TO GO SEE MUMFORD AND SOOOONNS.

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My favorite band of all time! I got the special “email invite,” (since apparently I’m a big enough fan to get an invite or something like that) and bought a few tickets for my friends and I to go in September. I’m a little excited.

SO ANYWAYS, I’ve really gotten into digging up new music. Specifically, folk/indie/rock music, which I adore. So I thought I would share my newer discoveries on here.

1. The Oh Hellos

I got hooked on the Oh Hellos last semester, and they are one of my all-time favorites. If you listen to “Through the Deep, Dark Valley” from start to finish, it tells an intricate story full of metaphors and allusions. They are similar to Of Monsters and Men and their lead male and female vocalists are phenomenal.

Listen: Second Child, Restless Child

2. The Doodads and Don’ts

I can’t get enough of Riverbed and War. They remind me of the Head and the Heart. This band has a pretty small following (note how hipster I am right now) but has some pretty powerful lyrics and strings. Plus, I’m all about those male harmonies.

Listen: Riverbed

3. Josh Garrels

I really started listening to Josh last winter, and he is awesome. He has a very unique sound. His music is very chill, I played it while studying for last semester’s tests. Look up the lyrics to Farther Along. Woah.

Listen: Farther Along

4. Casey Abrams

I vaguely remember him from Idol, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I listened to his album. His voice is crazy different and I love it. His songs remind me of summer.

Listen: Ghosts

5. The Rend Collective Experiment

Gareth Gilkeson has a voice similar to Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE (also one of my favorites) and their sound is a mix between the Oh Hellos and Mumford.

Listen: Come On My Soul

Of course, I have to include something from my favorite band ever: Mumford.

Happy Listening!

K

The Camp Grace Experience.

God, Relating Publicly

The past six weeks have been crazy. They flew by so quickly, but I have memories of long days full of hours of taking pictures and updating websites, social networks, drives, etc. I have to say, these memories are also of the best summer job I’ve ever had.

Camp has impacted my life in more ways than I will ever know. This was my first paid PR job, and I must say, I LOVED it. I feel like my job was God’s way of confirming that I chose the right career to pursue. I loved spreading the word about camp. I loved seeing the numbers rise on our Facebook page. I loved starting the camp blog and updating it for hundreds to read each week.  I loved taking pictures and choosing which ones to use for publicity. Most of all, I loved seeing many kids’ lives being changed because of camp, and knowing that I’m helping people on the outside realize that lives are being changed is a beautiful feeling.

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I will never forget the kid’s smiling faces when they reached the top of the rock wall, or passed the swim test, or rode a horse without help. I will never forget camp wide cheers, my coworker’s hilarious  skits, or huge group games. I will never, EVER forget my first Thursday night CrossTalk in the amphitheater with the sun setting over the lake. That night was the first night I watched through tear-filled eyes as fifty campers opened their hearts to God for the first time. That alone made the exhausting work week worth every second.

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Now camp is over, but I still get the opportunity to live on campus and do marketing work for a little while longer. Summer camp may be over for 2013, but that means its time to raise support for 2014. I’ll be working with camp as long as they need me, and I cannot wait to see how camp will continue to grow in the next year!

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  – K

Baby You’re a Fiiiirework.

Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly

I was a little sad this year because yesterday was the first July Fourth in about five years that I haven’t spent the day with my best friend’s family at their lake house. While I missed swimming/boating/pigging out with my friends and second family, spending the Fourth at camp was pretty amazing. Somebody had bought a few hundred dollars worth of fireworks for us to shoot over the lake.Image

They were absolutely stunning. The teen girls at camp were screaming and loving it. Actually, I was screaming and loving it too, along with my fellow staff members.

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Today is our last full day of summer camp. I’m sad to see the kids go, but I cannot wait to celebrate a successful summer with the staff this weekend. I’d say it’s been a pretty great six weeks of camp.

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As of Friday at 4:00 PM, I’ve been in existence for two decades. I still feel about four years younger, so I guess it’s the mindset that counts.

To be honest, the last week of work was rough. I had a stomach bug, both of my chacos broke, I had a massive headache, we lost all power for eight hours at camp, and I had the most embarrassing moment of my life. However, I am deciding to view the beginning of my third decade as a fresh start. July is going to be more laid back for me (hopefully) and I get to travel and get ready to move into my new house.

Although work has been pretty taxing lately, I still see that God is good and He is at work. I can see lives being changed because of camp, and if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. The next step of my job is to reach out to donors and potential supporters through publications, and I’m looking forward to this new PR side of my position.

On another note, my family got a new PUPPY! Her name is Nala and she is a baby yellow lab. I am madly in love.

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Also, one very excellent part of my birthday was my beautiful, scrumptious, perfect, delicious, fabulous CAKE.

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This masterpiece (was) a gift from my best friend from camp and my sweet bosses. It was a red velvet cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, one of my all time favorite restaurants on the planet. I can honestly say that this sucker was the best birthday cake I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve had a lot of cake.

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I want to upload some more pictures for this post, but honestly, I’m just too pooped at the moment. My flickr page is updated though!

– K

God, Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly