Summer Camp

This past summer I have been working at a Christian summer camp as a senior cabin counselor. At camp I work harder than I ever thought was possible, but it’s all worth it.

I was never the kid that went to summer camp. I stayed home with my mom and siblings and did fun activities with them, but sleepaway camp was never a part of my childhood summers. My sister worked at a summer camp for at least five summers as a lifeguard, but for whatever reason, I was never interested in working at camp. This is strange because I always have loved working with kids. Maybe I didn’t want to work at camp because I didn’t want to work with my sister and have to be constantly measuring up to her standards. I think that the main reason I didn’t want to work at a summer camp was that I had a huge lack of self-confidence, especially with my ability to lead children. I always used to think that other people could do the job way better than I could and it hurt me in the long run. 

I was approached by a trusted friend in my life during the winter season while I was still at school. This friend of mine struck up a conversation while at the dinner table in our school cafeteria about a summer camp that she had been working at and how the director was looking for more staff members. She went on to tell me that I should apply to work at camp. I straight up told her no. Haha. You can probably tell where the rest of this story is heading. Anyway, after she told me I should work at camp, the conversation kept coming up. I was starting to think about reasons why I shouldn’t work at camp. I told my friend that if she could give me good reasons to work at camp that I would at least apply. So, my friend gave me reasons, and I held up my end of the deal by praying about it and talking with other trusted people in my life. I finally came to the conclusion that I would send off an application. The director of the camp emailed me shortly after to set up a time for an interview. Towards the end of my interview, the director told me that I had a job if I wanted it and that she would send me the contract later so I could decide. I don’t write that to toot my own horn, but I write that because looking back I can clearly see how God was guiding me and letting me know that I needed to work at camp. 

Working at camp has been one of the most stressful and terrifying experiences of my life. Stepping outside my comfort zone in such a dramatic way was scary. However, working at camp has been such a huge blessing in my life. It has taught me confidence when leading children. It has taught me patience. It has also taught me that even when I feel like I have no more energy, no more love to give, no more patience, and no more excitement, that I have the ability to push through. Physically and mentally I have broken boundaries within myself that I didn’t think was possible. Each week of camp has its good times and its bad times but I have been able to work through these times and come out on top. 

At this point I am unsure of whether or not I will apply to work at camp again next summer, but the one thing that I can be sure of is that I will forever keep in mind the lessons that I have learned, and the people that have encouraged me along the way. 

C’est la vie, 

Kayla ❤

Ps. Never be too scared to step outside your comfort zone.. you won’t regret it!

Why Being a Christian at a Christian School is Hard

I know what you’re thinking. The title of this post must be a typo, surely going to a Christian school is the best place for a Christian to be. Here are a few reasons as to why I think that going to a Christian school has been detrimental to my faith. (HINT: It was my fault and not the school’s).

The first thing that you as the reader need to know about me is that before I went to the Christian university that I am at now, I had always been attending public schools. In high school especially, I had to learn how to defend my faith. I had so many friends around and people that did not know Jesus. I had to be Jesus to my friends and peers through my actions and my words. This required me to be reading my Bible, talking in fellowship with other Christians, and praying constantly for the people that were around me. I had a passion, a fire if you will, for Christ. I was the strongest in my faith than I had ever been. I believe that this was due to my internal motivation, determination, and perseverance to learn and my yearning to be close to Christ. When major life events happened in high school, I knew how to cope with them. I knew that I had a small group of people that I could talk with who were also Christians going through the same things as me, who were also trying to navigate through life at the same pace as me. Biblical community was a big priority in my life.

When I first got to my university, I thought that it was going to be so nice to finally be in an environment where the majority of people had the same values and beliefs as me. And honestly, it was incredible! At first, the daily chapel opportunities, the residence Bible studies, the Bible classes, and university church on Friday nights were just what I needed. However, as time went on, my faith became placid. I struggled with the people that were so clearly hypocrites. I did not understand how people could go from worshiping God to dissing someone in a span of two minutes. After some time passed, I am quite sure that I became a hypocrite myself. All of the tools offered to strengthen our faith became the reasons that I stopped caring as much about learning and desiring to be close to God. Of course, there were still times where I very much needed and enjoyed the tools, but my faith was not at the level it had been in high school. Ironically, I had to work harder at a Christian university to maintain my relationship with Jesus than I had to while I was attending my public high school. Not everything has been bad. I love learning in the Bible courses about the Bible. I find that they really helped me to get more out of my Bible reading. I’m still trying to regain my faith and get over being in this dry spot.

Let me know if you have any experiences like mine. How did you overcome and regain your faith?

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

 

Interruptions Part 2

Continuing on the theme of my last post, I will be sharing another life interruption that God used to become a huge part of my life.

It starts young, the questions about who you want to be and what you want to do when you’re older. Most little kids have more than one option, and most of the time these options are extremely different from one another. For example, when I was little, I wanted to be a teacher or a doctor. I always knew that I wanted to have a husband and children as well as my career. I suppose that those are two career choices are very viable options, and I grew up always caught between the two. There were times when I was for sure going to be a doctor because of the positive experiences I had with doctors. There were also times where I was for sure going to be a teacher because of all the influential teachers that I had in my life. 

When it was getting closer to the time where I needed to make this huge decision, I started talking with the most important people in my life. I was praying for my future, and for God to tell me exactly what I should do. Funny how that isn’t the way God works though. After talking with one of my friends, I was told that I was a good listener and that I gave great advise. I had taken personality tests online that said my personality would work well in one of the caring professions. 

I finally narrowed it down to counseling. Listening and empathizing with people comes naturally to me. I went to my guidance counselor at my school, who suggested that I take a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology. There are two universities that are local to me, one is French, and the other is English. Upon reviewing my marks, my guidance counselor suggested that I apply to the French school so that I would better my chances of getting a job after I was through with university. 

After more thinking, talking, and praying, I decided that doing university in French, which is my second language would be too hard of a task for me if I wanted to be successful. After all, I was going into psychology blinded. I had never taken any psych courses, and was enrolled in one my second semester of grade 12, but if I had waited to see what I thought of psychology until that point, I would have been too late in applying for schools. 

At this point I was questioning everything! I didn’t know what school to go to, I didn’t know what program to apply for, and I surely didn’t know what I wanted to do after I was done university. My parents were trying to be helpful by letting me make the decision on my own, but this was incredibly difficult for me. I just wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do. I didn’t realize at the time that I needed to be the one making my own decisions. It was difficult. I didn’t even want to go to university at this point, and I became so anxious through the experience that I wouldn’t apply to a non-Christian university for fear of what went on in the dorms. 

I ended up sending off two applications to two different Christian universities. My first choice was a school that was almost an hour away from my home, and the other school was in my hometown. Time wise, this was December of grade 12, and I was finally able to enjoy my Christmas break without worrying about my future schooling. I applied to be in a counseling diploma program from my top pick, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in the local school. 

Come February, I still had not heard from my top pick school. However, I got home one day from school and in the mail was my acceptance letter to the local school. After even more praying and talking things over with family and friends, I decided to accept my offer at that school. My school. My university that I’m currently attending.

I have  just completed my second year of the program, and I must say that I have changed my mind many more times about what I want to do after I’m done this degree. At this point, I strongly think that I would love to be a social worker. Preferably someone who deals with kids. 

We will see where my future takes me. One thing I know is that even though I didn’t want to go to the university that I’m at, it’s the place where I belong. It’s the place where God wanted me, where He still wants me. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. 

C’est la vie, 

Kayla ❤ 

Ps. Be looking out for a part three. At some point, I’ll write about another life interruption. 

Interruptions

This past Sunday in church, the pastor was speaking on interruptions that we experience in life and how we react to these interruptions. I’m going to share just one of my life’s interruptions.

Having hearing issues is something that I have grown up with almost my entire life. I was diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss in both my ears at my pre-kindergarten check up. I was 4 years old. So, for as long as I can remember, I have never known what it’s like to have normal hearing. My hearing problem caused many interruptions in my life, including 6 surgeries from kindergarten through to grade 7. That equals out to be 6 surgeries in 8 years. It caused many tears, frustration, and a few triumphs along the way. 

The greatest interruption that my hearing loss brought me happened when I was twelve years old. My parents and I were at a doctors visit. The doctor gave us two options. The first option was for him to operate on my left ear again. He wanted to replace one of the bones that wasn’t working as well in my ear with a plastic replica in hopes of treating my loss of hearing for good. The other option was for me to get a hearing aid to wear for the rest of my life, unless something else came along that I chose to do. Tired of having surgery after surgery, my parents and I decided to give the hearing aid a try. 

It was not an easy adjustment for me as I was a self conscious twelve year old girl who was still in middle school. I believe I was in grade eight at the time. I was worried that people would stare at me all the time, and that they would think I was a freak. I even thought that I would never have a chance at having a boyfriend or even friends. I was so insecure about the decision. And even though I felt so insecure, I knew that a hearing aid could potentially be life changing. 

Fast forward to a few months later, and I went with my mom to many audiologist appointments to get my ear fitted for a hearing aid, and to choose the one I wanted. I even got to choose the colour, which of course I chose the skin coloured one. When my hearing aid first went in my ear and was turned on, I was astonished. Before the audiologist put it in my ear, I could only hear her and my mom. After she put it in, I could hear a little boy that was running down the hall outside of the room I was in. 

I soon realized that my hearing aid was one of the best tools I had ever received! I have now had it for eight years, and I am thankful for the technology every single day. I am also thankful for the supportive people in my life at the time, including family and friends. We all noticed the difference immediately. No more yelling at me in order to get my attention. No more having the T.V at super loud volumes. I was able to enjoy life. I AM able to enjoy life!

Even though having a hearing aid is not ideal, I believe that perspective is key to situations that are sad or frustrating. I still have days where I have a pity party about my hearing, but I know that having a pity party is not going to change the fact that I don’t have good hearing. Do I ever wonder what my life would be like without having gone through this whole journey, absolutely! I just have to remember that God created me the way that he did, and that I’m created in his image. I get to stay hopeful for the day when I meet Jesus in heaven, and I no longer have to wear my hearing aid. What a glorious day that will be! 

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

Ps. Maybe I’ll talk about some of my other life interruptions in another post. 

Authenticity

I just want to be real, open, and authentic as a person. I want people to feel like they can ask me anything and know automatically that I am going to be so honest and vulnerable that they may wish that they had never asked in the first place.  I want people to look at me and realize that I am an authentic person (well, I want them to at least realize that I am trying to be authentic). I strive to be open and honest with others. I may not be good at talking about my feelings, however, I feel like if people asked questions about my life then I would let them know. I honestly do not remember the last time that someone genuinely asked me how I am doing. Not that anyone is really at fault…I have not been asking people how they are really doing in awhile too, or sometimes I just don’t feel like answering that question. It goes both ways. Sometimes I don’t want to talk, but other times I am dying to let people know what is going on. I don’t usually start the conversation because I don’t want to be a burden to others.

This is me. Being as honest as I can, even if it was just for this short period of time.

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

This random thought for the night is brought to you by a Kayla that is tired, in the midst of writing papers and working on presentations, and feeling like I am being spread thin.

 

Friday Chapel

This is the view from the beautiful chapel at my school, which also happens to be my favourite room in the building.

This morning was not exactly a typical Friday morning for me. The reason being is that I decided to attend a Friday chapel that my school was offering. I usually go other days of the week instead of Friday’s. I don’t really have a reason why I went. I knew that a few of my friends were planning on going, and I had nothing better to do, so I went. 

The experience I had for those 30 minutes of my day is not something that I will likely forget anytime soon. The little service was student led and directed, with students doing music and another student preaching. Looking back on the experience, I can honestly say that I can’t remember the last time I was as enthralled in a message during chapel time than I was today. I was soaking in everything my classmate was saying. Something clicked in my head. 

He said something along the lines of: it’s not about doing everything you can to sin less so that you don’t have to go to Hell, it’s about growing closer to God relationally. Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to forgive us or just to make it so we don’t have to go to Hell, but He died so that we can once again be close with God. It doesn’t matter how much I try to do good things and be a good person (I know, very cliché and oversaid statement). As long as I am constantly seeking God and working on my relationship with Him, the other things will naturally happen and it will become second nature. 

Another thing that he said when he was preaching was actually a question, and I want to leave you as the reader with the same question. I don’t exactly remember the exact thing, so I’ll do my best to make the question up based off of what I can remember. Have you ever actually felt the Lord so strongly that you couldn’t deny that it was Him? I would answer this myself in this post, but I feel as if it’s more of a personal reflection. 

I hope that this post finds you in a good spot and that you have a great weekend!

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

Choices

Hello again! It’s been a few months since my last post, and I’m definitely glad that I took some time off blogging to grow a little bit in my personal life.

Tonight I really just want to talk about choices. I’ve come to the conclusion in the last couple of years that young adults have a lot of choices to make. Most of these choices are anything but simple. The choices you make as a young adult can really follow you and can dramatically change who you are as a person. 

We always have choices of doing the right thing, of choosing happiness or kindness. However, some decisions are harder to make. Some decisions require a lot of thought, because the right decision for you may not be the same as anyone else. Sometimes the right decision is hard to make because you are not aware of the wrong decision, or potential wrong decision. 

I’m definitely going through this stage of my life right now. So many questions and choices coming my way, and I don’t always know how to answer them or what to choose. There are decisions as little as deciding when I’m going to complete my homework, but there are also very large decisions such as deciding where to work in the summer, or what exactly I’m going to do after I’m done my Bachelor degree. 

Even though I have all of these unanswered questions, I know that things are going to turn out exactly the way they need to be. 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”    – Romans 8:28 (NIV) 

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”                 – Philippians 4:19

Those are just a few Bible verses that popped into my head as I was writing this post.

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

I’m Giving Up

The title says it all. I’m done writing blog posts. If not done forever, then for a very long time. It has been a good outlet for me when I needed a place to put my thoughts, but I’m moving on. There have been things going on in my life that have become more important than writing a blog post lately, and I haven’t posted much recently at all. If anyone is reading this, I hope you find yourself having a good day, remember that happiness is a choice.. for the most part.

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

Ps. Here is a picture that I took recently. Fall is beautiful. 

What is Going On?

Yesterday I watched out the window with astonished eyes as the police drove off with my neighbor in handcuffs.What I witnessed yesterday was like something that you would expect of a cop show. Street blocked, guns drawn, the police dog searching the area. Stuff like this doesn’t happen in my neighborhood…Well, not until yesterday. 
I don’t know all the details of what happened, but I don’t need them. The world is a scary place. I think the thing that stood out the most to me is that my dad asked one of the officers a few questions about what was going on. After the officer answered the questions, he told my dad that this situation was one that the cops were not too worried about, it was tame on their end. The officer also said, it’s a big deal on our [my] end, and that he understood that what we saw was not normal to us. It shouldn’t have to be normal to anyone. 
I am so extremely grateful and thankful for all of the police officers in my community.
What is this world coming to?
C’est la vie, 

Kayla ❤

 

Ps. Listen to A Team by Ed Sheeren through headphones as loud as you can handle it. Close your eyes and listen to the lyrics. Again, what is this world coming to that a song like this has such an impact on some people?

(Thanks to my amigo for the idea to listen to Ed full blast, love ya!) 

Friendship

The other day I had a 2 hour drive to my house from my cottage. It was just me in the car so I had a lot of time to think. I thought about friendship, and how it changes throughout the years.

Friendship starts out by parents scheduling a playdate with their friend’s children. The parents choose the people that they want to surround their children with. Then elementary school comes and the child gets to make their own friends. This continues for the rest of life, of course.

The main thing that I was thinking on my drive was how if you have gone to public school in the same town your entire life, you have always been around the same people, and the same friends. Once high school hits, you are very good friends with these people and have deep connections to some of them. This is one of the reasons that university is such a big adjustment for young adults. All the people that they are comfortable with are usually no longer at the same school. You have to sort of start over and make some new friends. The funny thing is that the friends you make in university are like instant best friends. Everyone in university is looking for friends, they are looking for some people that will help make the transition a little bit easier. All friends are wonderful, but there is something about the university friend that is different. This person truly knows you, because most of the time, they spend more time with you at school than your own family does…this is especially true if you are living on residence.

After I was thinking about all my wonderful friends that I have made so far in my life, I was thinking about what happens after university is over and all of my friends go their separate ways, what will life look like then? Going from seeing my best friends everyday, to not knowing when I am going to see them again just seems plain scary. I know that I will stay in touch with my best friends, but it will never be the same. There will never be another time in my life like university, being surrounded with people I love (and quite frankly, some that are harder to love :P) and having the best and worst days of my life. Even though the future is a little scary and definitely full of unknowns, I am ready to cherish and enjoy the next few years of my life. The last few years that I will always have my friends surrounding me.

And I guess some day in the future, things will come full circle and I will be scheduling playdates for my own kids with my friend’s children.

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

Ps. Even though I am specifically talking about university friends here, I love all my friends and always look forward to spending time with all the people that I love.