Not Giving Up

Hello Everyone!

It’s been quite awhile since I have written. I had to wait for something to inspire me enough to write a new post. I thought I would share with you all something that I have been learning so far this semester in my life.

Failing, failure, not being good enough– these were all thoughts that were running around my mind in what seemed to be like a never-ending cycle. For whatever reason, this semester of school has been very different for me academically. I am used to passing tests and papers with flying colors, and only occasionally getting a bad grade here and there. This year, I have gotten the worst grades I have ever gotten in my entire life. I am not doing anything drastically different than normal. It has been frustrating to say the least.

Failing, failure, not being good enough– I needed something to break this. I needed to get something positive back from any of my classes to know that not everything that I have done was horrible. This actually happened recently. I finally got a mark that I felt was okay enough to make me feel a little bit better.

Failing, failure, not being good enough- God is teaching me some things. The first thing that he is teaching me is patience. The second thing that God is teaching me is that He is ultimately in control, and I am not. For someone who really likes to feel in control of things, this is a hard lesson for me to learn. He’s teaching me that there are more important things in life than getting a good grade.

Failing, failure, not being good enough- Instead of thinking these thoughts, I have been trying to meditate on God’s word. More specifically Philippians 4:8. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

My thoughts are now: Failing, failure, and that’s okay. 

C’est la vie,

Kayla ❤

Ps. You guessed it, I’ve been listening to music while writing! Here’s a link to the song that is currently playing.

 

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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.