July 02, 2010

Picture Perfect Skewed

This summer isn't exactly as I pictured it, but I think am pretty sure God is saying, "Uh huh, who's in charge here?  Quit trying to plan every moment of your life!" 
Yes, it's true, I'm guilty.  I'm a planner.  This year when people asked me what I'd be doing over summer my reply was always, "I volunteer at my church every day preparing for our biggest outreach of the year - KidsKamp.  I usually am in charge of registration, and with over 500 kids registered last year, it was like a full time job.  I loved it, it was a blast hanging out with all the FreePeeps up at the office and helping out."
Well, it's July 2nd and I haven't stepped foot in the church office to help with KidsKamp.  My best friend has been really sick lately, like can't move without being exhausted or loosing her stomach contents.  This friend also has a 16month old, so needless to say, she can't take care of him.  So my summer has been spent either caring for the little guy or trying to find others to care for him.  Don't get me wrong, I love this little one as if he's my own, it just wasn't how I planned on spending my summer.  When I was thinking just that the other day, I felt God saying to me, "Well, this isn't how [your friend] thought she was going to spend her summer either.  I'm ultimately in charge, just be obedient to what I'm asking you to do.  Don't worry about Kamp, other people can get the job done.  You take care of [your friend] and I'll take care of you and everything else." 
That word from God reaches so much farther though.  When I found out I was going to Ghana this summer, I started brainstorming fundraising ideas.  My husband gave me the idea to do portraits to raise the money.  What a brilliant idea! (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my husband!) So I made some fliers and advertised like crazy.  I thought for sure I'd get a ton of people signed up.  Surprisingly enough (to me anyway) I only had four people sign up!  BUT - those four people were THE four people.  They were the four people that God placed in my path.  One of them was a maternity shoot and they actually asked me to be their baby's photographer (like for the 3mo, 6mo, etc. portraits).  One of them was a family that I knew, but didn't really know.  But after their 1/2 hour session, we spent two hours just talking.  They are such an amazing family and it was great to get to know them.  Not to mention all of the people that signed up gave above and beyond the 'donation' price I had listed on the posters I made.  God has my back.
So when the photo sessions didn't get the response I thought they were going to, I decided to have a Pampered Chef party - for two reasons - to help out my best friend as she started her business with PC, and to do it as a fundraiser for Ghana.  Three people showed up to my party.  Three.  I was so bummed!  BUT it turned out I ended up getting almost $600 in sales from outside orders.  AND I'm not sure what it was, but the advertisement for my party made people more aware about my trip and people just started giving me money - not wanting photo sessions or Pampered Chef stuff, just giving me money. 

So my summer has not been "Picture Perfect."  It's been skewed from my image.  But you know what- imperfections in my picture, let God shine so much more.  This image that HE has for me is perfect.  And I'm okay with that.