Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The art of coming home...

Hello friendly friends,

I have returned to my humble Rockridge Road abode (yes I meant for that to rhyme) just over 2 weeks ago and am feeling a little nostalgic for the days of old.  Even if camp life drove me mental from time to time; the easy mundane bubble was nice.  It was safe and warm and I didn't have to think about making food or doing laundry (thanks Debbie!)  Now I feel like I've been thrust forth into this vast expanse of adulthood once again and all I want is to crawl back into my rock-hard sleeping-bag-covered mattress of room 3-one-one and sleep until I'm awoken by Q-Rock at precisely 8 a.m. every morning.

But alas; that cannot be and it is time to move on.  Which is easier said that done.  I have been tirelessly looking for work and am feeling a little discouraged.  But light is on the horizon and I know the Lord knows what he's doing.

A song hit me really hard the other day and I kind of lost it (quelle surprise I know)  the lyrics to the bridge are: When I don’t know what steps to take When I don’t know what moves to make This one thing I can’t escape Your love When I don’t have the words to say When I can’t seem to find my way This one thing I can’t escape Your love

And ya know that it just so true.  Even though I currently feel like I have nothing to bring; that I don't know where I am going or what I am doing; the Lord's love has been so overwhelming.  In these hours of purposelessness the Lord is slowly working away at me; and my pride; and the need for status and mention; the need to achieve and be found worthy. He is teaching me that above all of these things HE is the one I should seek validation from; not those of the world; not even from myself. His love trumps all for he alone is worthy.

And that's pretty cool.

But in the same right I do need a job to survive; so I smartened up today; put on my big girl pants (and heels) and handed out resumes. And you know what? It really wasn't all that bad.  I keep thinking I can hide behind my computer screen and apply to all these positions and something will just work out; but funnily enough I'm pretty charming and tend to connect with people quite well (I can hear you all laughing right now) so I made some good impressions and your prayers would be appreciated that something would prevail!

Anywho; life is life and ya never know what you're going to come across. And although I may dread job-hunting (as we all do) I wouldn't trade any of these short stinted experiences for anything.  I've learnt so much from my internships at Rockridge to this past summer at Camp Q and have grown in to a woman I'm rather fond of and I know the Lord would have worked it out anyways; but I don't think I'd quite be the same if I had stayed in my comfy cushy career.

So here we go again; being patient in the waiting; and yet again learning to graciously accept whatever the Lord brings my way; job or not; still waking up saying This is Good.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

We drink our coffee and pretend not to look at eachother...

Scratch another week off the roster for we are halfway there. (WHOA LIVING ON A PRAYER!)

But for reals; my mind is blown at how fast this summer is going by.  SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED; both at Camp Q and in my life at home that I legitimately have not processed any of it.  I feel a bit like I'm on auto pilot.

Surprise surprise I'm starting to find myself getting really attached to the darlings around me.  I'm really not looking forward to the day that is barreling towards us when we all have to bid adieu.  A few have already departed back to their homelands and my heart is so ill-prepared for the rest to go.

The Lord is constantly reminding me of his unending love; not only through people that constantly encourage and lift me up but also in the daily reminders that I am doing the same.  I'm blown away by how many people confide in me on a daily basis.  It's the hugest compliment to know that A) they come to me for advice and B) they actually take it and put it into practice.

My heart has been strongly yearning to council lately and thus I've come to the realization that the Lord has given me the ability to council my peers around me.  He's made me someone who they can come to and lean on for support; for guidance; and sometimes even just a giggle or two. I'm honored to say the least.

It's always refreshing to look back and wonder how the h-e-double hockey sticks I ended up here.  I've grown in so many ways over these past few years; just looking back on this blog is proof of that. It's so reaffirming of the realness of God; and; even though this adventure hasn't been what it initially seemed; I can't help but think; even now; This is Good.

“We seek God so earnestly... not to find Him but to discover ourselves.”

James A. Michener

Friday, July 15, 2016

I wasn't looking for this; but now it's in my way...

Well we are officially done our second week of camp and what a whirlwind it has been.  I'm not going to lie that it doesn't exaclty feel like camp for me.  Maybe it's that I'm in the office and not fully connecting with the kids in a typical camp fashion.  But I'm enjoying myself for the most part nonetheless.

My goal this summer is to connect with one camper a week on some sort of extra special level.  So far I'm succeeding.

During junior high one; I was on stage singing in Q-Town and there was this girl right up front.  She was wearing a t-shirt that said "Ya'll need Jesus" and I was like I NEED TO KNOW THIS CHILD!
She was dancing away and singing her heart out and it was just so lovely.  I sneakily asked her cabin counsellor what her name was and decided to write her a letter for mail time the next day.  I just wrote how much she encouraged me with her free worship and her bright smile.  She then found me later in the week and said how much my note meant to her and I reiterated how much her love for Jesus encouraged me. It was a special moment.

This past week was junior high two and I must admit I was exhausted.  Last night was fireside and as I sat listening to the children share their stories of what the Lord had been doing in their lives my attention was drawn to a boy sitting by himself over on the deck.  I thought nothing of it but kept feeling this stirring within me to go sit beside him. So I did.  I simply said hey bud and said to him that he looked kind of lonely could I perhaps sit beside him? He said yes and then started to explain that it was because he didn't want to sit with everyone else on the benches.  He said it was because listening to everyone share their stories made him cry because of how hard they all have it. I giggled to myself because if you know me at all my heart just gets so overwhelmed during times like those that I just start to cry.  I myself am perfectly alright; I just feel the weight of everyone else's hurt that I can't help but release it through my eyeballs.  I told him that my normal reaction was the same as his and that he shouldn't be ashamed that the Lord gave him such a compassionate heart.  I had to leave it at that because I had to finish a quick job but that small encounter made my evening.

Trusting the Lord's pressings on my heart paid off; not only for that boy; but for me as well.

I knew that the Lord would be teaching me many things this summer; but I figured they would be the same old things I always need to re-learn.  It's been enlightening to see how far I've come and to see that there are far more things out there to discover yet.

 It's funny how the lessons that we think we need to learn we end up teaching someone else.

It's funny how the love we think we need is the love we need to give someone else.

It's funny how the things we think are funny aren't really funny at all.

And maybe that's okay.

And maybe I don't know.

All in all; this is good -- xx-A


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Here I go again (not) on my own....

Well hello there Blogosphere!

It's been what; almost 2 years? Man oh man do we have a heap to catch up on.

The hair is short again; the tattoo count has climbed to 9 and I, Amy Pickard, am working at Camp Qwanoes. *Insert record scratch/skip noise here* Hold the phone! I know what you're thinking; TRAITOR! But nothing you can come up with I haven't already thought myself.  Needless to say; I'm here. And I have no clue why. Okay maybe I have a slight clue; but you get where I'm going here.

To catch you up on a few things; back in May 2015, I was working away at DunVMC as a MOA; living life; being me; yadda yadda. Meg and I attended a Bethel concert and I felt compelled to apply for Bethel spiritual ministry school. So  I did. And lo and behold; I actually got in. To top that; I got accepted for the worship stream too. So that was pretty major.

Contrary to me; the Lord had other plans; and as many of you know, I didn't go. But, I did end up going back to Rockridge Canyon and interning there for the Fall season yet again.

 IT WAS PHENOMENAL! I ended up rebuilding relationships with one of my closest dearest friends and making some others that will last a lifetime.  Although Bethel was "good" it was not "God" and the Lord had an amazing plan for me back in lil ol Princeton and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I came home from camp anticipating returning in January; but the Lord's plans again prevailed over my own and I ended up staying in Duncan.  I passed the last 4 months working at a local coffee shop becoming a stinkin abfab barista (for reals I got mad skills) and that catches you up a wee bit on the current sitch.

So; one tuesday night at bible study,  I mentioned that maybe I would want to be in camp ministry this summer. That was it; nothing more. The next day my homie (we're homies cause we share a home) was speaking with staffing at Qwanoes because she is working here as a nurse for a good chunk of the summer and they had inquired with her if she knew anyone who would be interested in coming here in some capacity; my name was dropped and that's when the ball started rolling. SEVERELY QUICKLY.

I was called literally minutes after this exchange with no knowledge of the previous conversation.  It was brought up that I should apply for the Head Counsellor position; and after some deep thought and wise inputs from peers I did it.

The thing was; I needed to be prepared to be at camp for the end of the month if I got the position. 2 weeks away. So; in faith; I quit my job. I figured if the Lord wanted me at camp; I'd get it; and if not; maybe it was the kick in the arse to get me moving on to the next stage of life He had in store.

I got notified that although I would not be the head counsellor; they would love to have me in any capacity possible. So now I'm here. In the office. And totally confused as to what the outcome of this summer is going to be.

I've been here 15 days and it has not been easy; I will admit.

The people are fantastic; but I am struggling immensely in what the good Lord is doing.

A good friend reminded me tonight to persevere; to keep pressing in to what the Lord has for me. That it is being used for His glory and you know what? It's not always about me. Have I already forgotten that I asked the Lord for guidance in this and He gave me a clear answer? How quickly we forget His goodness when things get hard.

Thus the return to this blog. I used to use it as a crutch; to somehow justify that my life was worthy of being lived. We all know that I realized how bogus that was and made a delcaration (a tattoo worthy one at that) that from said point forward I would understand that all that comes before me is good and from above. But now I realize that this blog can be used for more than that.

I want to use it to relish in the fact that although I may be struggling; although I can't see beyond what's in front of me; I will still trust (yes I'm quoting Stefany and Amanda) that the Lord is in it all. That HE. IS. GOOD.

I want to use it to remind myself of His blessings; and to share in those with you. I find that we so often dwell on the bad and I don't want to be that person; so here's to striving to recognize all the amazing things He's doing and all that He will do.

Here's to recognizing; yet again; all the things that make me think: This is Good.

xx- A

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy 3rd birthday to me!!!

I know, I know, blast from the past right? But I felt like today was a momentous occasion worthy of blogging up.

So; here goes!

When people tell me that I act like a toddler I tell them it's because I'm really only 3 years old.  You see, 3 years ago I stood in front of roughly 150 teenagers, 50 or so staff, and a few cherished family and friends;  at my second home Camp Imadene; and said "Yes" to 2 very important questions: Is Jesus your Lord and Savior, and do you want to follow him for the rest of your life.  After an ecstatic YUP! I grabbed on tight to the two lovely people on either side of me and went under the lovely Mesachie Lake water and arose a new being.

So since I've experienced this "new birth" I am only 3 years of age. Hence the toddler stage joke.

I read a quote once that said something along the lines of  “Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different...” Good Ol C.S. Lewis, get mes every time.  

Looking back over these 3 years I don't look very different on the outside; sure I've gone thru many different hairstyles, blonde, short and blonde, short and pink; short and black; long and purple; and now dark with bangs. But my ideals and the way I rationalize and make decisions and the strength that I now have in making those decisions; that has changed immensely.

Back when I was the 19 year old girl who had never been kissed; never stepped out of her immediate comfort zone; never tried anything because she was too afraid to fail, I was a mess. I was always weighing the pros and cons; deciding it would be easier to just stay where I was because it was comfortable; easy; safe.

Now I can look back and see all the things I've done and say wow, this is good! In this year alone I've been able to say no to people that I don't want in my life; I quit my 7-year long job and took an Internship on a whim at Rockridge Canyon, the YoungLife camp. I spent roughly 2 months with a collection of amazing young adults I had never met before, thinking Y the L not and fell in love; not only with people; but with myself.  I grew to see that I could be "alone" and I would be okay, I discovered my strengths, and a few weaknesses, and all in all I grew closer to the plan that God has for me.

I've also been so blessed by getting a new job in the field I went to school for, it's definitely had it's rough moments, including me wanting to quit, but now I couldn't imagine being anywhere else at this point in my life. In Duncan. Weird I know.

In addition to that; as of August 26th I've been in my own place for 2 months! It has been so amazing to be able to come home and not have to answer to anyone, to be able to do my own thing and not feel like I'm offending anyone by doing it, or hurting anyone's feelings by saying "no, actually I'd rather hang out with my friends, but thanks!" It's been great to be able to run upstairs and hang out with Meg if I need some human company, but being able to close that door behind me, sit around in my undies, and just enjoy solitude is pretty grand as well. Needless to say it's been good.

But back to the whole point; stepping out in faith and declaring that I , Amy Pickard, am disgustingly in love with Jesus, that was the beginning of such an amazing adventure and I am so astonished that I can look back and see distinct moments where God has had his hand in my walk with Him. Where he guided me this way instead of that way, where he was proud of me for holding his hand and saying yes to his will.

It's been a great 3 years and I want to thank all of you for having a part in it, you've listened to me sob, you've listened to me laugh (snort included) and you've been along for the crazy yet sometimes mundane ride. You guys are the best and I'm so excited for the day when I can look back over my whole life and say "This is Good."

Monday, July 15, 2013

In every high and stormy gale...

Well what do we have here?  I know, I know, I've been completely out of the blogosphere for a while now, but, alas, I have something to share and therefore, This is Good is revived yet again.

I was able to cabinlead this past week at my favorite place, Camp Imadene, and along with that amazing experience, I was also asked to speak in chapel! OH SNAP KIDDIES! Yes, I, Amy Pickard, speech impediment and leaky eyes in tow, but I did it. And I didn't completely suck.

The week was amazing as I knew it would be. I expected God to show up, and he did, but never in the ways I expect him to.  My girls were fantastic, beautiful, caring, HILARIOUS, but lacking in conversational skills. Cabin time was verging on painful. I would ask the required questions, along with my own, and nothing. Crickets. This was really trying for me as we all know I love myself a good chat, but it was also a test to get back to basics. God was showing me that I didn't need to try so hard. All I was being asked to do was love on these girls, plain and simple, and He would show up and do the rest. And he did. Duh.  As of late I've been realizing that although I may plant the seeds, I cannot expect them to sprout and bear fruit overnight, I have to give it time, wait for the next season, and when it's right, fruit will bear and lives will change.

But back to my little chapel sesh.... Nette, our fearless leader, overheard me sharing a tidbit of my testimony during cabin time and she thought I would be a good option to share in front of everyone. GAH! I was obviously thrilled at first. I went to our lovely speaker and asked what he was wanting me to focus on. He asked me some questions, I cried as per usual, ughhh, and he gave me the go ahead.

I tried to write some notes during free time, but obviously my body was yearning to toss some Frisbee, and after some short notes I decided to leave in the Lord's hands.

I spoke on my life, my lies, this blog, and all the This is Good moments that have come and gone but looking back I really don't know what I even said that could have been monumental,

but the response was heartwarming. So many campers and staff came up to me and said how much they appreciated and related to my story. WHAT?! My story? Really? Wowza.

At the end of the week it was time for fire-side, my favorite. If you've been a loyal follower you will remember that this service has always been huge for me. God always provides me with something to share, whether I want to or not, and he did not back down this time.  I was lead to encourage the campers and staff that as we leave from camp, we are not alone in our walks, that we can cling to one another and hold each other accountable. So I shared this passage from Hebrews 10:

22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

39 For we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

To any of you camp folk that are reading this, or even to anyone who has experienced that roller coaster of camp highs and home town lows, I just want to share something.  We have all sung the song "Mighty to Save" (almost too much, but that's my opinion) and in it's lyrics it states that our savior can move mountains. Therefore, I want to tell you that God can move that Mountain Top high to where you are. Now Imadene physically has a picturesque mountain for us to stare at, but it doesn't have to remain at camp. Faith as small as a mustard seed can move that mountain to where you are, those feelings of grandeur and the overwhelming covering of God's love is not secluded to one place. It's everlasting and all-surpassing, so keep seeking it out, because "before [you] call [he] will answer; while [you] are still speaking [he]will hear." Isaiah 65:24

Much love and "big times!"-- A

P.S. I didn't cry either times I spoke!! Go me. Maybe I've found my calling?


Friday, May 10, 2013

I'm in love with your honor...

Wow. So  I haven't done this is a very, very long time.  It's kind of surreal being on here, feels like such a long lifetime ago that this was the biggest part of my life.  Sad but true.

I was reading through 1 John the other night and a couple verses really struck me and I thought, I'm going to write a blog about these.

Thus, I came crawling back to ol' faithful here to share a few choice words with you.

I'm a little rusty, so bear with me :)

"If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything" 1 John 3:19

Now I had to look up the definition of "condemn" to fully grasp what this meant, the second definition states that this means to sentence someone to a particular punishment, especially death. Now as per usual little ol' Amy here has been having her heart toyed with a bit as of late and I kind of related it to this verse and got a lot of hope from it as well.

Can any of you relate to the fact that sometimes it feels as if you have no control over your heart? That it just does what it wants to all on it's own, it's like that Edgar Allan Poe quote,

“Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; 

of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. 

The way it stops and starts.”

And sometimes, because you have lost all control, it feels like you are being punished, your heart aches, it makes you wail in agony because you know that this is not what love should feel like, and especially unrequited love, verging on forbidden, but that's another story,
don't even get me started.

But hope endures.  And just like it states, God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything!  He knows how much of a burden our human hearts can be, for who can understand not being loved back by the ones he loves the most more than an unconditionally loving God?

So we then get to the inevitable question made famous by toddlers worldwide, Why? Why should we have to continue on loving just to be burned over and over again, to have those same wounds re-opened and left to bleed dry. Well let me tell you something, we love because he first loved us.  Now don't think I had an epiphany and made that up myself, as I continued reading through 1 John, that charming verse showed up to answer my query. 

1 John 4:19 is a constant reminder  that we are to love everyone just as God loves all of us.  Love was created by God for amazing things.  I always get so overly excited and school-girl-giddy when I think of what the future has in store.  I know that God is preparing someone for me that will blow my checkered socks off and will portray the love he has for me. his bride, through a person that I cannot even fathom yet.


So just keep in mind, that all this love stuff may be crummy now, but at some point, it's going to work out.  God knows what he is doing, and if I have to wait until I'm 87 years old with two hip replacements to finally have my MOG show up, it'll be worth it.  Cause it's better to endure the pain and end up with the gold than to settle for nickel plated copper and have green rings around your fingers. Ya get me?

Probably not cause that made no sense, yet I still think This is Good.

Anyways, I love you all, and I do miss you just a bit.

Much love and loving lovely lovers-- A