Called.

If you were to tell me a year ago that I’d be sitting and writing this blog in a host home in Lincoln, Nebraska serving on a summer camp called camp sonshine I think I’d honestly laugh in your face. I love, love, love that most of the time God’s plan is not our plan.

This week we dove straight into training and preparation for the next 9 weeks to come. For my first week of camp I have been placed with 8 and 9 year olds. For one of our training modules we got given time to spend in solitude with the Lord and we were encouraged to think of a vision for this summer. Something that will keep us going, something we can come back to when times get tough and something that can be our very drive to keep going.

God says when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. During my moments of solitude I was challenged. I know that being here is a massive part of my personal Journey and It’s a new season for me but I just really felt God say this isn’t all about you. You are here to serve, I am using you as a vessel for others to know me!

With that being said my vision for this summer is to be an encourager!

When I first got accepted into camp Sonshine I remember going out to mum saying..“This seems like a camp I would have needed when I was younger.”

Growing up I was such an anxious, insecure little being and a lot of the time I was teased or judged for who I was. I don’t believe any child should be made to feel like that.

My purpose for this summer is to help every child know they are loved, worthy, treasured and valued by a King who loves them for THEM. I want to empower them to be themselves and be comfortable with who they are.

Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up.

You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.

You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

You go before me and follow me.

You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!

I can never get away from your presence!

If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.

If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.

Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.

They cannot be numbered!

I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up, you are still with me!

I know It’s such a cliche thing for a Christian to have a vision like this but knowing yourself and being comfortable in yourself and in Christ is HUGE! I honestly believe it is going to set these children up for a life of abundance and complete happiness.

This week God showed me this journey is not just about me anymore, it’s about others and its about being completely obedient and trusting to his will.

This week I learnt that I have been called to serve, I have been called to be a leader and I now know that I am more than capable of doing this because in his strength he is going to equip me.

What an honour.

By Bethany Calverley.

 

Courtney Cook!

This is One of my most treasured friends Courtney. I’ve known her since our early high school years. We met at youth and small group and from there our friendship grew. Courtney is incredible, humble and so loving. Our friendship is unique and I am SO proud of her and her journey of self love and self acceptance. Read her words of courage and embrace the beautiful girl she is.

Written at age 20.

Courtney Cook:

  1. What is your idea of Beauty?
    I think beauty is something that is all around us, found in places and people we would not expect or we don’t see in ourselves. I think beauty is shown differently through each human, thanks to God’s crazy, good imagination.
  2. Where do you place your worth?
    From past experiences I often struggled with worth. I’m not quite sure when it changed but it had something to do with my relationship with God, He mended my heart and I found a love that was everlasting, embracing and whole.
    Through my spiritual journey I found my worth along the way.
  3. What has been your biggest obstacle in your self worth journey?
    Feeling unloved, unwanted or unneeded.
    Under appreciating myself and who & how I’ve been made to be.
  4. What has been your greatest achievement in your self worth journey?
    Pushing past the feeling of being unloved, unwanted and not needed. It took a while because for years I had something, someone pushing against it but once I was able to accept that it wasn’t my fault, that I was not these things because of something one person had done to me, it really have me a sense of freedom, self worth and self love.
  5. How do you view yourself today?
    Stronger,
    Wiser,
    Healthy,
    Loved,
    Lucky & able.
  6. What are 3 things you do to practice self love?
    Exercising daily is one of my main ways of practicing self-love, it’s not something I do for others but purely for myself.Nourishing my body with foods I believe do so, despite what others say about it.I also spend time with myself; I journal, read, walk or listen to music. Spending time with myself allows me to a better me for whatever is ahead.
  7. If you could give advice to your younger self in regard to self worth and body image, what would it be?
    You are who you are, and those things you dislike about yourself right now you will learn to love.
    You’ll love the colour of your hair despite the torment,
    You will appreciate your size no matter what the person standing next to you looks like and all the things running through you head you will overcome and be stronger for it.

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Unveiling Beauty.

I’m going to be starting a new photography project for my blog called unveiling beauty inspired by the book captivating!
My vision is to create a space where girls are able to feel comfortable to express themselves through their own individual self image, share their body image story and beauty back ground without fear of judgment! I’m all about being raw, real and authentic so it’s basically going to be the same series of questions to a different bunch of girls with how their self image journey has played out, along with some photos that highlight THEM in all their beauty. This is a project that’s been on my heart for a while now and to finally see it start to come to surface is beyond exciting for me!

It’s close to my heart because my entire teen years were filled with doubt, discouragement, hurt and emptiness in regards to my self image. I’m so damn passionate about this and I am going to try my very best to make a difference for the generations of women to come and also for the ones that have been! I want women to gain perspective of other girls body image journies. I want this space to be relatable, empowering and inspiring! I want them to know that they aren’t alone in their awful thoughts and that they can conquer feelings of doubt! Join me on this journey of self love and a movement of beauty!

 

Experience, Learn & Grow!

sunflower

I’ve been busy taking some time out to do a lot of personal growth. It hasn’t been a matter of feeling un inspired, it’s been quite the opposite actually.

These last few months have honestly been life changing. Since the last time I wrote a blog post I have met so many incredible people which have empowered, challenged, hurt, loved and inspired me. A few life lessons I have come away with are:

Learn from your experiences – Every single human being in this world has faced both good and bad experiences. For me personally this year has bought its ups and also it’s downs but the main thing I have taken away from each individual experience is to have an open mind and embrace everything from different perspectives but also for what it is. We are constantly growing, learning and changing in life and if you can try your best to take away the positives from the hard things your facing you can have the power to bring happiness to an awful situation. I can 100% guarantee there is always at least one good thing in painful experiences, you might not see it or feel it in the midst but over time you’ll be able to look back and realise simple blessings in disguise.

Just do it – We all have a goal or dream that seems so far out of our reach yet the yearning in your heart for it becomes stronger. Dream it, Chase it, DO IT! I have learnt so much about myself these last few months, one of the main things is that I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to and so can you!!! I’ve had a dream of heading to a third world county to be a part of some sort of mission trip since forever. This year I looked at what I’m passionate about and I booked a trip to Cambodia an Thailand. Sometimes we just need to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones to completely embrace our dreams. Am I prepared to go overseas? Nope. Will I ever be completely prepared? Nope!!! I’m nervous, petrified and excited and I know that this trip is going to be life changing, not only for myself but also for others. Make your dreams a reality and JUST DO IT. I know and have seen first hand how quickly someones life can be gone, it’s too short to sit a round in the same boring routine. Push yourself and challenge yourself to do and be more!

Open your heart again – Let’s talk about heart break. We’ve all been there and every break up is different but in the end we all get the same result of our comfy being gone and feeling a little lost with a sickening feeling in our bellies and physical pain in our hearts. It sucks but as weird and as stupid as this sounds I am actually so damn grateful for every single one of my breakups, every single fight, every hurt, every tear and every inch of pain I have felt. I am thankful because as much as the process of a break up hurts (and boy oh boy does it hurt) they help make you who you are. There is just something different about experiencing a breakup and the healing process from this takes time. Again everyone is different for some it may take a few months and for others it may take a year or even more. Always be mindful when you are in your healing process that you are able to set the pace, you are able to establish your own personal growth and you get to start over as many times as you need. There is someone out there for everyone, know your full worth and don’t settle for less than what you deserve. There are so many wonderful people to keep your heart closed off, take risks for love and don’t fill your head with what ifs!!!

Do things that make you happy – I actually don’t think I can stress this point enough. We have one life on earth, Please make it wonderful. Spend your days doing things that fill your heart with an unexplainable, contageous joy. Don’t make excuses like your too busy. You should never be too busy to fit stuff in that you love to do. If you aren’t content in your job, in your relationship, in your life then take steps forward to change it and to break vicious cycles. We all need to find our clarity and find our happy and a lot of the time this comes from doing simple little things that we enjoy. I believe we should take an hour out of our day to embrace our strengths and try new things or continue to grow and challenge ourselves in things we already love doing.

Surround yourself with beautiful people – This last point is closest to my heart right now. I am so so blessed to share the friendships/relationships I do with the people in my world. I have realised that I have a really special bunch of friends, people I can be myself around, cry with, laugh with, adventure with and do life with! I have had my fair share of awful and toxic friends which makes me even more appreciative of the people that i am close with now. Your vibe attracts your tribe. I have really made a conscious effort to surround myself with people that challenge me, love me and help me become a better person. Each person in my life plays a different role and each one inspires me in a different way. Surround yourself with people that make an effort for you and accept you for the person you are.

By Bethany Calverley.