Sunday, July 25, 2010

a new view of the fire...

High school camp - what a week! It's always a high point of the summer - lots of programming, lots of energy, little sleep (who needs sleep???) ... and tons of memories!

This year's high school camp definitely lived up to it's reputation - and more. :)

I sat outside the victory circle this year during high school camp - a view I have never personally had during one of our weeks of summer camp program. I am usually down by the fire, playing guitar, swatting away mosquitoes, staring into the fire, listening to camper testimonies and reflecting on just how many folks have shared at this fire over the camp's 60+ years of ministry.

But this year was different. You see ... on Wednesday of this past week I had a meeting with one of our program staff girls. We met outside my house and after the meeting I went in to put my feet up for a few minutes. Being 37 weeks pregnant - this is a necessity every now and then.

We had a Csection scheduled for August 3rd and I was hoping/praying that the baby would not come early...during the very intense week of high school camp.

As I sat down on the couch, my boys napping, my husband working around camp - I was suddenly slammed with an intense pain in my back. The ball was officially rolling. It was just a few minutes before my husband and the camp nurse were in my house and we were on our way to the hospital.

We left camp between 3:00 - 3:30 and our precious little baby GIRL (we didn't know gender before!!!) was born at 4:39 pm. It was a whirlwind, an adventure ... not exactly what I thought I'd be doing that morning. Welcome Baby Laura Kathryn.

Things had already been put in place just in case something like this happened during a camp week - and from what I heard - my program staff rose to the occasion and things went without a hitch.

After a couple of "relaxing" days at the hospital, it came time to head back to Gilead. I was getting antsy to get back and see my boys (the 5 big brothers were pretty excited to meet their new sister!) as well as the staff and campers.

We drove into camp on Friday evening just as the dinner bell was rung and the campers crowded our Suburban hoping to get a glimpse of little baby Laura and to congratulate the new mommy and daddy. I was not expecting their excitement as we arrived home and it moved me to tears. What a reception! Then ... again ...when we got out of the car and walked to the dining hall - they cheered and welcomed us home. Tears. Again.

So -as I sat above the victory circle this year - recovering from major surgery, adjusting to life with a newborn - I marvel at God's amazing plan. For the campers to be able to see ... once again or maybe for the first time ... the gift of life in a baby. For the chance to share our life with our campers. For the work that God did in the hearts and lives of campers this week through our counselors, staff and speaker ... He definitely does not need me! It has been humbling to recognize that God even chooses to use us.

I look forward to seeing the victory circle from my usual spot again - but have been thankful for this chance to see it all ... from a new perspective.

Oh - and that sleep stuff? It's overrated. :)

Kimberly Mallory
Program Director ... wife to Josh and mommy of 5 sons...and a daughter!


  1. Congrats Kimberly and Josh. Hard to believe I knew you two when you were just dating. Now 6 kids later and I am still bringing some of my own kids to Camp Gilead!! So cool!!! Congrats again. Enjoy your baby girl!!

  2. I don't know if you heared... but the reaction was huge when the picture of Laura was up on the chapel projector... and I slpied a litter prayer in there for all of you durring my prayer for lunch that day!

  3. Abby Harding AlbrightJuly 26, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Wow! What a blessing. Congratulations on another little bundle of joy and the new experience of raising a daughter! Hearing you talk about high school camp, lack of sleep, and the Victory Circle brings back a lot of wonderful memories of being on staff. I remember being so nervous about high school camp and wondering if these kids that were only a year or two younger would respect me. Ironically, the week of camp I was most nervous about turned out to be one of the most amazing for me as a counselor!

  4. Ahh....a very wonderful post. Congratulations again to the Mallory family. We love you and appreciate all you do for the "kids" in our lives. One of my favorite all time memories when my kids were toddlers and Mike was speaking at camp is sitting in the speakers cabin listening to kids sing and share what God had taught them. An incredible experience that I will FOREVER treasure!! :)

    Love you much....the Roberts