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My Cure for Post-Race Blues

I’m suffering from a case of the post-race blues today…blah.

So, here are some funnies to cheer me up…and hopefully you, too!

When people asked me my race goal. 331 more words

Run

The Plunge: Volume 3

It is the third week of The Plunge and we’re going strong! If this is your first time adventuring with us, you are welcome here! Just visit the… 1,096 more words

The Plunge

promises

If you’re lucky enough to be at the beach, you’re lucky enough 

This sign has been on the wall of my family’s condo for years. I didn’t realize the truth of this saying until I lived in Gainesville, an hour from the Atlantic or Gulf Coast.

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Blessed

Virginia Hamrick reblogged this on Postcards from a Camp Counselor and commented:

originally posted on virginiahamrick.com 8-15-2014

If you're lucky enough to be at the beach, you're lucky enough
This sign has been on the wall of my family's condo for years. I didn't realize the truth of this saying until I lived in Gainesville, an hour from the Atlantic or Gulf Coast. Waking up to the incessant sound of waves pounding the shore, the smell of salty air, I feel lucky. Being surround by God's creation is beautiful. But sometimes, you get even luckier. Sometimes, God reminds you just how magnificent he is. rainbow Last week I was running along the beach, headed east. When I turned around to head back to my condo, a stunning rainbow brightened the sky. The beach was beautiful enough on its own, but the rainbow made the day even brighter. That day happened to be the one-year anniversary of my friend Julia passing away. Just as Julia was vibrant, the sky was aglow with extra color. In Genesis, God tells Noah the rainbow is the sign of promise between him and every living creature (Genesis 9:16). By itself, the beach is a reminder of God's majestic creation. But how beautiful is it that on the one-year mark of Julia's death I was reminded of God's promises. His promises of hope and life. 

Celebrate

Exactly a year ago, give or take a few days, a friend recommended Shauna Niequist’s book Cold Tangerines. I just read it 52 weeks later. 251 more words

Celebrate Julia

Virginia Hamrick reblogged this on Postcards from a Camp Counselor and commented:

originally posted on virginiahamrick.com 7-31-2014 Exactly a year ago, give or take a few days, a friend recommended Shauna Niequist's book Cold Tangerines. coldtangerinesI just read it 52 weeks later. But like any good book, I didn't just read it. I devoured it. I consumed it like a glass of chocolate milk, finishing it quickly, and then staring at the bottom of the cup wanting more. Niequist challenges the perspective of mundane day-to-day life, arguing that each day is a reason to celebrate. "...life, just life, just breathing in and out, is a great gift." Life is short. It is full of errands, appointments, and lists. But Niequist contends that beneath the to-do lists are stories to be told and memories to be made. We can chose an ordinary life, running here to there, maintaining surface level friendships. Or we can live a vibrant, extraordinary life. Enjoying the ride -- even if it is just a commute to work. Experiencing the joy of deep friendship, rejoicing when friends rejoice and weeping alongside of them as they weep. The friend who recommended this book passed away two weeks after she told me to read it. In her 20 years, she was an ordinary college student who lived an extraordinary life. She celebrated daily life: never resisting the sudden urge to dance, or missing a chance to laugh or cry with friends. She ate good foods, not worrying about calories. She prayed boldly for others. She loved God, her campers, and family. Her life, just two decades, taught me life is a gift. And Cold Tangerines reminded me that because life is a precious gift, I should not take it in vain, but celebrate. 

Global Adventures

“Where are you going this summer?”

“What country are you going to after school?”

Just a couple of questions I heard frequently this spring.

Understandable since I spent last summer in Australia and New York City.  403 more words

America

Virginia Hamrick reblogged this on Postcards from a Camp Counselor and commented:

originally posted 6-25-2014 "Where are you going this summer?" "What country are you going to after school?" Just a couple of questions I heard frequently this spring. Understandable since I spent last summer in Australia and New York City. I did see people seem a little less interested when I told them Rome...Georgia. I admit. After a summer of traveling, I was a little disappointed I would be staying in one place all summer. Despite staying in one place, I have had campers from around the globe. During first session, two of my campers were adopted by American families. Jia Lydia Jia (Left) moved from Hong Kong to America two years ago. Though she was quiet, she opened up about what it was like to move and be adopted. She shared the struggles of moving to a new country and learning a new language. She gave her cabin-mates and me insight into what moving across the world is like as middle schooler. She taught us about life in Hong Kong and how it compares with America. Lydia (second from left) was adopted from Bulgaria when she was two. While she didn't remember Europe as well as Jia recollected Asia, Lydia shared the story her parents have told her about her adoption. Through her stories, Lydia taught campers and staffers about the circumstances in other countries. Both Lydia and Jia reminded us how blessed we are in the states. This session I have a camper from the Czech Republic. Despite the language barrier, she has taught me and my campers about life in Prague compared to Georgia. (Food is different here. She says hamburgers are bigger. You can only get hash browns at McDonald's there. #merica) Sometimes we can stay in one place, but by listening to people's stories we are transported. We can learn about other cultures by  experiencing them, but we can also learn from listening. I haven't had to leave America. My campers from around the globe are giving me a worldly perspective. What is amazing though is how some things transcend cultures. Every camper likes to dress up and be silly. Gabby may not understand instructions in English, but she hops right into games. No matter the hometown, campers enjoy dancing, playing games, and having fun. Joy has no language barrier. Love also transcends languages. Gabby hasn't said she loves camp aloud, but she has written it in notes to campers and me. She has made the shape of the heart underwater while we were swimming. I see Gabby smile. I hear Lydia and Jia laugh, and I am reminded love transcends cultures and languages.

May 24

Two years, on May 24, I heard the WinShape “Birthday Rap” for the first time.

It was for Julia Tarter’s 19th birthday.

I was dreading the day this year. 224 more words

Camp

Virginia Hamrick reblogged this on Postcards from a Camp Counselor and commented:

originally posted on virginiahamrick.com 5-31-2014 Two years, on May 24, I heard the WinShape "Birthday Rap" for the first time. It was for Julia Tarter's 19th birthday. I was dreading the day this year. I associated the 24th with Julia. IMG_1269 Her birthday fell on the staff camp-out. We climbed to the House of Dreams -- one of my favorite places at Mt. Berry. Pitched tents. Ate hobos. The usual. Then a full-time staff member started speaking. She talked about how great our God is. At the house of dreams, every star is visible in the night sky. Tricia reminded us Jesus passed through the Heavens. (Hebrews 4:14) He knows every star. He knows everyone of us. He gives us grace to live life to the fullest. God gives us grace to chose joy. I was overwhelmed. Why should I dread May 24 when it is an opportunity to honor Julia's life, full of joy? That night I choose joy. This summer I will continue to chose joy.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. - Hebrews 4:14 -16

Belated Thanksgiving Post

Looking back on 2013, I am thankful for the people in my life.

I am thankful for my parents who encouraged me to study abroad in Australia. 235 more words

Australia

Virginia Hamrick reblogged this on Postcards from a Camp Counselor and commented:

originally posted on virginiahamrick.com 12-1-2013 Looking back on 2013, I am thankful for the people in my life. I am thankful for my parents who encouraged me to study abroad in Australia. Without their encouragement and financial support, I most likely would have stayed in the States this summer. Sydney Harbour BridgeI never would have climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge or swam in the Great Barrier Reef. I am thankful for my sisters who I made so many more memories with this year. We ran a half-marathon and our first turkey trot together. I am grateful for our health and abilities to run. I never would have raced through Disney World or Rosemary Beach this year without them. This summer, my little sister went to WinShape Camps for Girls at Mt. Berry. I can’t describe how thankful I am she went. I am thankful she met a counselor I worked with two summers ago, Julia Tarter. Regan saw a manifestation of joy in Julia, as did everyone who met her.

Julia later visited me in New York City, and her trip was a blessing. We were “the kings of New York,” singing and dancing in Times Square.IMG_1026

I am thankful that my friend and fellow WinShape counselor Erin Cronin was visiting me in Manhattan when I heard Julia was in a car wreck. For all the friends who comforted me when Julia died, I am thankful. I am thankful for all my friends who put up with my indecision and flakiness. My friends and family who push me and challenge me — I am blessed by your friendship. Thanks.