Friday, March 22, 2013

Spiritual Birthdays

As a follower of Jesus it is always an exciting thing when you hear about someone giving their life to the Lord. As a parent, that is what you pray for your kids...that they will someday realize their need for a Savior and surrender their lives to Him. Chad and I are blessed beyond words that two of our kids have made that decision already in their young lives. 

Mylee was 4 years old and it was a couple weeks after we got home from a summer at Kamp. She had been asking questions about Jesus and asking Him into her heart. On August 21st she went to bed asking those questions and we told her we would talk more in the morning if she wanted. So, first thing in the morning she bounded into our bedroom and hopped up on our bed. She was still interested. We asked her why she thought she needed Jesus, what it meant to accept Him into her life and what He had done for us. I remember being blown away by how much she understood. She got it. She knew she had sinned (along with all mankind) and she wanted forgiveness. She understood Jesus had paid the penalty for her sin and she was ready to take the gift of eternal life. So, snuggled next to Chad and I, she repeated a sweet simple prayer of faith and asked Jesus into her heart. August 22, 2010 is the day Mylee Nicole Hampsch became a part of God's family. It still brings tears to my eyes to think about our Sovereign God calling our little girl to Himself. I am so thankful.

And Mylee was so excited! She called Grammy and Papa and Mimi and Papa to tell them the news. We celebrated with friends and she got a sweet Christmas ornament from Beth (Powell) Gilland with the date she accepted Christ. Several times shortly after her decision as we would tuck her in for the night she would ask, "Did I do a good job living for Jesus today?" What a piercing reminder of what my own mindset needs to be. I am obviously writing this account a couple of years after it happened and I am still so proud of Mylee today. She truly wants to know Jesus more. She is unbelievable at memorization and probably has more Scripture memorized than most adults. She has a such a pure faith in knowing that Jesus is the only way and she is not afraid to share that with others. It is just true. She doesn't understand why someone wouldn't want to know Jesus more and I pray she continues to grow in her desire to tell others about Him as she grows in her own walk.

Isaac's decision to follow Jesus happened just a month ago. He is five now and had also been asking questions for a little while. We had some great conversations about how we are sinners and what Jesus did for us. An especially sweet part of those conversations were when Mylee would jump in with a verse she remembered like Romans 3:23 or John 3:16. But, Isaac kept saying he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart at kamp. I'm not sure why...maybe he associates kamp as a place where a lot of kids make that decision, maybe he wanted to ring the bell, but whatever his reasoning I didn't want to push him. So, the Jesus/salvation conversations were pretty normal. We were having one of these conversations on February 21, 2013 when he all the sudden said, "I want to ask Jesus in my heart right now."I didn't want Chad to miss being there so I suggested we keep talking and wait until Chad got home from work. Well, it was a snowy icy day here in Branson and not two minutes later Chad came through the door. He had come home early to avoid getting stuck on the icy roads. We filled him in and Chad asked a couple more questions. The one that stands out is when Chad asked what Jesus did for us. Isaac responded with, "He died on the cross so we could be free." What a great answer. How simple and yet how profound. How many of us walk in the complete freedom that Christ offers? That is what we have available to us...freedom! So Isaac chose right then in our living room, all of us sitting on the floor, to pray a prayer of faith giving his life to Jesus and accepting His forgiveness. I think my favorite part of the story is what he did after he prayed. He started singing a song that I didn't even know that he knew...

"For God so loved the world 
He gave His only Son,
To die on Calvary's tree
From sin to set me free.
Someday He's coming back 
What Glory that will be
Wonderful His love to me"
And there you have it. The gospel sung with the faith of a child. No room for doubt or questioning; just a belief that Jesus is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. It was definitely a sweet day in the Hampsch house. 

God is so good and so faithful. I prayed for the salvation of our kids, but didn't really expect it so soon. I accepted Christ at a young age as well, but I so often under estimate what a child can grasp. There are no age limits, young or old, on who God chooses to bring to Himself. I pray that Mylee and Isaac would each grow in their desire to live for and serve the Lord. I pray they are sensitive to the Holy Spirit in their lives and would make decisions based on His guidance and what they know is true and right. I praise the Lord for the people they have in their lives as examples of what it looks like to be a godly woman or man. I am humbled by the Lord's favor. I pray expectantly for Ansley to come to a place in her life when she also acknowledges her need for a Savior and that I will once again be able to tell a sweet story of a child coming to faith in Him.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to Blogging!

How does this always happen? My great intentions of keeping up with our blog bring me to 3 1/2 months down the road having no idea where to start. There are SO many things I want to share and write about, but I'm afraid that's why I haven't sat down to do it in the first place...there isn't enough time to cover it all. So, I think instead of trying to recap our entire summer at kamp, Mylee's trip to see Dora Live in St. Louis, the 4th of July, week at kamp with Grammy and Papa, post kamp trip to St.Louis (including the Magic house and Cardinal game), our trip to Disney World with Mylee (you can see all the pictures on facebook), the start of the Institute year, Isaac's many words and big personality, Mylee's new found love of drawing/coloring/art, and much more, I will start with the most recent milestone in our lives and go from there. What is that milestone, you may be wondering? It started on September 1st with Mylee's first day of preschool.
We have a preschooler! I know it's not as big a monument compared to what lies ahead, but for us and our 3 1/2 year old, it was and is a big deal! Mylee says it well as she looks at pictures of herself from the past couple of years, "Mom, how did I get so big?" I wish I could answer that question because I have no idea how time goes by so quickly. Mylee was nervous the first day and I think I might have been even more nervous. I really felt like it was my first day of school again. She was ready, though, and the past month has been great for her. She is learning about other people, making friends, and enjoying her time in preschool. Every Tuesday and Thursday as we drop her off Isaac says, "Isaac. Preschool." He's ready to start too, but I know his time will be here in a rush as well. Right now I'm trying to take advantage of a couple mornings a week with him and hopefully he'll still want to go a couple of years down the road. Here are some pictures from the first day.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Make new friends, but keep the old

This past week my best friend from high school, Jessica, and her mom got to come visit kamp. It was so fun to show them around and for them to see where we spend a lot of our lives (at least 1/4 of each year). I have known Jessica since 8th grade and I won't say I'm great at keeping up with high school friends, but she is one who I know will always be a part of my life. Up until now the only time I see old friends is when we are in St. Louis for a visit. So, it was really exciting for me to be able to show her a little of what our "world" looks like. Most people who have never seen Kanakuk for themselves are a little surprised at how big it is, how many activities there are and how many kids come through the gates each week. It was a quick visit, but so enjoyable! I never know for sure when I'll get to see Jess, so I was very thankful she and her mom took the extra time to drop by. Thanks, Jess!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Backyard Zoo

I went for a run last week one morning before the kids woke up. As I ran through K7 and our neighboring kamp, K-west, and even up the hill into K2, I could hear the lovely cock-a-doodle-dooing of our rooster. I was wondering how many other people were being awakened by the same sound. You many be wondering why we would have a rooster...good question. The rooster is just the beginning, though, of our newest addition to K7: the petting zoo! Yep, we have goats, bunnies, ducklings, chickens, a lamb, pigs, and a turkey. It is right behind our cabin and has provided lots of entertainment so far. Mylee and Isaac have love it, along with all the staff and kampers. Mylee had been hoping for a pink pig with a curly tail and her wish came true. She named him Curly. Isaac was always excited about animals until he got close, but he has gotten a lot braver and walks around in the pen and pets them now. The most amusing thing has probably been the goat that jumps over the fence. We'll walk back to go look at the animals and the goat will just be walking around down by the office eating leaves off trees. If you tell him to "go home" and kind of follow him over to the pen, he jumps back in...until he gets bored. Mylee likes to get him back in when he comes out. The petting zoo has definitely been a big hit, and if we can have pets during the summer and not at our house, that is great with me!
Oh-and after a few mornings of the rooster waking up kampers really early, he went to live somewhere else :)
Here are some pictures of the zoo!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cowboy boots....and tie dye!

During Staff Training Week at K7 we have a theme for each day and everyone is encouraged to dress according to the theme. Two of my favorite days this year were the country western day and 80s day (who doesn't love a good side ponytail?) At the end of the western day we had a western hoe down complete with a cookout, line dancing and lots of boots. Mylee got very much into the theme days this year so when she got to bust our her pink cowgirl boots, she was thrilled. I don't know if the rest of her outfit qualified as "country" but she picked it out and who's to argue with a 3 year old about country attire? She seems to have become quite the performer and didn't shy away at all from going up on stage and dancing with the best of them.

A couple of days later was 80s day and most people went all out for this one. The day was topped off with a roller skating party and Mylee had her first experience on skates. She looked great in her tie dye shirt! The evening was going to be a little late for Isaac so he and I and our dear friends Jenni, Zoey and Ruby stayed behind and went and got ice cream instead. Not much beats 2 little ones with ice cream cones!

Mylee and Lauren getting ready to out skate world!

Isaac and Zoey working on their cones

Ice cream is the best!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Congratulations, Brian!

My sister's husband, Brian, graduated from Southwest Baptist University a couple of weeks ago. I made the day trip to Bolivar and felt a little old as I counted the number of years ago it was that I graduated from SBU. It was fun to go back and find a favorite teacher, see a friend unexpectedly, and be with family for the day. Congraulations, Brian on a great achievement!

A Hair Raising Experience!

Before kamp started, we took one last trip to St. Louis. It has become a traidition to go visit all the grandparents before we disappear for the summer...and celebrate a couple of birthdays, Mothers Day, get to a Cardinal game and anything else we can cram into one weekend. This year Chad stayed at his parent's for a day to help with the building of a new patio (which turned out great!) and the kids and I went to Mimi and Papa's (my parents) for the day. We ended up taking the kids to the Magic House in Kirkwood and it was awesome!
I lived about 15 minutes from this place all growing up and never went. It was probably the coolest kids place I have been to (besides Disney World, of course). There were 3 HUGE floors of all kinds of rooms to explore....bubbles, sight, sound, pulleys, magnets, smell, wheels, machines, and anything relating to science you could imagine for a kid. The most popular item at the Magic House is a ball that you put your hand on and you get an electric charge (painless) and it makes your hair stand straight up. It was definitely Mylee's highlight. There was a whole section for younger kiddos and had a 2 story house with kid-sized furnishings, a store with real containers and cash registers, a fishing pond, post office, fire station, etc. We had to drag Mylee and Isaac out to go get some dinner. It's always a good thing when they leave asking to come back real soon!