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CAMP CREATE 2014

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i have been hesitant to write this post…it’s taken me an entire month!
camp was SO GOOD and everything i had hoped it would be.
i don’t think my words can describe our time at Camp CREATE well enough.
i don’t want to miss anything.
and during camp i barely took any photos because i was having such a great time i forgot!
so this post is made up of pictures taken by me and the whole group.

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it was an awesome group of women.
i kept smiling when i would remember that this was the group God picked to be here.
He put us together.  That meant something.
God is in all the details.

when you bring a group of strangers together who know they are coming to focus on dreams and God’s plans & desires… amazing things happen.
none of the guests knew anyone before coming.
none of them were able to come with a friend because it sold out so quickly.
AND I LOVED THAT!

these girls were vulnerable and strong.
they were asking God “what do you want me to do next?  what is your plan for my life… right now?”
and that is B I G!!!

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Each evening and morning our speaker, Holley, talked with us about dreams and God’s purpose for us.

Holley Gerth is the author of “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”.
(she has written lots of books and you probably need them all)

she taught us that a “God-sized Dream” means a dream that perfectly fits your heart.  it’s not about how big or small it is, it is about saying YES to the dream God has for you.
she shared with us about “pursuing life with passion and purpose and going with God where he leads.”
those are her exact words.
🙂
i wanted to write down every. single. thing.

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we talked about our strengths and our skills.
we discussed how are we using those to serve others?
and where do our dreams fit into that picture?
we talked about fear – the fear of failing… fear of it not working out…. fear of rejection… fear of success.

Holley’s words were just what my own heart needed to hear.
and i’m pretty sure every one in the room was thinking the same thing.

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Stephanie Ackerman & Michelle Allen lead our creative workshops.
we created art journals, encouragement cards, carved our own rubber stamps and made ornament pillows from our stamps.
it was relaxing… refreshing… and oh so fun!!

they were both fabulous teachers.
i enjoyed how their style was totally different and i learned so much them both!
i am now a huge fan of art journaling AND i want to carve a million more stamps.

we were spoiled with such wonderful teachers.
it felt great to create projects with endless possibilities for hours at a time.
and then go to bed and be able to leave it all out!!
no kids to come & get into our mess or family needing to eat breakfast on the same table   🙂
getting freedom in the time and mess is so nice.
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we shopped at our very favorite barn and antique shop.
some went to other local shops in newton and sonic for happy hour drinks!
some went for a run in the mornings… some went out for evening walks.
we brought in massage therapists for those who wanted massage… oh yeah… ahhhhh-mazing!!!
there was a big focus on RELAXING at camp.

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having shannan as our “official helper” for the week made everything EVEN MORE EPIC!
she is as wonderful as she seems on her blog.
she is the real deal.
i like her so dang much.
she’s a writer so i am positive she really liked that last sentence… it’s very professional, intelligent and well written.
shannan… i am so thankful for you.
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the week before camp we pushed hard and finished out the backyard area.
we gave away our swing set and cleared out the weeds…
my strong sons and husband did most of the hard stuff.
i hung lights and bunting and made it pretty.

it was perfect for a fire and s’mores for dessert!

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kimberlee‘s food was possibly the best it’s ever been.
the way she plans a menu is a creative gift!
we ate like queens.
and in case you didn’t know… kimberlee is the organization behind our events.
she thinks of details in the details.
things i never could come up with and she has ideas and answers.
i love her brain and her giant heart for hospitality.
i am so thrilled we get to work together AND be friends.
she’s rad.

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michelle graciously gave us a new sign for the Craft House kitchen!
definitely time well spent.
it was really cool to watch it come together!
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for part of the art journaling, stephanie had us cut words from old book pages.
any words that caught our eye… those above were some of my words i cut out.
and i also got caught up  in reading my pages.
mine was about a president that was ill and the wife having to hold it together for everyone… i looked up during our workshop and said “my page is making me cry!”
i was supposed to be looking for words not reading!

Holley found the phrase “Great Jumping Mullets Grandpa!”
what??
it stuck.
we said it all week.

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tara took a selfie with everyone at camp.
and i thought it was so adorable to see it all in one collage!

we had some lovely sponsors who sent gifts for our guests………………………………………………..

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Faith & Life Bookstore is my local book shop.
they are in Newton, Kansas.
they wanted to give our guests a gift!  It was so kind of them to do!
everyone at camp was able to go home with Holley’s book!

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CRAVE Popcorn Company.
they sent their popcorn for our girls to snack on.
oh my goodness i love this stuff!
you can order online and have it shipped right to your door!

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Lisa Leonard Designs
Lisa sent this necklace to our guests.
i love that they can wear it and remember their week at Camp and how they ARE loved!
You can order this necklace for yourself too and wear it anytime you need a reminder!

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The Honaker HomeMaker
Lauren made a few of these creative signs for Camp Create.
one gets to live at the Craft House forever and two went home with two of our guests!
We love your shop Lauren!

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i even got to take them to the sunflower field that i love so much!
i don’t think there could be a better backdrop for pictures.
nothing can compare.

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Holley told us that “the Dream itself (whatever it may be for you) is not the point.  The adventure in the relationship with God is what matters. ”
Being together with Him, ready for whatever He asks and brings to you next.
Remembering that we are His, we are loved and we can dream BIG.
Saying your dreams out loud can be a scary thing.
But He has given us what we need to be all that we need to be.

(you should go read Holley’s story about her daughter Lovelle… God is so good!)
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this week for me was about giving these women a time and a place for their creative gifts.
time to rest… dig deeper… make friends…. and to be heard.
we shared together what our dreams were and what the next step was.
everyone encouraged each other in so many ways.

having this camp was my God-Sized Dream.
i was scared… scared it was a dumb idea…. that no one would want to come… that i was crazy…
while reading Holley’s book it was made clear to me that this was not something i came up with but that it was God ‘s idea and HE wanted me to do it.
and then at that point… what choice did i have?
to run away scared or say YES to his plans!

it was humbling to see this group of women come together and hear them share so intently.
it was a w e s o m e.
and i am so happy that they could have time to focus on their dreams.

and this may seem silly to some but i felt like that sunflower field was a treat from God for me.
it was breathtaking.
like God was saying “you did what i asked.  you gave me your fears.  you trusted me.  Look Megan, your favorite flower…. a MILLION of them.”

sometimes God choses to practically knock us out with his goodness.

this camp… was one of those times.
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if you are interested… here are other camp create recaps.  🙂

michelle –  part one and part two
stephanie  – part one and part two
holley
shannan  
carey
beth

Camp Create – part 2 | Allen Designs Studio - […] check out Meg’s blog post that has a lot more details and fun […]

Laura h - I was on vacation in a remote part of the country so I couldn’t read your blog for 10 days. That killed me, but yours was the first one I checked in on when I got back. I love this post about camp create!! xoxo
I remember you once posted a picture off of Pinterest of a backyard with bunting, and you loved it sooo much! You said “someone needs to have a party, and invite me.” Well, you are THAT person! The one who threw the party with the bunting! I think that is adorable! Love your blog, love it!

Heather - Jealous times 10!!

Karina - It sounds like an amazing experience. I really wish they had something like this for atheists. Seriously. I feel *this* close to finding people who like the same stuff I do…but then they open their mouth (or fire up the keyboard) and say God. Ugh. Anyway, I am glad YOU got something out of it – this is not about me! – and I am a long-standing fan of your style and your love of colour.

Camp Create – part 2 | Close2myArt - […] check out Meg’s blog post that has a lot more details and fun […]

KWolff - What an incredible opportunity for everyone involved! I have been patiently waiting for you to post pictures and a run down of the week. It was well worth the wait.
I am so glad that you lived your God sized dream. I know that I may never be fortunate enough to attend Camp Create but just having you share it is almost enough. Almost. 🙂 Thanks so much for all you do!

Rhondi - What an amazing week you had! I’d love to come to something like that!!

Keetha - Camp Create sounds like a dream! Are there plans in place to have another one (or more) next year? Thanks!

Lisa - “the Dream itself (whatever it may be for you) is not the point. The adventure in the relationship with God is what matters. ” Wow! Could not love this more.

Michelle - Could you please share the menus that Kimberlee prepares. I feel very challenged putting together a menu for weekend company and would love to know what she makes. Looks like a glorious time!

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I love watching girls I love have a wonderful, blessed time! Tara is the bomb. That is all.

Flower Patch Farmgirl - What we had was really something special. I loved every second. It’s fun to relive it now. Miss those faces!

Like you so dang much.

julie - What a beautiful post! So happy for all of you!

Jaime ♥ Raising up Rubies - wow Meg. this is beyond amazing. to watch you grow … your His girl, living out your life loud for Him … for us all to see. to be encouraged.
the last part about the flowers got me all choked up girl.
can’t wait to see that Jesus light in your eyes in a few days ♥

Sarah M - Meg, I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years now, I think. I’m pretty sure you and I are kindred spirits (except for the whole exercising thing lol). I just love all the energy, realness, and encouragement your blog exudes. I’m thankful for you so much! – Love from Ohio (we have fab sunflower fields here too! They are my fave!)

stephanie ackerman - I still don’t have all of the right words to put it together justly. EVERY time I start to talk to someone about our week it turns into a three hour conversation.
It was just
so good.
so right.
so blessed.
My heart still overflows with every moment and I am really FOREVER grateful for the opportunity to be part of your GSD (God Sized Dream) Meg.
It is very easy for me to say that I love the heart of every single girl that was under the Craft House roof and I am a better girl today for the experience.

Kellyn - I know I have said this before to you but THANK YOU. Thank you for following your God-sized dream and making it possible for all of us there to dream with God. It was life changing for me and oh so needed! I miss all of you girls so much and it feels like a dream that we were all there. So thanks again Meg and keep dreaming!!

Mary Beth Hunt - Right now, I don’t HAVE a dream. I’m a semi-retired mom…..and I’m not sure what is next. But this, Meg, is making me CRY UGLEE TEARS….
“and this may seem silly to some but i felt like that sunflower field was a treat from God for me.
it was breathtaking.
like God was saying “you did what i asked. you gave me your fears. you trusted me. Look Megan, your favorite flower…. a MILLION of them.”

Sending you love and encouragement from Nebraska

coralee - *sigh*! in a sounds absolutely delightful kind of way!

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