Summer close to home was well spent

As summer quickly approached at the end of last semester, I heard the following phrases countless times: ?Don?t waste your summer.? ?You won?t have summers off in a few years (cue smug smiles from all future teachers in the room).? ?Be intentional this summer.? And so on.

Had I not made the decision to transfer to Tabor in the upcoming fall, I would have spent this entire summer working and evangelizing at Walt Disney World with Cru (the campus ministry I attended at K-State). Sounds amazing, intentional and definitely not a waste of my time, right?

But giving up my magical summer at ?the happiest place on Earth? was a sacrifice I had to make in order to follow the path God has called me on.

Instead, I spent my whole summer at home, dealing with allergies and wishing I were somewhere new and exciting (especially after touring Europe last summer). I almost would?ve spent the entire summer without leaving the State of Kansas had I not finally convinced my family to plan a last-minute vacation to Colorado, which we will take only days before I move to college.

So now, as my summer is wrapping up, the question becomes, ?Did I waste my summer??

I wasn?t sharing the Gospel in Florida or traveling around the world, but I still think this summer wasn?t a waste.

I spent a majority of this summer babysitting with my sister. There would be days that I woke up with barely enough energy to drive into town, let alone spend all day with energetic little boys. There were other days I would be holding a sleeping baby and started daydreaming about traveling back to Europe or anywhere else around the world.

But in between my sleepiness and my daydreaming, I was able to get to know some awesome, funny, sweet kids and be a big part of their lives for a few months.

I also watched more kids? television shows this summer than adult shows and have had the theme song for ?Miles from Tomorrowland? stuck in my head for a solid week now. I?ll have to binge-watch some Netflix shows before school starts so I can have something entertainment-wise to talk about other than my favorite ?Paw Patrol? pup.

When I think back on the summer of 2015, one of my favorite memories will always be my week at Junior Kids? Camp. I had so much fun getting to know my awesome campers. The wisdom, enthusiasm and faith of these girls blew me away, and I am so thankful God placed them in my life this summer.

By the time this column is published, I?ll be halfway through a week of counseling at my second camp for the summer. In addition, I have a trip to Colorado to look forward to. And before I know it, I?ll be moving the short six miles to Tabor to begin a new college adventure.

Now back to the question at hand. Was my summer a waste?

There were times this summer I was bored out of my mind. As I viewed Instagram photo after Instagram photo of my friends visiting fun, exciting places and sharing the love of Jesus in foreign lands, I often felt like my summer was insignificant.

But the answer to that question is a definite no. God used me this summer exactly where I was. I was able to invest in the lives of people right here in my hometown. As each day passed, I become more and more excited to continue my college career right here in Hillsboro, because this is where God has called me for now.

I most definitely hope my future summers include mission trips, travels and exciting events. But even if they don?t, this summer I?ve learned that God doesn?t only work through the big things. Sometimes it?s in the small, seemingly unimportant events that God teaches us the most.