Lemon-Lavender Cookies and Porch Swings

A reflection from Sarah who is serving as a One-Year Volunteer Corps Member in the Groups Program

The sweet moments in life are the little things. Like lavender and lemon soaked into the icing of a confetti sugar cookie. Sometimes it's swinging on the porch of the place that was most like home to me. Or sitting near the edge of the dock where my service experience and capacity to love were extended.

I love the minute details. Enhancing a group's experience through tiny acts of thoughtfulness opens up my soul to great joy! This season I've enjoyed sharing one of my favorite flavor combinations in the form of a sugar cookie: lemon lavender. These glazed cookies are melt-in-your-mouth calming goodness that have graced me with much gratitude from group members. They are a gift the keeps on giving!

While serving last week at Camp AJ, I was able to revisit the porch where I shared two and a half wonderful (challenging and wonderful) years living in the Jackson house community, circa 2011-2013. Every time I sway on that old dusty porch swing, I'm reminded of those years. They were full of small moments that became big moments, as my community communed together. We prayed each other through grief, we laughed in silliness, we danced in music videos, we shared our way through serving in the local community, and we grew through connecting our faith experiences. I could live on that porch forever. My heart will live on that porch forever.

Another little thing is the dock that floats sturdily on top the lake of Camp AJ. I found myself on it in the spare hour or two I had between hosting and sleeping. It was quiet, calm, and dark. Stars peered through clouds and the fireflies danced their way around the surrounding silhouetted trees. Naturally, I reminisced. It was here that I hesitantly opened my heart to this organization and all of its people. It was here, it's always here, that I let go of my plans and open up my hands to whatever God has for me. Ten years ago, I sat here with one of my first housemates as we sighed and mutually agreed that God was calling us both to recommit for another year of service. This was only a few weeks into our first year. Not only did we stay for another year and maybe then some, but we found our way into the employee life at CAP (for a season), and forged a friendship that will last a lifetime. Here on the dock at Camp AJ.

It's the magic of volunteering at CAP that makes these little things such as lemon lavender cookies, porch-swings, or docks into meaningful life-changing stories. They forever changed my life. How might they change yours?

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