Friday, April 30, 2010


Today was SO great. And I believe that if you believe your day is going to be great then it will be greater.

This morning I found out that I'm going to live with not one, but two, and possibly three great friends next year! A month ago I had no idea that this could even be a possibility. I'm so thrilled that my life could overlap with these people every day instead of just a couple hours a week. God is so good.

Then, this afternoon one of my Young Life girls Allison came and visited me at school. She sat in on my Composition classes. My students tried to convince Allison that she should pick their rule change. We talked about advertisements and created ones for our newspaper. I loved getting to show Al this part of my life and seeing my kids from a different perspective.

Tonight we had the last Wyld Life club of the year. HS kids are the leaders for middle schoolers and it is so fun to see all of them together. We gathered 191 people tonight at the park- record number for sure. This little girl motivated our team "AWESOME SUPER NINJAS!" to be incredible. It was just the pump up we needed.

The Super Awesome Ninjas went on to win EVERY single game of the night- the beach ball race, cheering, shaving cream and squirt guns, bucket on feet, and spirit in general.

We had a food war.
Dance-partied covered in disgusting-greatness.
Swam in a puddle.
Sang "World's Greatest" on some picnic tables.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

People watching

I kind of hate going to run. And I don't really like starting to run. But I really love running once I'm going. I for sure love the feeling you get at the end of the run when you know you're getting close to the finish.

My favorite part though is the watching along the way. I run on this path called the Monon that runs all the way through Indy. Bordered by trees, pedestrians are safe and removed from traffic. So even when I don't want to start running I come here and I run and I watch and I see lots of people that make me smile.

Kids riding bikes wearing hockey helmets, football helmets, baseball helmets...usually anything but an actual bike helmet.

A grandpa texting while biking.

Someone perching on the side of the river fishing.

A group of people from the Indy Blind School going for a walk.

A mom playing catch with her son.

Sooooooo many people with their dogs.

Whole families out for a bike ride or walk together.

A girlfriend scootering and a boyfriend biking.

This old woman that I've seen three times now. She wears this weird hat thing under her bike helmet to block the wind. She has the best posture of any biker on the Monon.

Top 2 Moments Ever:
Seeing this mom roller blading super fast while pushing a stroller that had a small child and a large dog inside.

Getting 1/2 mile from finishing and seeing a roller blading girl and longboarding boy in the distance...realizing that it was two of my favorite YL kids...and getting to stop and talk to these friends. Wonderful surprise.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Have more fun.

I'm reading a book called, "The Happiness Project" and this morning's chapter was about how the woman conducting this year-long project introduced "have more fun" into her life. She wanted to focus on play and just being silly.

I was inspired and decided to do something about it. It's currently Istep week at my school and I only have three boys in my classroom. After finishing their tests instead of telling them to get out a book to read silently I said, "Boys, we have 15 minutes left before the bell rings. Let's do something really fun!"

Then this most precious boy got this look on his face where his eyes get really wide and his mouth kind of squinches up and he said, "Wellll. We could make some friendship necklaces!" And I really wish that you could hear him say because you've just got to hear his voice to get the full effect of his awesomeness.

So of course I said, "Yes we could make those! I have some string!" I went to the cabinet and got string and cardboard and paper and markers and glue and paint squares and cups and markers. The four of us sat down at the work table to have some fun.

We made some crazy sculptures. One was "for the king"--I'm still not sure who the king is. And the precious boy made his friendship necklace with blue string and pieces of paper like jewels spelling out his name. He was so proud of it and he walked out of my room and down the hall wearing it proudly.

It takes courage to do that in Junior High. Those are the brave kids-- the kids who dare to walk down the hallway wearing a friendship necklace and not care what anyone thinks--and they are the experts at having fun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A celebration

Today I talked to my friends Sara and Koffie who are graduating from Hope in a week. That is insane. I feel like it was yesterday that I was sitting in the SIB basement willing and listening to Senior talks and I can't believe these girls are right in the middle of it. This year has flown.

Tonight leaders and Seniors of YL gathered for a celebration. A celebration of all that God has done- answering our cries, giving us a new song, and promising to go with us into the future. I got to hear these kids reflect on their last four years of school and how they're nervous about the next four. I've only had a year getting to know them but I'm so glad I had that much. I'm inspired by their love and courage and hope and trust and how they are so determined to hold onto this faith.

Seniors definitely feel time differently and appreciate it more than the rest of us. I'm thankful that I get to share in the lives of these graduating friends. It helps me to remember how important each day is.


Starting on the left we'll number these bracelets 1-6.

1 and 5 are from a pair of sisters that have been coming to camp forever. I met them 5 summers ago when they were in my best friends cabin. I finally got to have them as a campers the past two years. These girls are always wearing tye-dye t-shirts they've done themselves, side ponytails, and nike shorts. They both have more energy than anyone else I know. I wish I could see them more.

2 is from one of my favorite students. I had her last semester but now she comes to my room first thing everyday to say "Hi" and hang out for approx. 3 minutes before first period. She loves "where the wild things are", going to youth group, friendship bracelet club, and making V bracelets with double string. She is one of the kindest Junior High girls I've met this year and is okay with being herself even if she doesn't do what's "cool".

3 is super faded and from way back last July. I met a little girl before lunch day. She told me she was from Mt. Zur so of course I started calling her Zur. I often say "p.s." in conversation when I want to add something so she called me p.s. I can't wait to see her this summer.

4 is from my twin. She was my camper for only a week but has become my penpal and friend. She's a senior in High School and I'm so impressed with her integrity and friendship with her younger sister and her passion for her faith. It hasn't worked out yet but I know that one day she will be a camp counselor or Young Life leader somewhere and she will make a huge difference in other kids' lives.

6 I GOT TODAY! One of my students came over to my desk before class started and pulled it out. Friendship bracelets are one of the very best surprises. This girl is a Tecumseh camper and a Friendship Bracelet Club member and one of my students. She is funny and smart and honest and I'm so glad when she walks into my classroom everyday. Oh, and she rocks at Bananagrams.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Something beautiful

Tonight as we sat in our circle in the room we affectionatly call "NARNIA" we talked about paths.

"Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life & only few find it." Matt 7:13-14

I think that life is hard. Whether you choose the wide or narrow path you are going to get rough days (even rough weeks and years) no matter what. Bad things happen but great, really awesome things happen too. Those beautiful things are what we should dwell on.

I think that no matter what is on this path I want to know that my destination, what I'm walking towards, is life and not destruction. I want to be heading into an adventure that promises at the end of all of this I will find great joy and life.

I think that I experienced some of that great joy and life today. After our group I got to just keep hanging out with a couple of these girls and talk about what will happen next year when they graduate and what's happening right now and how God really, truly intervened in their lives tonight and answered a prayer. This is beautiful life on a narrow path.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

When I Grow Up

The last speaker at RYLA today was a mime named Reed Steel. "Mime" often has a really weird conontation but Reed is so entertaining and hilarious. I remember going and watching his show at RYLA every Spring as a little girl. I loved seeing him do skits and magic tricks and hear his stories that never failed to entertain. I remember one year he took me aside and taught me to do the card and rope tricks- I couldn't believe he had revealed his secrets to me!

In the past couple years he has started playing a song he wrote about his dream as a child to become an astronaut and the heroes that shaped his past. He watched John Glenn in space and knew that he wanted to go there someday. So he is working on his Space and Science degrees (he already has an insane amount) and continues to apply to NASA. He works at a Challenger learning center where kids come do space simulations where they learn not only about space but about teamwork and problem solving. He is making his childhood dream a reality.

Maybe Reed will one day go into space. Even if that doesn't happen he is inspiring me and so many other people to never give up on our dreams. As we allow ourselves to shoot for the stars (cliche yes, but literal for Reed) we will become heros for someone else.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ima lead, Ima lead

Ten Favorite Overlaps of the Day
1. I dreamt of camp and then woke up at camp
2. Meeting my team of 12 RYLA kids and learning the "outstanding" cheer

3. Dancing and Singing "respect" with everyone during the 1st session
4. Hanging out with camp people all day and not being distracted by computers or phones
5. Playing Family Feud and eating a blizzard with Ben Hulin
6. Seeing my team finally complete Whale Watch as the rain started (and no one complained about the rain!)

7. Making a music video to Ima Be and changing all the words to leadership
8. Seeing the kids perform their skit and being so proud (especially of Alyssa acting like a tetherball pole)
9. Watching the 11 skits and videos from the stage coach, yes a stage coach, with Eric and Jordan
10. Playing catch phrase and laughing hysterically

As I'm writing this a group of girls are talking before going to bed and one girl just said, "He was so black he was purple...he was almost green!"

Friday, April 23, 2010

I feel home

My friend Sarah really loves the O.A.R. song "I feel home". If you don't know it go download it-totally worth the $1. It basically says I feel home when I'm with the people I love. Today I get to live that.

Today after school I got to drive home to camp to be a counselor for RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award). I went to this leadership camp when I was in High School and now I get to come back every Spring to lead leadership activities, meet these great kids, listen to speakers, have fun with some m&m magic, play ninja and whatever else the weekend holds.

I feel home. Yes, my literal home is down the road, but it's the people, the other counselors here, that make me feel home. I was so excited to see Amy when I walked in and can't wait to hang out with her all weekend. Jordan can always make me laugh and he is the best listener and tells the funniest stories. Sara gave me the best hug when she got here. She is always so honest and so kind. I feel like Eric and I are still counselors together and I love when we get to hang out and play camp games and come up with great ideas. I've known Jenny only a total of maybe 6 hours and I feel like we totally just get each other. This is family. This is home.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do you think it's a bad idea if I have a 3rd popsicle?

I spend over 7 hours of my day with junior high kids. I love being a teacher and can't believe it has almost been a year. Today I was so thankful that I got to spend time with these kids.
After our regular routine in the morning I took my kids outside to read. For the first group it was still kind of chilly and the boy next to me said, "Miss Wright, Miss Wright I think I'm going to freeze. Nope, uh-oh, I'm... FROZEN!" Thankfully the next period was a lot warmer.
I loved seeing these kids spread out on the benches and sidewalk and grass all reading!

Today the Friendship Bracelet Club decided to focus on the Friendship part of the club so we went outside to play Capture the Friendship Bracelet...well, Capture the Bananagram-Bag. I love that we spent an hour making up silly cheers and strategizing and cheering on our friends and just having so much fun. I thought surprising the girls with some popsicles would be pretty sweet too.

And no, I don't think it's a bad idea to have a 3rd popsicle.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Looking for the best

I opened my mailbox to find a manila envelope today. Inside were 27 notes from the new girls in my sorority at college. I love handwritten notes-top 5 favorite things ever. And all of these notes contained quotes and funny stories and I loved reading every one even though I've never met some of these girls face to face. Sometimes our lives overlap not by accident but on purpose. We sit down and we write with a pen on a piece of paper and we decorate the envelope and we mail it off to a friend a state away. This intentionality is one of the best gifts you can give a friend. Thank you to the writers of those notes.

When my kids walked into class today I asked all of them, "what has been the best part of your day?" and they had to answer before they could start writing their papers. I think 1/2 told me about a test or quiz they did well on. The other 1/2 talked about sitting with a friend at lunch or talking to someone during class and getting away with it or laughing in the hallway with people. At dinner tonight I asked the guy making sandwiches for my friend and I the same question. His response was, "My wife and daughter over there came to visit me." When a security guard walked by our table we were surprised to hear him say, "Catching 3 shoplifters and getting them arrested. And they'll probably all go to jail." We were sad that his best part came at the expense of someone else. My friend's best part was finding out she gets to work outside every day for a month this summer. My favorite part? Being able to spend two hours talking with this friend and being incredibly honest and vulnerable.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Families, whip cream, and peace

You know how when you are a kid and you see your teacher out in public you're super weirded out? This year I realized that as a teacher when I see my students out in public I'm super weirded out.
But today I ran into one of my students after school and it wasn't weird at all. She is one of those kids that make me so happy I'm a teacher. She comes to class ready to learn, she's nice to other students, she asks questions if she needs help but tries her best first, and she is just so precious. I loved meeting her mom, brother and sister. I was able to tell her mom how great she is and was able to see how proud this mom is of her daughter.

Tonight was the last YL club of the year. (Thankfully Campaigners will continue.)
We went out with a bang and had a pretty epic food fight. Kids were hurling applesauce, spraying whip cream, flinging shaving cream, squeezing chocolate syrup, throwing scoops of freezing-your-hand-cold-ice-cream, and spreading flour and fruit loops on top of it all. In case you didn't know- chocolate syrup dries and gets sticky really fast. Whip cream starts to smell like vom. Ice-cream really can freeze your fingers (as I'm typing this two of my fingers are still in pain). But it was all worth it.

My favorite part of the night was hearing two seniors share about favorite YL memories, what their relationship with God is like, and who they want to be in college. The part that stuck with me was when the girl was telling us how she feels at peace. Christ has told her who she is and it has changed everything and given her peace this year. I love that. I want to have peace like that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I love Mondays

I look forward to Mondays. Every week I get to meet with the other leaders of my Young Life team for dinner and fellowship and planning for two hours. These are some of the greatest people I know and I love living life with them and having assigned seats with Sarah and having David say "Shore, Shore" and hearing Tom's really animated stories and knowing that Alex will be late but that he will be there. I love that we all come together because we love God and we love High School kids and YL allows us to bring the two together.

On Mondays I also get to go to Campaigners and see the Young LIfe kids. I prayed for years (really, years) that God would allow me to find kids to connect with and God has gone above and beyond this year. At least every Monday, if not again during the week, my life overlaps with these kids. Tonight we talked about things we're thankful for and things that stress us out and made funny little snow outfits out of hershey kiss wrappers and saw new bruises from rugby and talked about what it will be like leaving for college and discussed baby names for quite some time. It was perfect.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Almost Summer...

Today before heading home I got to visit the Day Camp open house. Families from surrounding cities come and visit camp to go down the black hole, climb Mt. Wood, get their faces painted, and enjoy a "sneak peek" of camp before it officially comes.

Day Camp counselors are there to help run the programs, see old campers, and see their camp friends.

As I walked around with my friend Sarah I couldn't help but think about how cool it is to see all of these "kids" become staff. In the past two summers I've had almost all of them as a campers. They have become incredible counselors as well as people and I'm so thankful that I had the privilege of getting to know them and playing some small part in their transition.

I love how camp has impacted SO many people. Our lives overlap for 9 weeks in the summer and a few days like today--even though they're few, they're some of the very best days.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sew FUN!

I love connections and relationships and friendships and conversations. From Young Life to my junior high to camp to home to Hope College I see the people that make up my life. I want to live a life in community with people- people from different backgrounds, of different ages, with different perspectives, and people that love life and make the world a greater place.

I want to document conversations and events- serious, hilarious, insane, random, challenging and encouraging. I want to be intentional about caring about people in my life whether we're a hand-written letter, a cabin, a phone call, a classroom, or short drive apart.

Current overlap: This weekend I came home with my friend Sarah to teach her to quilt-one of her goals for life. We started early in the morning and quilted into the night with my mom and friend Grace.
Top 6 Favorite Parts of the Day
1. Watching Mom teach and cheering on Sarah
2. I always thought my parents were originally going to name me Jamie- I was wrong. Mom wanted to name me Christy. I just found out today and we died laughing realizing I had been believing and telling people for years that I was supposed to be a Jamie.
3. Taking Sarah on a tour of Camp T
4. Singing Glee's new "Give You Hell" and JJ's "I Will Sing" on repeat
5. Eating our cinnamon rolls, and sandwiches, and pizza, and brownies, and Diet Coke...
6. THE FINISHED QUILT and Sarah being SO excited because it was SEW fun!