When I drive on 31 and take the second Holland exit I know I'm close. I pass the D & W and drive down the road where I used to run every week. Turning at Centennial Park, I get to campus. These familiar buildings feel like home. All weekend as I drove around I had to keep saying, "I love this town. I love these buildings. I love Hope College."
This is Hope's chapel.
We met all the new additions and talked to them about SIB traditions and heard pieces of their story so far. One of my Young Life girls from last year is in this group of girls and I loved seeing her be a part of this group. Older girls kept telling me, "Susan is a gem."
In college Ruthie and I would go to Wal-Mart and get donuts and milk at midnight and have heart-to-hearts along the way. After the event Friday Ruthie, Kimmy, and I kept the tradition alive. They used to be two of the people I saw more than anyone else and it's strange that our visits are so far apart now. I love these two girls and was happy to spend the night with them.
Saturday morning I met Lauren and Lindsey for coffee at JP's. I met them when they were freshmen when I took them to Timberwolf Lake for a Fall Weekend. It was my first time at a YL camp and they were my first real YL girls. Now they're Seniors and figuring out where to go to school next year. They're busy with soccer, being student leaders, hanging out with friends, and going to school. We sat and talked over lattes for two hours and it was one of my favorite moments the whole weekend.
This is my SIB family. Wade, to the right of me, is my SIB baby. She's hilarious and bold and blunt and I'm so glad she came back to visit this weekend too. Mica, my grandbaby, joined SIB last year. I love her hippy, crazy style and that she always has a smile on her face. Virginia, my great-grandbaby is our newest addition. I was able to sit and talk with her a couple times this weekend and I think she is wonderful. I can already tell that she is kind, brave, honest, loyal, tough, and down-to-earth. I wish that I could spend more time with her.
With so many events this weekend I was able to see my friends over and over again. I'm so thankful that SIB was a part of my life at Hope and that I'm still able to come back and be welcomed home on weekends like this. I miss so many of these girls when I'm away.
Jami and Steph
Casey and Lauren Bell
Fudger and Gabrie
I loved getting a house tour from Kaitlin, talking with Grace, laughing with Becca Hawkins and Donahue, seeing Krissy, talking with Hannah, and eating dinner with Dunning. I can't wait till I get to visit again.
This morning I went to Mars Hill with Ruthie. That church feels like home too. I love singing together, sharing in this corporate act of worship. I love soaking up everything the speaker has to say, being engaged, relating it to my own life, and filling up a whole page in my journal of notes.
I had a long drive home and called to catch up with some more older SIBs because I was feeling so nostalgic.
p.s. I saw this bus when I stopped to get some Diet Coke and it made me laugh