I love that Young Life is relational ministry. Leaders choose to live out their faith by being in relationship with high schoolers. We get to meet kids where they are and live life walking along with them. This past weekend I got to spend time with a group of incredible Tecumseh campers. Usually spread out around Indianapolis and all the way to Chicago we got to live real life together for a couple days. We laughed loud, long, and hard and loved just being around each other.
Annie, Sarah, and Julie took the Megabus down from Chicago on Friday. I pulled over by the bus and let Molls and Coll jump out to get the other girls. I LOVE when people run to great their friends. Easily one of my favorite things. So they screamed and jumped on each other and then ran back to the car with all their bags. They piled in and I tell you the car almost burst with all the joy and stories and excitement.
We sang songs at the top of our lungs, played the game of things, and laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. Laughing was an ongoing theme of the weekend.
Saturday morning bright and snowy, the girls came to visit my apt and Sar took pictures of us in the snow.
We were slipping on the ice and the snow was coming down in giant flakes that quickly soaked our hair.
I love that these laughs are all real.
That looking at these pictures is making me smile so wide right now just thinking about these girls.
I love their interpretations of model faces.
I love these quilts. I love Julie's face. I love that I have a friend who is willing to take all of these pictures in the freezing cold.
My friend Fitzie and I once made a list of our top 10 favorite pictures ever. This picture needs to be on my list.
While we were taking these we were screaming because the snow was soaking through our clothes. We tried to do a bridge to keep part of our body in the air- it kind of worked. Sar tried to count down and have us open our eyes at the same time but it just wasn't feasible.
This is Annie. I think she is always kind. She tells random stories that may not have a point, which I also have a tendency to do, and laughs and smiles all the time.
Sar Car is precious. She loves being around all of these friends and is so positive.
I've been lucky to live life with Molly this year and thankful I get to see her so often. I'm so glad that she got to have some of her best friends in the world come visit this weekend. She read chapters of Cold Tangerines to us here, Confession, and after devotions, Hook and Puppies. How fun to have someone else reading from my favorite book to me. She's a great reader, she's going to be a great teacher.
We went to North Central to watch Molly's friend swim in Regionals. I was finding a seat on the bleachers and all of a sudden I heard someone yell my name. I turned around and there was Emily Chase dripping wet, wrapped in a towel, with Brebeuf Bs tattooed on her face. She was competing in the diving competition. She brought over Avery, who was working on a friendship bracelet taped to her knee, and we talked about the meet and how we love running into each other.
We got to cheer for Emily in her last three dives. She was fantastic- this girl has skills. I mean look at her upside down, spinning in the air. Did I mention she won?
We met more friends for lunch at 96th Steakburger.
I love lunches on Saturdays when no one has anywhere to be and they can just hang out and talk.
My favorite part was everyone doing the Bernie in the parking lot.
Mad. Dance. Skills.
The weekend obvi needed a crafting session. Enter markers and poster board.
After a roadtrip of Keshsa and TSwift and a less than impressive dinner at Applebee's we finally found the Sports Center where our friends Karley and Annie were competing in a volleyball tournament. We sprinted into the building scanning the courts for our friends. We spotted Karley midpoint and screamed her name. I immediately died laughing when most of the fans turned to look at us and Karley did a little scream/wave/jump move.
We were really excited. Annie's team was playing Karley's and we got to see he last 30 seconds of their match.
Annie had some craft surprises for us that we really loved.
Team CILT family. It's always great to reunite with people. Our visit was quick but great.
Back at Molls we had devotions in a circle. Yep, just like camp. Highs and lows of the days and then we talked about cardboard testimonies. I love these girls and being able to talk to them about stuff that is going on in their lives and seeing their hearts. They're honest and real and life isn't always sunshine and rainbows. It's great when it is but when it's not we're still there for each other. We prayed and laughed and prayed and maybe cried a little because that's what you do in devotions.
My friend Sarah and I have been talking about how friendships rooted in Christ are so special. When I think about my best friends they're the people that I have prayed with and talked about faith with. I'm so thankful that faith is part of my relationship with these girls.
Sunday we visited Molls church. We didn't get to see her do Family Fuel but we met her sister Shayne's family and took communion in a different way and I loved hearing the entirety of the Serenity prayer during the sermon.
God grant me the serenity
Living one day at a time;
They brought Alli Kenney and I a pitcher of Diet Coke "just in case." Every restaurant should do this.
Eating brunch wasn't enough so we went to Huddle's for some frozen yogurt. It's hard to say good-bye when there's still a little more time to hang out with people you love so much.
We were sitting there finishing our frozen yogurt, pairs of friends talking, looking at pictures and I just thought, "What if life was always like this?" Yes, it would be wonderful if all of these girls lived in the same place and went to school together and hung out every weekend. But because we live farther apart these weekends are extra special. We get to plan and get excited in the anticipation and scream when we finally see each other and laugh for three days and talk about what's going on in our lives and have adventures and maybe even bicker a little but mostly love each other well because these are our best friends.
Brunch took us to Le Peep to meet more friends. Alli, Ana, Bridget, and Coll joined us for meal questions, telling stories, and.... laughing. I realize I keep writing that we laughed but I really think we laughed all weekend long.