Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I wish I could share this in a devotion circle tonight...

Low: cut my hand with a broken vase and it's ok but it just hurts a lot, can't shake the feeling of being tired

High: saw Sarah Briggs for .5 seconds when we drove by each other, got my haircut more Kit-like again, Mom came to Indy so we went to the Olive Garden and saw This Means War and I really love hanging out with her

Looking forward to: the CILT Spring Reunion this weekend at camp--I can just barely contain my excitement to see these friends and to do all of these fun things together at our favorite place in the world

Monday, February 27, 2012

"I'm gonna need a second heart for all this love."

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"  Romans 10:14-15

As Young Life leaders we get the honor and privilege of sharing the joyful news of the gospel with High School kids. We walk into the High School during lunch, into the Miller's basement for Campaigners, into the Club barn, into soccer fields and basketball games, into Bella pizza to meet for dinner and into Starbucks to talk over coffee. These are beautiful feet.

There is an old Audio Adrenaline song that we used to sing when I was in High School, "I want to be your hands, I want to be your feet. I'll go where you send me." It's such an incredible part of our faith that we get to actively be God's hand and feet. My friend Sophie is being God's feet in Africa, Emily is being his feet in the DR, Sarah is being his feet in the North Shore, Jame is being his feet at Camp T. You can be his hands and feet wherever you are, sharing this love in the big and small moments.

While I'm trying to be Christ's hands and feet wherever I go, it is a huge encouragement to be part of this team of beautiful feet when I'm doing Young Life. These leaders are setting aside their own needs and interests to be available, to share this good news with High School kids. Doing this work in community keeps me motivated, accountable and thankful. And as we choose to be the feet of Christ everyday we are confident in the truth that he is with us every step of the way.

I love these girls. Tonight I was just so happy and content to be with this group as we sang together, shared life, wrestled with conversation and prayed.

make a face that tells how you feel about your day

It's a rare thing, a group of High School kids like this. We talked in our group tonight about how they're often misunderstood. They aren't perfect, because really none of us are, and they're not claiming to be. But these kids are voluntarily showing up week after week because they are finding hope here, because they want to know more, because they don't want to do life alone, because they know this is transforming their life, because God is renewing their heart, because we know this matters.

We're goofy and creative and loud and figuring it out and weird and involved and imperfect and living in the freedom of the good news. This is a good place to be.

Highs of the day: Jenna brought me the Taylor Swift concert video to borrow because she knew I would love it, I got to play bananagrams with Mark and Tony, we discovered a connection between Tony, Shima and I, talking to Rachel Lombard on the phone, giving Annie the play by play on my search for Starbucks cups, Young Life Campaigners, heart to heart with Avery, Skyping with Mags.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Well we should definitely do the Hunger Games and baby Lincoln clinics... but not together."

This weekend was a trip to one of my very favorite places with some of my favorite people. I'd been looking forward to it for weeks and it delivered--memories, conversations, traditions, fun, new friends, and togetherness.

Alli and I left Indy at the crack of dawn, actually earlier than the crack of dawn, at about 5:45. I was excited to surprise her with her birthday gift, this time a craft that won't have to be nailed into her wall.

Before and after:

We drove all morning, hyped up on coffee, Diet Coke, and country music until we made it through the blizzard to dear old Hope College. I LOVE this place. Like excited voice, jumping out of the car, smile that can't be suppressed, squealing at every little thing kind of love.

This place feels like home, and it was my home for four incredible years. They weren't perfect by any means but I did grow up in this place and learned so much about friendship, about what my passions are, about the person that I am and the person I want to be. It was such a gift to settle into the familiar wooden pews with Alli on one side of me and Sara Nielsen, one of my oldest SIB friends, on my right. We walked through the snow covered Pine Grove and I soaked up this view. Alli and I toured the SIB cottage, went to a Psych class, walked through the bookstore and library and checked out all of my favorite spots on 8th street. I love this place.

To get out of the cold and take a break we went to JPs for a latte and blueberry muffin. Going to meet friends to talk or do homework together was always one of my very favorite things.

I got to meet with Virginia, my SIB gbaby, and Becca, one of the newest additions to our Sibological family. I love that being a part of the Hope community and part of this sorority gives us an instant connection. Virginia and I have only a met a handful of times but I think she is great--she cares about making others feel included and welcome, she gets involved and she wants to live her life with integrity. I already like Becca and can see that she is a person that is so full of joy and positivity.

Friday night I got to spend more time with SIB alumni. Lauren, Andrea and Meg are all newly engaged which is exciting and we got to hear their stories. It's fun to step back into this world for a little while with the people that made my time here so special. I loved getting to sit and talk with Sara and hear about her life right now and share my heart with her.

There were so many girls back for the night and I loved getting to laugh and tell old stories together. It's fun to hear about where they've gone and what they're doing with their lives now. The hard part about coming back is that it makes me miss my old Hope friends more than usual. I miss Fezzey's laugh, Jami's advice, doing everything with Kimmy, talks with Ruthie, adventures with Jenna, dancing with Gretchen, going to lunch after church with Kelly and Tracy, getting coffee with Lani and doing Young Life with Lauren.

I stayed with Katie, Nick and baby Lincoln at their farm house all weekend. I love being an aunt. I hadn't seen Linc for awhile and he just grew up. He can sit up on his own now and is just so alert and active.

Saturday morning Katie and Linc woke me up early because they wanted to play. We ate waffles and drank coffee and soon Zara, their niece, showed up to play for the day. Zara is almost a year older than Lincoln but they're almost exactly the same size.

Zara's favorite game was putting the crayons back into the crayon box. Lincoln's favorite game is being really precious.

When you say, "Zara can you show me your new teeth?" she makes this face. Oh my preciousness I can hardly handle it.

Back to Hope one more time, we visited Sammie's to get some initial sweatbands. Clutch.

I got to see Becca again and meet Brigid, the other new addition to our SIB fam. I loved getting the chance to talk to these girls who are the next generation. They're nervous and excited because they don't know what to expect from all of this yet. I got to tell them about some of my favorite parts and give them advice. But I love that although they'll experience so many of the traditions and events that I did their journey will be uniquely theirs because of what they put into it and the people they're surrounded by.

We spent the rest of the weekend back on the farm. Lincoln played Top 10 lists with Katie, Alli and I...

Alli got to hold baby Lincoln too, I think it was what she was most looking forward to about the weekend.

Lincoln's talents also include reading books like Snuggle Puppy and blowing spit bubbles.

Seriously, this kid got the reading genes for sure.

We did some crafting makeover on our old rocking horse, watched Breaking Dawn, ate Nick's special recipe chili and did hundreds of leg squats for Linc. I love getting to just be with my family and hang out. It's so great that they're closer now and these weekends can happen more often.

Alli and I drove back Sunday afternoon with more caffeine and more country music. We were exhausted but content, it was such a great weekend. When I arrived home I immediately went over to see Carolyn, Lesem, Emily and McSoley. They were in town for the weekend and it was so great to get to see them for a bit.

These girls laugh loud, they tell the best stories, they wear towels for fun, they play hide and go seek if I ask them too and they love to talk about camp.

When I finally got back to my own home I was thrilled to find letters and surprises from great friends. It really does mean so much that they took the time to sit down and write a letter by hand.

And the icing on the cake for the day was a visit from Coll and Rachie. What a pair. I love getting to sit and talk with them. They appreciate being real, being intentional, being honest, being vulnerable and I know that they've always got my back.