It's been one of my dreams and prayers for the past three years that we will one day have Young Life in Fishers. I've been involved with the relational ministry organization for years and have seen how it can significantly impact and change the lives of High School kids. I want that for the students that walk into my classroom everyday and for the kids I see in the hallways. For the past few months I've been a part of a group that has been talking about and taking steps towards making that happen as early as next year. This Friday I got a glimpse of what it might look like to have YL in HSE.
Originally I had planned to take these 8th grade girls to a christian concert but when tickets fell through we went for Plan B. The seven friends, one mom and I went to Noodles for dinner and then to see the Lucky One. I've gotten to know these kids for the past two years and they mean the world to me. No longer my students, these girls still visit me during the day, help out in my classroom, come to FBC, invite me to do Bop to the Top and a 5K with them and they threw me one heck of a birthday celebration.
It was so fun to get to spend time with them laughing at dinner and telling stories and sitting on the floor of the theatre because there were no seats left and just getting to spend time together. I really love these girls.
Saturday morning we awoke bright and early to begin mulching. As a YL camp fundraiser kids can come mulch for just a couple hours or for the whole day to make money towards paying their way to YL camp this summer. Families have mulch delivered earlier in the week and then we come and do the dirty work of spreading it all over their property.
We had about forty different kids show up over the course of the day to work alongside a handful of leaders and a couple committee dads. It's sweet to work alongside each other like this.
What might take a family an entire weekend to accomplish our expert team of mulchers can finish in just an hour. We pull in with our trailer of wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, pitchforks and brooms and quickly get to work. Between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm our crew mulched thirteen different houses.
We saved the motherload for last. While most houses have six to ten yards of mulch, this was a seventeen yard pile. Insanity. But we powered through and got it done. That mountain still wasn't enough for their backyard, they ordered ten more yards for us to spread next weekend.
I was exhausted by the time I got back home and wanted to do nothing more but eat pizza and sit on the couch and watch a movie. Luckily, that's exactly what Heather, one of my YL girls, wanted to do after finishing a day of lifegaurd training. So we wore sweatpants and ate Arni's and talked about life and friends and next year and YL. I loved getting to hang out with her for the whole night. Heather is smart and kind and faithful and wise and beautiful and fun and greater than she realizes.
After sleeping double what I do in a normal night, I awoke just in time to race to church. I got there during the first song and found a spot in the front row next to my friends. We talked about hospitality, being real with people, creating a safe place for community. I'm lucky to be a part of a lot of different communities that have these qualities. I want to be intentional about continuing to help create this culture.
My friend Audrey was baptized after church with a crowd of friends from many parts of her life. She is such a light of Christ and it was beautiful to hear her share her testimony and heart before Linda baptized her. We celebrated with hugs and cupcakes and friends.
They challenged us to make today a day of prayer and listening to Christ's call on our life. Linda shared this verse, "May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope." Romans 15:13 I want to be filled with hope like that, I can't imagine many things more beautiful than your whole life and outlook radiant with hope.
Mary Ellen, Avery, Abby and I went to Chipotle together for lunch. Gosh I'm thankful for these friends. I'm thankful for conversation and out-dated fads and laughing and questions and car dancing and burritos and similar hearts and making time for people and kind words and being together.
I got an afternoon visit from Coll Kell, one of my favorite people to overlap with. She's honest and cares so much about her friends and an encourager and I can't wait to work everyday with her all summer long.
Molly and I had an adventure tonight. Don't you just love when you're in sync with someone and you think all the same things are funny? I love that we get to see each other so often all year long. I love that when we have a craving for pizza or frozen yogurt we know the other one will want to come get some with us. I love that we laugh loud and don't worry about if anyone is watching.
Her Senior class is playing assassians starting at midnight tonight. Every participant was given the name of a target. You get the other person out by shooting them with a squirt gun and then whoever they were supposed to kill becomes your next target. You can't get anyone at school, in their workplace, while they're driving, or in their house unless you're invited inside. Basically you can trust noone. In the words of Taylor Swift, "Everybody's waiting, everybody's watching, even when you're sleeping keep your eyes open."
We picked out a water gun (Did you know they make battery powered water guns now?), got plenty of batteries, and filled it up. I coached Molly on Target practice, ran through some dodging drills and talked strategy. I have faith she's going to do well.