I'm into celebrations. I love any event that brings friends together, that causes us to sit down together while the kids run through the house and around the yard. I'm into Maryellen's Asian salad, Jenna's avocado, blue cheese and tomato salsa, burgers off the grill and a bowl of fresh berries. Yep, parties are good.
I've been part of this community for three years now, as if I'm just finishing my Junior year of "real life." And despite popular opinion that college is the best four years of your life I'm really loving this phase. I love being around people from different careers, ages, families, backgrounds. I'm happy to wear the different hats of teacher, friend, counselor, roommate and Young Life leader during the week.
Tonight's party was special because tonight we got to celebrate Jake, a great friend and one of our Young Life team leaders. He's heading out Texas at the end of the summer and he will be dearly missed. We shared memories of Jake and told stories of why he is incredible. This is a guy that balances the seriousness and fun of Young Life better than anyone else Jon knows. Mary Ellen and I so appreciate the way he has lead the leaders on this time so that we always feel known, valued, appreciated, supported and needed. Ask any kid or watch Jake with his guys and you can easily see that his love for them and their friendships go deep. He has modeled what following Christ looks like and he has walked closely though life with them.
And Jake is fun-- from playing Settler's of Catan to going hard in every dance party, from to convincing kids to rap about turkeys to driving an imaginary safari car through a zoo. People just want to be around him. He will be missed.
Tomorrow is my last day of school which is such a bittersweet ending. Yes, I get to go back to camp but I have to say good-bye to nights like this and friends that have become my family. I'm so blessed here.