Planned days off are glorious. Sleeping in. No work. Play dates. Beautiful weather. This is the good stuff.
Grace Andritsch is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Just last week I was with a couple girls and one said, "I think the only person in our whole school that I've never heard someone talk badly about is Grace Andritsch." I told Grace about that compliment and she just beamed and said, "Oh good. I just love everyone." This girl has the most kind, genuine, joyful heart and I want to be more like her when I grow up.
Today we had a breakfast at Panera. The Andritsch family goes there so often that the employees know all of the kids by name and have the families phone number memorized for their My Panera card. Grace has a very specific way of making her tea-- half a cup of ice, unsweetened, plus three sugars, a squirt of regular tea and one lemon slice.
I never get tired of talking to Grace and hearing her stories about friends and family and perspective on life. On the way home we spotted this... thing... and had to pullover to check it out. Made by elementary school students, we're not really sure what it is but we really like it a lot.
I've finished a new batch of friendship bracelets, trying out some new patterns this time too. Multi-tasking is the answer to how I get so many finished and I'm definitely well on my way to being prepared for summer in June. Along the way a lot of Young Life girls will be getting new bracelets too.
Brookie and I got to go to lunch this afternoon at Steak n' Shake, our fav place, since both of our schools were off for the day. She may make me feel really awkward when she secretly takes pictures and videos of me, but other than that I just love this kid. I'm thankful for her goofy, quirkiness and that she'll also be totally honest with me about stuff that matters.
Even though we didn't have school today, Young Life Campaigners was definitely still a go. I got to hang out with Abby, Abby, KCraig and Kocher before we started. These women are hilarious and dedicated and I'm lucky that I get to work alongside each of them.
Friends gather in the basement gym and we're all just nuts for a little while. The boys shoot basketball and do this thing where they bank it off the wall and hope that it ricochets miraculously into the basket. Mostly, their game just freaks me out. Brookie rode around on this scooter, we all loved Julia's new Patagonia, we told Nat Rat happy belated birthday and caught up with our friends.
Malena got to come for this first time in such a long time and I was ecstatic to have her there. I love getting to see Marie, a sophomore from my YL cabin, here every week. I'm thankful for her consistency and her heart.
We often start Campaigners off with a crazy game to get everyone mixed up and laughing before we dive in. Today KCraig split everyone into groups and had us form a circle around one person. They were the tosser of marshmallows for their team. Each team member had to successfully catch a marshmallow in their mouth before the tosser could go on to the next person. Whether you won or loss, it was really fun. We ended up playing twice because it was such a good time.
Tonight we watched a Rob Bell video titled Trees. It was about the idea that there is good and evil in this world and that we have a choice. We continually choose whether to live that life that God created for us or to live the life that we want to live. In our group we discussed ways that we can partner with God in this world and why that makes life easier or more difficult.
Working with HS kids is hilarious and rewarding and often unpredictable. In just our 45 minute conversation we had insightful comments, off-topic stories, fits of laughter, awkward silences and words of affirmation. All of it is good.
Getting to witness the stories of YL kids, Tecumseh campers, students and friends is one of the greatest gifts. I don't take it lightly when someone is willing to share what's going on in their world with me. In the last couple days I've been invited in to the stories of some of my girls who are going through some really tough stuff. All of their stories are different but they all remind me of some things that I know are true.
We need one another for support and community. Even more than we need each other, we need to turn to God who loves us and wants the best for us. Our choices matter. There is always hope. Your worth is not measured by what you've done. You are loved. We all need to be a little kinder than is necessary.