Meeting with 25 junior high girls at 6:30am is one of the craziest things that I do. It's nuts but I'm so thankful for this opportunity. This morning we talked about friendship and loving one another. I think that 8th grade and freshmen year are two of the craziest for girls in terms of figuring out who their friends are and who they want to spend time with. This group of 25 girls is awesome, but there is no way all of them can hang out all the time.
We may not be able to have a 25 girl sleepover every weekend, but we can be kind to everyone. I want them to care about things like being trustworthy, being loyal, making sure others feel included, building people up, following through on promises, not talking behind each other's backs and having genuine fun together.
Friday nights in the Fall mean football. But tonight was arguably the biggest game of the season-- HSE v the cross town rivals Fishers. I love seeing a bazillion and a half people in the stadium each year at this event. But before kickoff, there is tailgating. This year iTown invited YL to join them at their tailgate. But when I got to the parking lot I heard the Senior tail gate before I even saw it. A DJ had volunteered to come play music and there was a huge dance party happening.
I spotted so many of our YL upperclassman that I had to go get KCraig and Ryan to witness this. Of course they were both all over this Senior Tailgate and jumped right in. Our kids were excited to see us and welcomed us right in like it was totally normal that we were there with them-- I love that.
AC, the host of Operation Tailgate in Indy, came to get video footage of their tailgate. Little did he know that he would end up on top of the van and then crowd surfing over the upperclassman. I've never seen anything like it.
Eventually we did make it to the actual game but I have to admit I didn't pay much attention to what was happening on the field. I hung out with freshmen on the very top row, talked to Juniors and Seniors at the bottom of the stands, found a mob of my kids in the Junior High barricade by the concession stands and talked to a handful of parents. So many people at once. It was awesome.
Saturday morning Julia Plant and I drove to a cross country meet at Ben Davis to watch Session 2 CILT girls run. Chloe Lachmund was the only one competing today but we got to spend lots of quality time hanging out with Kristen and Lauren Johnson.
Julia had never been to a meet before so we got to explain all sorts of fun things to her like a PR, run out, timing chips, team tents, a meet v. match and how to cheer on runners. Bless her soul, she picks things up quickly.
It was a beautiful day and thankfully warmed up while we were there. We got to take the Johnson girls to lunch before we all headed home which was really fun. Maybe we'll be able to see them run at State later this Fall!
I invited my parents Dave and Beth to come to our YL banquet on Saturday night so they stayed with me this weekend. Saturday afternoon we adventured around Fishers and I got to give them a tour of the Devoe's barn where YL meets. That evening we headed to the Community Center for the Banquet. I'm so thankful that I have parents that love and support me the way that mine do.
Once a year, we get to bring together parents, community members, leaders and YL kids that care about the mission and purpose of Young Life in HSE. It's a celebration of where we've been and we get to ask people to help us prayerfully and financially as we move forward. I feel so honored to get to be part of this community and can't imagine not knowing these friends. I love that so many HS kids like Lauren Pidgeon, Olivia and Julia, Audrey and more Wyld Life leaders came tonight to greet guests and help with the program. They are invested.
Hands down, the coolest part of the night was when HS kids and a handful of leaders shared their cardboard testimonies. We did this activity on Monday night at Campaigners and invited everyone to share their story tonight. It was incredibly powerful. I can't think of any other way to share how God is at work here so succinctly and beautifully.
I can't wait to see what will happen this year in the things we expect--clubs, campaigners, lock outs, bible studies-- and the things we can't predict. I pray that more kids and leaders would feel welcome as they join this community and that above all God would be glorified in all that we do.