Monday, August 31, 2015

Rush YL.

Right now so many HSE grads and Tecumseh friends are off at college. Not only are they figuring out life with their new roommate, finding classes all over campus and staying up way too late, but many of them are also rushing sororities and fraternities. You could be a SIB, an Alpha Phi, a Theta or a Kappa. All of those would make you happy. But just in case you're not in college yet... Want to know what you should join? Rush Young Life. 

At Young Life you never know when a whole mob of show choir friends will break out in a choreographed dance when a song they know comes on. Feel free to jump in and pretend you know all the moves too.

At Young Life everyone is in. You've invited every single time and we'll be so excited when you walk through the door. It doesn't matter what grade you're in, how often you've come or who your friends with. You're in.

At Young Life we have odd battles and competitions. But YL people are enthusiastic if nothing else. You will have fun and you will probably look a little silly while doing it.

At Young Life you never know what's going to happen next. One of my favorite moments tonight was when I said, "It's a boy v. girl competition. You have one minute to fit as many people of your gender into a car as you can. Go!"

There were 22 boys in this van.

There were 24 girls in this car.

At Young Life you'll see us whip, nae nae, play bball outside the school while singing Fresh Prince, give Gracie solos and hit the quan. We're good at choreographed dances. By good I mean really enthusiastic.

At Young Life we buzz in by hitting bowls with spoons on our partner's head. It's better than just raising your hand.

At Young Life we're all about relationships. Haleigh and I have been friends for six years and this past summer we lead a cabin of these freshmen girls together. It was one of the best weeks ever. Now we love getting to all see each other every Monday night.

At Young Life we share the truth of Christ that has transformed our lives. Everything we do springs from that hope and joy. Tonight Jackie shared about the light, God's light, and how it's their to guide us when we're lost or challenged. Young Life is a place where you can refocus on that light every week.

Rush YL.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Just wanted to say that the high of my day is reading your blog because no matter how bad my day actually was, your blog just makes me so happy. Also I wore my pajama shirt to school and no one could tell."

Highs of the Weekend

1. Trulock and I were crazy stepping machines at school on Friday. I was at 13,000 when I left school and was well on my way to winning the Work Week Hustle.

2. I finally got to visit Sarah and Ben Battaglia in Champaign, IL to meet their sweet new baby Annie. She's just over a month old and totally squishy and adorable.

3. Friday night they hosted YL leadership at their house for Champaign college leaders andit was cool sitting in on how another area operates. Plus we had guacamole from Chipotle's recipe they just released online. I got to see my camp friend Jackie Marshall who leads at U of I which was just awesome. 

4. Saturday was totally relaxing and awesome. We had a long breakfast at Le Peep while Annie snoozed. Hung out all afternoon. Watched so much Parks and Rec. Friendship braceleted. Stayed on top of our social media. Watched Annie be adorable. 

5. I visited Kat at U of I in her freshmen dorm. She's so college and right at the start of rush craziness. I'm glad I got to see her in a little bit of her life here.

6. On my way back to Indy I made a pit stop in Zionsville to visit Big Girl and her family. She's a rock star, this one. Totally worth the extra time on the drive.

7. I was able to go to church on Sunday for Northview's 35th Anniversary. I love this church. I love that right now when I show up on Sunday the Ruby, Sams, Dewolf and Woodward families are all there too.

8. I picked up Elise, Julia and Elyse for a mini-Spinnaker reunion this afternoon. We went to IHOP for breakfast for lunch. I love that Elise and Elyse both got chicken and waffles and Julia got a strawberry-banana-nutella crepe like she gets at volleyball nationals. These three girls are so sweet, kind, easy-going and thoughtful. I love spending time with them.

9. After taking a crafting hiatus all summer I'm officially back at it. I spent most of the afternoon painting canvases and starting friendship bracelets for this week. I've got a few friends that have been needing some Sarah Wright art. Do you know who else shares all of my favorite things on this pink canvas?

10, Surprise visits from Julia and Maddie, my sister's birthday tomorrow and so much anticipation for the week ahead.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

"Guys! Huddle up! No, no, not you guys, the other ones."

 Did you know that in Junior High I ran cross country, swam and did track? In HS I shuffled things up a bit. I still ran cross country but I started playing tennis after going to Dartmouth's tennis camp in the summer. Yeah sports. Don't let me fool you, I'm not a really sporty person. I'm athletic for sure-- I can run any race or beat anyone in an obstacle course. But when it comes to catching, throwing, kicking, hitting, serving, pitching, setting--you might not want me on your team.

But one of my favorite things about being a Young Life and Wyld Life leader is cheering on my kids at their sports. Lucky for me, they're phenomenal athletes so any time I need to be sporty, I just defer to them.

This afternoon Julia, Jayla and I started at Fall Creek Junior High. The volleyball girls were playing HSE Junior High aka the school we were all at. Basically this was the battle of the century. The cheering was intense, the players were all over the court and the score was close. The 7th graders from the Clubhouse were victorious but sadly our 8th graders lost.

Our next stop was HSE HS across the road to watch the Varsity team battle Noblesville. We just missed the Freshmen and JV games but we got to see the players in the stands. I was so happy when Julia Washburn, JP and Meric ran up the stairs to tell us about their matches. The Varsity girls fought hard but lost their game to Noblesville. 

Hools, Jayla and I had a blast cheering for everyone else tonight. I believe in showing up.  I believe in friendship braceleting while you watch sports.  I believe in celebrating hard work whether you win or lose. I believe that Trulock's Clubhouse cheer is the most effective. I believe that this was time well spent.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"You are very artsy. Like more artsy than Beyonce. I think I'm going to get some flannel pajamas. I don't have a blog so you can't read about what I'm doing but if you try to read my mine we could have some telepathic connection."

One of my favorite things about being a counselor during the non-summer months is being pen-pals with my campers. Today I got a letter in the mail from Maddie, one of my Warrior girls this past summer. In my last letter to her I sent a list of 10 things I love about camp and challenged her to make a list of 100. She pulled through and her list is awesome. 

1a. counselors like you
1b. making new friends
2. seeing old friends
3. counselors
4. the Longhouse
5. lake time
6. blob time
7. clinics
8. chapel
9. bus rides
10. shower time
11. breakfast in bed
12. walking to the lake
13. having weird conversations with friends
14. having funny conversations with counselors
15. pop stop
16. trying to make friendship bracalets
17. failing when trying to make bracalets
18. spelling bracalet wrong? I don't know
19. inspiring others to condition their eyebrows
20. when you finally arrive on the 1st day
21. the kind of nervous/excited feeling you get
22. getting emails
23. not having electronics
24. not caring what people think of you
26. really long prayers when you can't sleep
27. waking up to music
28. chapel songs stuck in your head
30. the woodchuck that lives near the Longhouse
31. no homework
32. Sarah's quilt
33. Ellyn's Rugrats blanket
34. those blue shirts the counselors have to wear
35. Wolf Shirt Wednesday
36. John Amy's lake speech
37. trying to get on the Saturn
38. accidentally pulling Kat's pump
39. how happy EVERYTHING is
40. how nice Joel is
41. the Richard G. Marsh lake challenge
42. everyone running to cereal after grace
43. Mafiya
44. running charades
45. not worrying about anything
46. gaga
47. tetherball
48. carpetball
49. how all counselors love Diet Coke
50. opening campfire costumes
51. picking which bed you want
52. getting super close to people who used to be strangers
53. pool time
54. the rope at the pool
55. the high dive competition
56. salad bars
57. counselors that have accents
58. seeing where people come from at opening campfire
59. flagpole
60. when people share their care packages
61. seeing your counselor again after their night off
62. cabin photos
63. Choctaw
64. ^ especially when it's your cabin (clap, clap)
65. bible verses around the cabin
66. when that one counselor (Tom? Tommy?) raps
67. songfest
68. when Sarah's friend that's getting married licks your elbow at songfest
69. how intense color wars is
70. having 3 counselors (Kasellyn-- Kat and Sarah and Ellyn)
71. falling off the blob before you get blobbed
72. being hopper
73. camp tshirts
74. the photographers
75. when the photographers come near you and you pretend not to see them but secretly you're modeling
76. the Nature Center
77. identifying tufted titmouses and morning doves
78. the OT
79. stayover weekend
80. seeing your old counselors
81. trying new things
82. village photos
83. trying to find yourself in village photos
84. setting goals for yourself
85. achieving those goals
86. Accipiter
87. colorful sunglasses
88. the friendship bench
89. hobo dinners
90. the cooking staff
91. how happy everybody is
92. sleep-outs
93. inside jokes
94. devotions outside
95. check in
96. losing your button everyday
97. God moments
98. when you have a lot of highs and no lows
99. being third
100. EVERYTHING (typical)

The 1 Thing I don't like about camp
1. leaving
2. nothing else
When I'm not a counselor to phenomenal kids like Maddie, I get to be a Wyld Life and Young Life leader in HSE. I love it. Every week I show up to Campaigners with my girls or we dress up in costumes for Club. We go to dinner together, I cheer them on at their games and we find time to talk about everything that's going on. We do life together. 

We've outgrown Mama Bear's which is sad, but we're really excited about Wyld Life's new location for this year. We're meeting at the home of Connie and Mark-- new members of the Young Life family. It's just so... homey... when you meet in someone's home. 

Wyld Life is for just 7th and 8th graders which means we have a huge turnover every year as our oldest kids all move up to Young Life. We're excitedly getting to know all the new 7th graders, welcoming them into this community. Tonight in our small group a few girls told us that they thought you had to be invited to show up here-- we want to do a great job of inviting our friends but we also want people to feel comfortable just coming.  Everyone is invited.

I'm so excited that we've got our own Camp T family in the midst of the Wyld Life fam. Sarah, Hadley, Julia, Brooke, Ellison and Olivia all appreciate blue bands, getting your picture on the camp website, the walk to the Richard G, friendship bracelets from FAB and Thursday night cook outs in the Riv. I love that our lives overlap like this.

These are some of our HS leaders this year-- Juniors and Seniors that are choosing to show up and spend time with Junior High kids because of their relationship with God. We get out of things what we put into them and we're thankful for the time and energy and heart they're investing.

Girls like Rachel and Julia have been a huge part of my story since I moved to Fishers just over six years ago. I love seeing the people they're becoming and how sometimes you just know you're supposed to be friends with people. They both point me back to Christ and help me be my best self. I love that they get to have that role in these little girls' lives now too.

Tonight Julia, Anne and I sat in a circle with twelve 7th and 8th grade girls. We talked about what it would be like to be with Jesus and how he says that everyone is in. We laughed... a lot. We made new friends. We had five different schools represented. We talked about our hopes and dreams for Wyld Life this year. One of the 7th graders prayed for us to close it out and it was beautiful.

Honorable Blog Title:
"I'd go to Chipotle because that seems like the Wyld Life and white girl thing to do."
"My best friends are the Baker twins. Louise and Bethany. Except those aren't their names."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"To be fair though, I've had the cutest outfits ever on the last few days--my heels are so awesome I don't even mind."

Let's have a little history lesson. September 30th, 2011 Lincoln Wright Dekoster was born. My very first nephew, you can bet he was instantly loved. We started calling him Baby Lincoln and we've loved watching him grow in the last four years. (That tie-dye onesie though... nothing better.)

Today Linc starts school. THIS CHILD IS GOING TO SCHOOL! I can hardly believe it. He's got Batman paraphernalia stuffed in his backpack and he's ready for this whole new adventure. I wish I could be there to hear his stories when he gets home this afternoon.


Top 10 Highs of the Day
1. Reading more of For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
2. Going with KCraig and Trulock to visit the house where we'll start doing Wyld Life Campaigners tomorrow night
3. KCraig brought all of us large Diet Cokes from McDonald's
4. Jesse peed on a fire hydrant
5. Cheering on the 7th and 8th grade girls' volleyball teams at the Clubhouse (aka Fall Creek Junior High)
6. Yelling "F-A, F-A-L, F-A-L-C-O-N-S, FALL CREEK (clap, clap) FALCONS!" after every point with Trulock and the 7th graders
7. Maddie showing up to bring me Varsity money and all of her stories
8. Getting letters in the mail from my campers Claire and Lily
9. Getting more hype about the TWL Pits Dream Team with Elise, Maddie, Julia, Cookie, Rachel and Bridget by stalking the @timberwolfkitchen Instagram
10. Steps. So. Many. Steps.

Favorite parts of For the Love today...

Annie Dillard was right: "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." You decide your days should contain laughter and grace, strength and security.

A worthy life means showing up when showing up is the only thing to do.

You don't need to wait another day to figure out your calling. You're living it, dear one. Your gifts have a place right now, in the job you have, in your stage of life, with the people who surround you. Calling is virtually never big or famous work; that is rarely the way the kingdom comes. It shows up quietly, subversively, almost invisibly. Half the time, it is unplanned--- just the stuff of life in which a precious human steps in, the good news personified. 

There is a difference between humility and insecurity. 

You are good at something for a reason. God designed you this way, on purpose. It isn't fake or a fluke or small. These are the mind and heart and hands and voice you've been given, so use them. 

It has become my new mantra for life: Just tell the truth. Whatever question comes, just tell the truth. If you don't know the answer, admit you struggle. If you disagree with the conversation, don't sit there acting otherwise. Stop trying to self-preserve; that is a fool's errand... The truth is, most people respect vulnerability. We are so afraid, but truth-telling leads to life. 

Thank you, Netflix, for the fifteen seconds between episodes to decide if I'm going to do anything with my life today. The answer is inevitably no, but nobody can say you didn't give me the option.

People, I declare "mostly good" a raging success.

This is one of those books that's just stuffed with really, really good stuff. Go get a copy of your own so we can compare notes and talk about it.