Rachel, Chloe, Hools, Liz and I set out from Fishers on a great adventure Friday. It felt like all the fun of Spring Break and we're not even on Spring Break yet. We know a thing or too about singing in the car, deep talks and everything in between. We arrived to Holland, MI late and checked in with Beth and Dave.
We got breakfast at DeBoer's, a dutch restaurant, that was just all kinds of delicious. These girls can eat. We don't mess around.
Next we visited Dance Marathon at Hope College. Katie was already there and Linc and Red were climbing all over the inflated obstacle course. I got to see Shima, my SIB fam Maggie, Gina and Claire, YL friend Holly and Camp T counselor Katie Pim. So many good people at this place.
Dance Marathon was one of my favorite yearly events during my time at Hope so I loved that my girls got a glimpse of it this morning. We had out own little dance party like we were at YL Club.
We took a quick little run around Hope to explore Dimnent, Rach climbed my fav tree in the Pine Grove and we all got on the Anchor of Hope.
Back at my parents house we played with Red and Linc. They're just the cutest.
Then we all headed outside for a surprise for the boys-- A PINATA! Everybody took a whack at the monkey until the cheerios and fruit snacks spilled out.
I took the girls out to Lake Michigan to walk down the pier. There is still ice frozen on the sides and all covered with sand. We were running, playing, climbing, jumping all over the place. These girls are experts on fun.
"You'll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things." -Jamie Tworkowski
Rachel, Chloe, Julia and Liz are some of my adventuring, exploring, road tripping kind of people. They are absolutely a screaming invitation to life.
We headed off to Grand Rapids for the Rend Collective concert, got to the church just in time to be first in line and set up our picnic dinner. Liz and I have been to several concerts together and we're all about waiting in line to up our chances of getting the best seats. Lucky for us, that worked out well tonight. We saw Rend Collective when they opened for Chris Tomlin. We couldn't wait to see their whole show.
The place was packed. We got seats in the second row and once the show actually started Rachel, Chloe and Julia went right up to the edge of the stage.
OH MY GOSH I LOVE REND COLLECTIVE. Tonight was a party. It was inspiration. It was celebration. It was captivating. It was just everything. I didn't want to forget a thing so I tried to write down as much as I could.
"There's always a reason to sing. There's always something worth celebrating. We love a God who is so, so good don't we?"
"Love costs ourselves. Love is a sacrifice. Jesus Christ gave his life to us so we ought to give our lives to each other. We are to have a response--to give to someone else. Worship is not just what we do with our voices, worship is what we do with our entire lives. This is what we're called to do."
You made us for so much more.
You made us for greater shores.
Let our praises run wild and free.
"We're not here to do music or advance our name. We don't care how many people are in the room but we do care how many hearts are pointed to God."
"Let's get on the same team tonight. Let's ask Him to build His kingdom here."
"The bible never asks us to be nice, it asks us to be wildly good."
"The psalms never tell us to sing at half volume, so let's obey the scriptures and make a loud and joyful noise tonight."
"Some of us are great at creating community but not really good at reaching out. Then others are really good at going out, we think others are kinda boring, and then we go out on our own and end up burning out. But we're supposed to go as family.
I kind of imagine the Great Commission like the Power Rangers. He's looking at all these great adventurers and they could go out on their own but he's like no, no, no-- ADVENTURERS UNITE!
I don't know about you, but adventures not really my thing. I like Netflix. But the whole idea of the gospel is about risk and adventure."
We love Ali. She plays so many instruments throughout the whole show it's insane. All five members of the band are constantly rotating around and switching instruments. They're full of passion and creativity and making celebration real.
"The spirit of God is the wind in my sails and he will lead me where he wants me to go. Have you ever tried something new and fallen flat on your face? I've got good news for you. That's how every single human has learned to walk. That's how we learn."
There was confetti. There were bubbles. It was nuts.
Your love is my battle cry.
The anthem for all my life.
"I think we sometimes think adventure is a personality type, or an age thing, but God didn't give any of those parameters. He called everyone to be disciples in all the world. As family we are called to go--whatever that looks like. Start to dream. It doesn't matter where we are. Just start doing it. We're not caged people, we've got the Spirit of God inside of us. It's ok to risk because risk is just another way of saying faith. And it's ok to dream because dream is just another way to say hope.
The Art of Celebration is knowing we are free of condemnation. We as the church don't need to live in a pity party of shame and guilt. We can go out and change this world. We can come boldly before the thrown and then go out as family."
Near the end they ran out mid song and came back with Panda Heads and giant lit up yoga balls that bounced through the crowd. It was freaking awesome.
"Their technical name is Joy Orbs. This is the closest any worship leader has ever gotten to being Taylor Swift. Here's the theology behind the pandas. There's a long list of Fruits of the Spirit in the bible. It's a very, very long list. And guess what, being "serious" isn't on the list. Tonight we're about joy and pandas bring everyone joy. And that's a fact."
Tonight was so awesome. It was Rachel's first christian concert and she said it was the best concert she has ever been to. Liz has been going to concerts for years and told her mom this was the best one yet.
After the concert the pastor of Rend Collective got meet Rachel and Chloe and pray for their upcoming mission trips-- such a cool moment.
We got special tickets to go to the After Tea Party with Rend Collective to meet the band. We got special goodie bags, drank Irish Tea, took pictures with the band and climbed in the campfire tepee.
By the time we got back to Holland we were really hungry but it was also very late. i got to introduce the girls to one of my favorite weird Hope traditions. There's a little place on 8th street called Good Time Donuts that we'd visit after midnight, knock on the back door and then get a donut from the owner while he cooked donuts for the next day. When we showed up tonight I was shocked to see how this operation has grown.
We walked right in the front door, ordered at the counter and then ate our donuts along with the other 20 late night adventurers in Good Time Donuts. It still felt secretive and low key sneaky because they didn't even turn on the lights.
Sunday morning I took the girls to Mars Hill, the church I attended all 4 years at Hope. It's different than any other church I've ever been to so I loved getting to bring the girls here.
"When you do something new, you're creating a new nero-pathway in your brain. It's going to be hard, it's going to take work, but it's worth it. You have to do the new thing again and again to create a new pathway.
God has made our bodies and minds with the capacity for growth and change. I think we need all the help we can get from the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit help me know which thoughts are from you and which ones are not. God give me a new mantra, a new narrative. Pick up your sled, step over and make a new path."
We couldn't help ourselves from taking a detour to visit our friend Lucy at Culver on the way home. First we walked all over campus in the rain looking for Lucy to surprise her before we finally found one another.
We only had a little time to walk around campus together before we had to get back on the road. Oh holy do we love this friend. I can't wait to watch Lucy and Julia rock Day Camp staff this summer.