day 50: winter escape day 3—skiing at Peek n’ Peak
so today we finally made it to Peek n’ Peak and went skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. the weather turned out to be gorgeous (for winter!) and we had an awesome morning…i forgot how much i love skiing. it was great spending time with the students just having fun with them…teaching our friends how to ski and enjoying the exhilarting speed of flying down the hills! I loved it! This pic is of John and Adam right before we conquered a black diamond!
Unfortunately we had 3 injuries, and I was on duty for the first trip to the hospital with a seperated shoulder…adam was on call for the 2nd trip with a concussion. it was an adventure and was stressful and trying at times, but thankfully no real serious injuries…I spent a little bit too much time in the hospital than I would have liked but duty calls, right? :)
Overall it was an amazing weekend, and out of 75 people, only 3 injuries isnt too bad! Thankful for such a wonderful weekend with great leaders and great students
this was a day full of hiccups. I’m so thankful before we left Adam told me that the trip wouldnt go as we planned and there would definitely be hiccups and that our motto would just be “roll with it” because we certainly had a day full of rolling with it. our bus and its unique drivers who dont have gps got us incredibly lost, and I dont just mean we missed a turn…we missed a turn and drove 30 miles in the wrong direction…so our plans completely changed and we became flexible and accommodating…however I think that God really rewarded our flexibility because we had an amazing day with the students, playing, worshipping, discussing, fellowshipping and just loving being with each other. We spent the evening talking about being consumed with Jesus and this picture is from our last worship session which was amazing! I know that God did some sweet things in the student’s hearts and I love this picture as a representation for the students commitment to love Jesus with a fiery passion and to be lights in this dark world.
we’ve been planning for our first winter escape for the last 6 months…it would be our first retreat taking the students to PA to camp, NY to ski and a new adventure for all of us. we left Ohio with its 60 degree weather and drove 5 hours to Wesley Woods for the weekend. We arrived in the middle of the biggest wind storm you could imagine and quickly went to our first worship session. This was the start of a great weekend and a weekend full of anticipation for what God will do…60 students and a dozen amazing leaders and this is a picture of a few of my freshman small grou girls-love them!
a wise person in my life told me this story of a little girl who got a fake pearl necklace out of a vending machine when she was 5…she loved this necklace and wore it everyday, never wanted to take it off and it soon got worn and dirty…she loved her pearls so much. For her 6th birthday her dad decided to buy her a real pearl necklace and he hid it in his hands and asked his daughter to give him her dirty, worn necklace becuase he had a surprise for her, but she couldnt let go…she couldnt let go of her dirty, old and worn pearls in exchange for the good and perfect new necklace her father had for her…she couldnt take the risk, she couldnt trust that he had something better for her.
I realized this is the story of my life, but instead of pearls I’m clenching my fists around its other things in my life, things I’m afraid of letting go in exchange for the good that God has for me…I would prefer comfort rather than risk, I’d prefer content in exchange for complete joy. I’m too afraid to let go of what I know and what I feel is safe and okay for the great things that God has for me. Risk is hard…its scary and its paralyzing…but I want the pearls…the real ones. I want the good that God has for me, even though it means letting go of what I have and know. its scary and it seems incredibly too hard…but I know I’m made for more.
i think i could spend all day everyday reading…its my favorite hobby and my favorite thing to do. i think i love escaping into someone else’s life, someone else’s world…i love the way i relate to characters and feel like i know them and they’re my friends…i love reading about people who are in the same place of life as me…i love everything about how authors can create this amazing story that seems so real to me and just touches my heart and changes my soul.
Currently I’m reading Journey of Desire by John Elderedge…its amazing and I feel like it was written to me in this season of my life. I highly reccommend it!
books on my to read list: 1. One Thousand Gifts 2. Plan B 3. The Imperfectionists
Today was Valentines Day and it isnt lost on me that its been 8 years since I’ve actually celebrated Valentines Day with anybody significant, and it isnt lost on my that basically everyone I know is either married, engaged or in love with someone…however this isnt a pity party for lauren…because i have alot of people in my life that love me. ALOT of wonderful people who have incredible and deep hearts that are full of love and I’m privileged enough to be on the receiving end. there is so much love in the world and so many people and thing to love…today is one of those days where you celebrat those people and appreciate that they share with you one of the most beautiful and profound gifits and blessings. Love is beautiful and I love love. :)
This is my best friend Adam, we have a really cool and unique and highly unlikely friendship story that if you ever want to hear, you should ask one of us. I tell it better! :)
We work together (technically he’s my boss, even though he hates to admit it) and we’re also best friends. Its pretty awesome if you step back and think about how fortunate we are do to work with people we love, it makes everything alot more fun!
Adam is one of those guys that makes you want to be a better person. He sees me as better than I see myself and pushes me to be the best possible version of myself. I love Jesus more because of his friendship and I love life more because he is in it. He’s an amazing man, husband, follower of Jesus, servant, leader and friend.
Most Sundays we spend the entire day running and today was no different, we went from LeaderSHIP to Sams Club to dia•spora to a leaders meeting to Elevate. Talk about a packed day! What might seem like really long days arent that long when you get to do everything with your friend. I’m thankful to have such a wonderful friend that loves Jesus so well, loves students so well and loves me so well.
I had an awesome weekend, two back to back full days off of work and full of great and memorable times. tonight was a little bit of an adventure with 3 of my favorite high school girls…my small group decided we would go downtown, eat, shop and then sing karaoke somewhere-sounds like a pretty fun and simple evening, right?
Wrong…little did we know we were in the for the adventure of our lives! We shopped, ate dinner…then my car got towed! so we had to adventure to what the high school girls would call “the ghetto” to retrieve my car from the impound lot…we then drove all around the city looking for a karaoke bar that didnt have an age limit, found 1 lame one, 1 that had all asian people in that were staring at us, and 1 that no longer existed! We ended up shopping at Marshalls, eating ice cream at Culvers and have an awesome night together. It was so fun to have an adventure together! I just love love love them!
day 42: laughing really hard with really great people
we celebrated 2 people that I love with a surprise birthday party tonight…it was full of games, a pinata, cake, good friends, and lots and lots of laughing. Time seriously flies by when you’re having fun and this is one of those nights I never wanted to end. It was full of those moments where you laugh so hard you are either going to cry or pee your pants. Times like these make me forget how hard the world is, how hard friendships are, how hard following Jesus is and just how hard life is…sometimes I forget how much fun and love and joy and laughter there is in the world because I feel so burdened by the hard things in life, but laughter really is a wonderful medicine. it heals the heart and brings joy to my life. I could laugh hard and hang out with these friends all day every day…theres no one else I’d rather laugh so hard my stomach hurts the next day with!
day 41: people who understand the good and bad things about youth ministry
on the 2nd thursday of each month a handful of us gather at Java Central, a coffee shop in uptown Westerville…we’re all men and women who have given their lives to investing in students, in youth ministry, in influencing the next generation. We gather and talk about the different things going on in our churches, youth groups, in younglife and in the world. We talk about the hard things about youth ministry and also the really cool and deepy impactful things too! Its so freeing to be with people who know exactly how you feel, who understand how ministry is a blessing and a curse at times, who have passionate hearts to see students fall in love with Jesus and to witness him transform their lives. Its amazing to be with people who have been doing this for years, who have made incredible sacrifices and who truly love it. Its encouraging and comforting to know you’re not alone, to know we’re all running hard after the same thing. its a really cool time and one of the many things I love about my job!