This was another fantastic year... despite feeling torn about leaving town with my dad in bad shape... but here are some highlights & some thoughts of the weekend
*I was cheering because after so many years, this was the first time they had a
WOMAN SPEAKER! One for the girls!!!! And she was awesome! She loved all things girly, but was a guy's kinda gal... I could totally relate with her. In our leader meeting, she talked there as well, and she was even saying how she doesnt have any children & she believes God has a plan behind that - so she has time & energy for the kids in church - to show them God & serve them... I'm telling you, this lady was my sister!!! ... I had to laugh even when a couple of the kids said to me, "She reminds me of you!" ... the best compliment ever!
*I love an example the speaker, Heather gave about Jr. High Kids verses Sr. High Kids... she said that Jr. High kids will say "Do you like me, do you like me?" - where Sr. High kids have the attitude of, "Let me see if I like YOU" .... true, true, true
*I truly teared up & cried when I saw our High School Leader, Jordan, step up & be an amazing example to these kids. She was caring for the smaller kids & she even at one point, spoke up & gave scripture about being young & how they need to hold onto God & not let anyone look down on them just for their age (2 Timothy)... I remember going to Believe with her as a Jr High kid & here she was truly LEADING this new group of kids... I was so impressed & so touched.
I honestly saw the next generation of leaders in her at that moment... it was pretty cool....
*Appropriate we had a woman speaker, because the weekend focused on Esther... awesome! The point of the weekend was God has you HERE, today, for a reason, a purpose.... He equipped you for the HERE moment. Everything you do & decide gets you HERE... but the things is, what do you do NOW? What do you do NOW in this moment for GOD? Just like Esther stepped up boldly to approach the king. That was what she did in her HERE moment... changing the world... it was an awesome message...
*I learned that I hate riddles... my brain just doesnt work like that...
*Every group got a box & at lunch time, we were instructed to write down our "HERE" moments on the box - then we had to paint a picture that was instructed to us. The artist during the last session took ALL the boxes & on one side, it came together to say "HERE" & the other said "NOW" - it was pretty cool to see all of our HERE moments, along with ALL the groups in the arena, come together to create this awesome piece of art... so creative...
*At 1:30 am, while getting slap happy, I was able to give an dramatic re-enactment of "Beauty & the Beast"... some thought I was nuts for knowing all of it... I'm just like, "Doesnt everyone know the words to this movie? What's wrong with YOU? " haha!
*I had the weirdest dreams at the hotel we slept in... like someone in white kept trying to make me drink from these little paper cups - saying over & over, 'DRINK THIS'... & then the next day at lunch, at Wendy's, guess what I saw - the same paper cups to put ketchup in! I was SOOOOO freaked out!
*This was the most amazing group of kids.... they all sat with someone different during each session - they would check on each other, making sure they had enough money for lunch, or for a t-shirt... they just totally had each others back. It made my heart just smile... can only imagine what it did to God's.
*Was so excited for our new Youth Minister... it was his first trip to Believe... it'll be the first trip of many for this event for him...loved having him along
*The weather was perfection.... last year was snow & ice... so this year, it being sunny & in the 50's - it felt like heaven. Not having to lug around huge winter coats & gloves & scarfs... ahhh... Thank you Lord!
*I went to bed after 2 am... then got up at 5:30 so the girls in my room could go swimming. Was it worth it? Definitely - I got to sit with my feet in a pool before the sun rose & just talk with girls with no interruptions - it was a highlight of the trip for me. I can sleep later! :)
*I drove a van where the gear shift was up by the steering wheel... when I got home & the gear shift was down in between the seats, it totally messed with my brain. Funny how something simple can throw you off.
*I still recommend - any chance you get - go worship with jr high kids... there really is nothing like it - the energy they have - the love they have for God... its an honor & blessing to be able to join along.
Cant wait until next year.... its always something I look forward to... until then, I'll keep BELIEVING! :)