Every year after school is out for summer, my youth group has one Wednesday night at our property on the lake at Harrell Park. We have a cookout, play games, sing worship songs, then any seniors who want to share can tell the rest of us whatever is on their heart. Then we hang out and have dessert of some sort.
This is my friend Trey who went to UT last year but is back here for the summer. He's like me! Short! I'm not actually taller than him; in this picture, I'm just in front of him.
Meals outside are always so pretty, but it's even better when it can be at the lake!
You never know what kind of games you will be playing when Rob Walters is in charge, but you can bet on it being interesting and original. The one we played at Senior Share Night was what he called foosebultimate: a cross between fooseball and ultimate Frisbee, played with a football. In the middle of our game, some random wet dog decided that he would join and chase the ball wherever it flew!
This is Will, who graduated from East. He is also my cousin and the brother of my other cousin...of course! Just kidding; his sister is also one of my best friends from church. They are both great athletes and students, as well as Christians and role models for other kids. They seem quiet, but are really great when you get to know them and hear them talk. This was actually the most I'd heard Will talk in my life! He talked about how important building relationships is, with people to influence you, be by your side, and for you to influence people. It is also crucial that we love people!
Over the years that I have been in youth, this amazing girl has become one of my good friends, supporters, and role models. Not only is she gorgeous, but also has a beautiful singing voice and heart for serving the Lord! Everyone in our youth looks up to her for her life and knowledge. She is someone who would send out sweet surprise texts some days, that would be just what I needed to put a smile on my face! Her dad is the children's pastor at our church, so she is there often and is always ready to help. Last year she was a counselor at Camp Bethel in Wise, Virginia, and she left the very next morning after our cookout to go again this year for most of summer break! She reminded us how important it is to "recklessly abandon" the cares of this world, because they don't really matter; God's got our life planned out, and as Christians, it will end in eternity, so life is all His!
Tyler and Josh led worship before and after the seniors shared. It is so nice to have church outside in God's beautiful creations! Tyler is in college now, and working toward being in the music ministry. One of the other senior girls that spoke made a good point about not only working to do good things, but God's things. "We can have good intentions but miss God's intentions."
After all this, we gathered around all our seniors and prayed especially for them as they go into the next chapter of their lives.
Campfire time! My favorite! There is just something about roasting marshmallows.
I got creative with my smores. The one on the left has a York Patty in it, and the one on the right is with dark chocolate Reese's! Dark chocolate is the bomb, but try adding some other things, too, and smores get even better than we thought they were!
Here I made a mini one with a piece of Reese's.
I also ate several plain marshmallows after I roasted them! A warm, slightly golden one is perfect. Smooth outside, gooey inside.