S'mores and Some High Schoolers

This year Adam and I volunteered with the high school group at our church. Last Sunday we celebrated the year of new relationships, sleepovers, and learning about the "Man Upstairs" as we roasted marshmallows and exchanged personal letters of gratitude. 

Adam and his guys!
A.Ehly "coaching" it up
The whole gang

Adam had one year of experience on me as he led the same group of guys last year as well. I was unsure what to think when getting into this. Over Adam and my honeymoon I read the book Cold Tangerines (which might sound familiar to some of you because I've talked about it way too much) and there was a chapter that focused exactly on how I felt about this year! I read it aloud to Adam and found myself about to tear up a couple of times throughout the chapter because it made me think of the girls in my small group. Yes, girls, I know you probably would have never guessed I would be "tearing up" about you- and I can already hear your "smart" comments yee- but I was;)! I wanted to share a couple parts of this, and yes, it is dedicated to you: Angie, Emily, Hannah, Courtney, Kira, Shirley, and Ashlee:) I'm so thankful to have ya! 

The pretty little ladies in my group:)

"...Somewhere in between going through my trash and asking me about tampons, in between the recitals and games and phone calls, they burrowed into one of the deepest parts of my life and my heart. They became something between friends and little sisters and extensions of my younger selves. They became a central part of my world, my thoughts, my prayers. My schedule became more and more wrapped around their term papers and prom and problems, and my home became more and more the safest landing spot for this strange, whirling little gypsy wagon of girls.
...I began to love them, not because they were the finest, most-upstanding kids in our student ministry, because actually they weren't. They had their moments of upstanding-ness, and they had moments of absolute insanity. I loved them because they were mine, because we were  us, because of the funny and sweet and strange things they did and said. They're smart and honest and they make big mistakes and dream gorgeous bright dreams. Sometimes they tell me everything, and sometimes they try not to tell me things, but then the other girls tell me anyway. I think at this point, I know almost all the things they think I don't. And I love them more than they know.
...When I think about how God made us live, when people talk about true community or true intimacy, I think of them, this lovely, bizarre group of teenage girls who came over unannounced and never left when they were supposed to, who let me into their fears and secrets. They loved me with a force that I think only comes with youth, a wide and fierce and expressive force, and I loved them with that same love, because being with them let me live like I was young." - Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

Whether it's them coming to my classroom on their day off or dancin' at our wedding...they are always fun and have so much energy it's ridiculous! From Yee's sarcastic comments to Hannah's delicious baked goods to Emily's weirdness and passion for dance to Courtney's nike kicks and pink hair to Kira being a good story-teller while eating Chinese food to Shirley still attending the sleepingover like a champ after working all day to bringing Ashlee JuiceStop at work just to make her smile (and then Yee complaing about herself not getting any)....I love 'em all:) 

 My junior girls...totally acting like junior girls (aside from Court of course...she is a year older and much more mature..I mean she did rock hot pink hair for most of her senior year and it was amazing)!

Here's to next year!

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