A Perfect Day

As students are returning to school, I can’t help but think about that classic essay assignment that often was assigned on some of the first days of class when I was young.  Even in college I had to answer this question in some form: what did you do this summer?  Now, I might not be a student any more, but I did have a memorable summer, and I thought it was fitting to take this Labor Day weekend (arguably the end of summer) to share it with you.

I spent the first part of June preparing for my time at YLF— readying the staff and finishing up last-minute details regarding our lodging and meals.  Then on the third week of the month, I traveled to Madison to meet 21 teenagers with disabilities.  We had an incredible week together learning about advocacy and leadership, and I am so proud of each of the students and staff that participated. 

I returned home from YLF to what was easily the highlight of my summer.  But before I could move forward that first weekend after I came home, I needed a lot of sleep.  That first night back in my own bed, I slept great, but it wasn’t nearly enough.  My parents showed up the next morning, and we spent the day having lunch and talking with my grandparents.  By 3:00 in the afternoon, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I begged off and told everyone I was going home to sleep.

Well, surprise— there would be no sleep that afternoon.  No sooner had I walked through the door than a friend from Colorado called, saying he was in the area and wanted to drive up to have dinner.  Of course I said yes; I was not about to sleep the day away when I could be having great conversation and incredible food at one of my favorite restaurants in town.  My friend Kate joined us for dinner and ice cream that night, and it was great to just sit back and relax with people I don’t get to see all that often.

The next morning, Pastor Tim, Becca, and I got ready to lead worship in the park.  For the past two years now we have held a service outdoors, and it has become one of my favorite services of the year.  My friend from Colorado played a beautiful prelude to open our time of worship, and then Becca and I led in some praise songs.  The weather was perfect, and many friends and family came out to participate in the service and potluck that followed.  I was simply blessed to have Becca, John, and Kate with me that day to make everything come together. 

During the potluck, I had the opportunity to connect with old friends and family.  There were so many people there that I felt I was short-changing many of them, but I wouldn’t have traded the heightened pace of rapid-fire conversation for anything.  Saying goodbye at the end of the day was hard, but when I got home, I completely crashed.  And yes, I finally got that sleep that I was longing for. 

That particular weekend and the entire summer thus far has taught me about communication and relationship, and I am eagerly looking forward to the fall when I can continue in this vain.  I will be leading two separate Bible Studies, one of which will begin later this week, and I am eager to lead these women in exploring a deeper relationship with our creator.  I want to carry that perfect summer day image with me as I build relationships and strengthen the connections I have already made.  As a worship leader, Bible Study leader, and YLF director, there is much to be done, but relationship and communication are the most important factors. 

I am so incredibly grateful for my close friends and family and the example each of these people have modeled for me.  I can look back to that summer day in the park and smile because it was on that day I felt loved, appreciated, valued, and incredibly blessed.  Thank God today for the people in your life that mean the most to you.  Go tell them that you love them and hold them close today.  Make every moment count for Him. 

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