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Monday, September 13, 2010

summer recap pt. 2: jhigh brx

God changes us. He is powerful and loving. He has a perfect plan for our lives and wants to direct us in His perfect ways.

My second summer adventure also began with a mass exit from our church parking lot; this time to South Padre! Not even 36 hours had passed before we were loading up for the second verse of beach retreats; this time with JHigh!

For JHigh BRX I had a condo of 7 12-year-old girls (going into 7th grade)!!! It was an experience! For those of you who remember this age, this should come as no surprise! But we did have a blast, and as always, I learned a lot about myself.

Our condo name/color was Pink Enchanted....I could not have been more excited!!!! I didn’t have to buy a SINGLE thing....most of what I own is pink AND sparkly! I didn’t find out what our condo was going to be until 4:15 pm on Friday before (if you read Summer Recap Pt. 1 you will remember that I am still on a bus at this point. Ha!). So my sister, who happened to be in town that weekend, stayed an extra day to help me put together some rockin’ Enchanted outfits for the girls. I think we stayed up till 4:15 Saturday night crafting (before I had to be at church for 7:00 a.m.!). I would not suggest this to anyone. Thankfully Emily and I have training in this sort of project time crunches and we survived. Emily helped fashion the headbands seen below...they were a hit! And so cute; very much like a princess!!! Don’t we look ready for 2 hours of rec on the beach?! I’ll go ahead and tell you, we were NOT ready. I think it was 117 degrees that day. At least!

We also made flip flops for the girls....they turned out super cute! Although, have you ever made 9 pairs of flip flops?! Ha! It took a while but the girls loved them. We took some flucey ribbons and hot-glued them to the straps, cut out felt flowers and accented them with little pearls.

I think I made more friends on these trips then my girls did! But I am so thankful for wonderful Christian women who have helped encourage me throughout this season of life. Anna and I really leaned on each this week; we had both done BRX the week before!? Recently, while reflecting on our trips and sharing a cup of Starbucks I’m sure, Anna looked at me and said in the most serious of voices, “Ellen, do you think you would EVER do both retreats again?!” Ha! It was tough and by about day 11 we were worn out. Every time we saw each other we had a new Bible verse to share with the other for encouragement. I love this girl :)

Another new and amazing friend is Heather. She went on both beach retreats as well. (Insert ‘What were we thinking?!’) We were so excited to be friends that we bought matching T-shirts!!! Ha. I think this particular night shown here was after our day at Schlitterbahn water park...we had an awesome time together floating on the lazy river, checking in with (and sunscreen/lobster checking) our girls and getting to know each other better. I love this girl :)

I think one of the best parts of BRX is worship. It is such a cool experience. For JHigh we were set up in a huge, air-conditioned tent. Here, my girls are lined up and ready to go. Don’t they LOOK like little princesses :)

Our baptism service was held at Schlitterbahn; it was hard getting everyone up and out at 6:00 a.m. but it was so worth it! I don’t remember how many kids were baptised...I’m thinking in the 300s. Praise Jesus! Those who made decisions for Christ wore T-shirts that had a cross on the front; the cross bar is made of the name of Jesus and ‘Me’ is written under the cross. If you look closely you can see these awesome navy T’s.

The band came by to visit with us at dinner one night. How cool is that? It was good for the girls to see the band members and hang out one-on-one; they are individuals just like you and me, using their gifts and talents that God gave them to lead others in worship. Thank you, guys!

Oh, by the way, did you know that Justin Bieber goes to church with us? How cool is that?!

Lessons Learned:
*7th grade girls can scream ExtrEmEly loud when told too; they can scream even LouDeR when a ‘star’ like Justin Bieber is on stage.
*7th grade girls, when together and wanting attention, all talk at once.
*7th grade girls are all individually made in His sight; they are precious to Him, they are precious to me!
*God is my source of strength; I could not have made it through this week without Him.
*God can be WHATEVER I need Him to be; He is will also be ANYTHING & WHATEVER YOU need Him to be. Psalms 145:8-20, 147:3-18
*God meets us at our point of need.

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