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Sunday, September 12, 2010

summer recap pt. 1: brx

It is in the silent moments of life that we can hear most clearly the sounds of a God who calls us into the depths of His love. Make the most of the silent moments, and listen closely for the voice of the Lord.

Unemployment for me has been like the biggest, scariest, cork-screw roller coaster you have ever been on; an up, down, sharp turning, backwards looping, break catching, back breaking, bug swallowing, thrilling kind of ride. My unemployment came at the perfect time for me though; God knew what He was doing! I am going to take the next couple of days and recap all that I got to do this summer (and all that I learned!)

My first adventure began at the beach. Actually it began in Houston and after a 7:00 a.m., 1804 person, 31 charter bus role call and 9 hour bus trip we arrived at Orange Beach for Beach Retreat 2010 (BRX). This is an annual retreat for high school students that my church has led for over 30 years. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I applied to be a counselor. NO IDEA! I knew, though, that I LOVE the beach and I LOVE Jesus; I mean who doesn’t want to go to church in their bathing suit?! I’m so thankful that I got to go and the experience was one of my most amazing EVER!

BRX is one whole week of sun, Bible study, worship, catered dinners and, oh yes, HEAT! I had 8, going to be sophomore girls in my condo. We had a blast! Our first meeting together was in our condo that first night; as an ice breaker and introduction of myself I asked all the girls who lived at home with their parents to raise their hands. You should have seen the looks on their faces when they saw my hand go up!!! Ha!

One of the most important and special parts of BRX is Silent Sounds on the beach. This happened twice a day, morning and evening, and was one of the CooLeST things I have ever witnessed; 1800 students getting silent before the Lord. I wish everyone could see what I got to witness that week.

Our condo name was 'Peace. Love. Oreos’. Apparently the girls tore through 23 bags of Oreos at last year’s beach retreat. Naturally we had to beat that record this year. Lucky for us my diet didn’t start until the week after. Ha! The girls made us all bandana headbands to rock out during the week.

Another awesome part of BRX is the friends that I made and friendships that were nurtured while ministering together. Leslie is the culprit for getting me involved with this whole mess….but I am so glad! It was so nice to have a seasoned beach retreat-er attempt to warn and prepare me for the week’s adventures. Pretty sure she also made sure that I had a lunch packed for the first day, woke me up to get out the door on time, and lent me her alarm clock. Oh, I am so thankful for friends!

Meet my new friend and bus seat partner, Caroline. We had so much fun getting to know each other (how can you not on a 9 hour bus ride?!) We celebrated our new friendship by buying matching bags! She got to get her new last name initial ‘R’. See how mine says ‘E’…I will be collecting ‘E’s until I get my own name change! Ha

A hot topic in and around our condo was Gloria, our naked mermaid in distress table that shared our condo with us. Much laughter was had over Gloria. When boys came over for lunch or dinner, Gloria would don towel, t-shirt or bathing suit for modesty’s sake.

The other cool thing that happens at BRX every year is the baptism service. There was an altar call at Thursday night’s service; afterwards, we loaded up all 31 buses and drove to a water park for baptisms in the wave pool! It was AWESOME!!! All of the students lined up on either side of the ‘aisle’ and applauded and cheered on their new brothers and sisters in Christ. Such a sweet experience!

I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing next year, but I really hope that I get to go to BR11!!!

Lessons Learned:
*I miss high school!!!
*Hermit crabs smell really, really bad when they die.
*If you do not act in love, you have gained nothing.

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