Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vision 2012

Each winter UBC hosts a retreat for the Youth Group called Vision.  My first Sunday at UBC was Vision Sunday 1998 when we moved back to Houston when I was in 7th grade.  At the time, Youth Group was only 7th-12th grade, so technically, I made it to Vision every year until I graduated.  It's a super fun time to stay with a family from our church, hang out with a cool college kid that loves teens, and have 2 full days to shut out school and other distractions to focus on Jesus.  Before I got sick in college, I was able to lead a Vision group, which was a blast.  This year, Isaac and I decided to host a group for the first time.  We're exhausted right now, but we are so, so glad we jumped into Vision!

For starters, we were given the 6th grade girls, 4 of whom are in our Sunday School class.  Three of those four I've known since they were just barely toddlers, and one has been in our Sunday School since last year when they moved here.  She's also mine 5 days a week at school.  :)  The other three attend Sunday School at the other hour, but they fit right in with the rest of us.  Our 7 girls are just so sweet and darling, anxious to please God and the adults in their lives while still desiring to have as much fun as they possibly can. 

Our college leader for the weekend was Rose Hale, and she is so much like me it's eerie.  God planned this weekend out to a T!  Rose went to the same high school I did and was in the same service program called PALS.  She's also an Aggie and pledge into Phi Lamb, the Christian sorority  I was involved with during my 4 years in Aggieland.  What a treat to have her stay with us!

All ten of us got along so well, and Aggie Belle and Bailey were plumb thrilled to have 8 new people in the house to play and love.  Maybe, just maybe we have a new tradition on our hands!

Friday evening was full of brownie and greeting card making to prepare for our visit with some homebound folks on Saturday.  Then we headed up to church for worship.  Matt Wheeler and his band led worship for the weekend, and they are fabulous!  I hadn't been in a truly Spirit filled contemporary worship service in quite awhile.  What a treat.  The girls then had Bible study with Rose in our office while we got the living area ready for them to crash.  Surprisingly, they all really did go right to sleep at midnight.  Woohoo!
Sarah, Katy, Grace, and Shirley working on cards.
Katy and Sarah with half of the sleeping arrangements.

Blair and Shirley with the other half.
Human knot before bed.

More human knot.

We were supposed to visit 3 homebound families after I cooked breakfast, but we were only able to get ahold of one couple.  Still, we had a great visit with Mr. and Mrs. Brenton.  The girls seemed to truly enjoy the stories they were told, and their cards and brownies were very well received.  As always, I think we had more of a blessing from our visit.  I just love how God works in that way!

After lunch, we took the dogs to the dog park so everyone could run off some energy.  Whoever said 12 year olds (and 27 year olds) are too big for playgrounds has never met us!  The girls had two more Bible study sessions in the afternoon, separated with some crazy games of Red Rover.

Rose, Sara, Blair, Sarah, Cassidy, Shirley, Grace, and Katy
Grace couldn't break through Blair and Cassidy, along with Sara.

Rose, Katy, Shirley, and Sarah deciding who to call next.

Dinner at church was followed by a second fabulous worship service.  Kyle had several stations set up around our chapel where the kids could pray, meditate, focus on maps of the area to see where they are called to be disciples in this moment, and various other activities to help them focus on Christ.  Most of the adults don't seem to participate in these worship times, maybe so the kids don't feel intimidated, but I don't agree with that view.  I didn't go to the stations, but Isaac and I sat right where our girls wanted us to be, and prayed, read our Bibles, and sang right along with them.  To have an hour to sit and meditate on God's word interspersed with song uninterrupted is a precious, precious gift I don't give myself (or God) nearly enough.  I have a long way to go in my spiritual disciplines, and this weekend gave me some focus on where to begin strengthening my walk with Christ. 

The girls came back to our house for their last Bible study with Rose before one more trip up to UBC for the day to play two mean games of hardcore laser tag.  Kyle had hired portable laser tag to set up in our field for all the kids.  Host homes were told to play, though Isaac and I were the only two that did.  All the 6th grade girls and boys, their leaders, and a few 7th graders were on our team, and we beat out the rest of the 7th and 8th graders in both games.  The kids were stoked, and I think I have been given a new level of respect in the eyes of my 6th grade boys for all the kills I made.  hehehe
Gig 'em!

Listening to laser tag instructions.

Rose, Blair, Sara, me, Cassidy, and Katy-no one ever said laser tag gear is glamorous, but it sure is fun!
Blair, Sara, Grace, me, Cassidy, Katy, Sarah, and Isaac.
Aggie Belle was so sad to see the girls pack up this morning.  She was convinced they were at our house for her and not Jesus.  The girls seemed a bit bummed our time had ended as well, but most of us will be back together next Sunday, and there's always next year!
Such a blessing! Rose, Blair, Grace, Sarah, me, Isaac, Katy, Cassidy, Sara, and Shirley

Thank You, Jesus for such a blessed weekend!

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