I recently attended the funeral for my sister-in-law's mom. Kara and I grew up at church together and she started dating my bubba when we were in high school, so I have many memories of her family. I also recently found out that one of my best friends from youth group years has cancer. Things like that make you stop and think and remember. So today's Friday Five is a look at five of my favorite things from youth group years...............
5. Summer. It was during the summer that youth group really played the big role. We always did things with our sister congregation so it was like during the summer you got this extended set of good friends. With no school you got to do stuff together pretty much any time you wanted. When people talked about year-round-school I can remember thinking, but what about summer friends?
4. Bowling Lock-ins. Once a year towards the end of the summer we had an area-wide bowling lock-in. Sounds silly I'm sure, but man was it fun. Nothing better than staying up all night with your buddies.
3. Skating. Once a month we had an area wide roller skating devo. It was always on Sunday evening and was a chance year-round to see those friends that you got so close to during the summer. It gave you a way to stay connected.
2. CAMP!!!!!!!!!!! We always went to GCCYC for a week with s few other area congregations. There are no words to describe summer camp. If you never went, I am truly sorry for you. The spiritual re-charge was amazing. The friendships forged there last a lifetime.
1. My Buddy Matt. Those of you who know me well know just how much I love my big brother. Over the last few weeks as I've thought back over so many memories Matt is a part of nearly every one. The day he was baptized stands out as on of my favorite memories. It was not long after we had come home from the above mentioned camp. I had my leg in a cast because I broke my ankle as we were leaving camp. He carried me to the car. Actually he and my friend Brad fought over who would carry me to the car. Matt won. We didn't always get along perfectly, but I always knew that Matt loved me and was there if I needed him. We won best camper of the year together one year. I went to camp Blue Haven one year and he didn't go. I cried on the way to New Mexico because it was the first time I was away from him like that. I love my Matt. I guess he hasn't really been "my" Matt for many years. He's Kara's Matt now and has been for a long time. But you know what, he is always going t be my big brother. Today as I think about all we've shared and all we have in the future (they're providing me with a nephew soon!) I just get excited. I don't see Matt as much as I'd like and we hardly ever talk on the phone. We email on occasion and we stay updated through our mom. It's nothing like the relationship we used to have, but I still cherish every memory we make together.
OK, so that turned into the I love my brother blog. Didn't know that was coming, but I guess sad news makes you cherish those you love even more.
Father, please continue to comfort Kara and her family as they learn to live life without Ruth. Let them all lean on you for strength and peace. Please also be with Brad. Help Jenny's delivery to go smoothly and Brad's current recovery from surgery to go well. Decrease his pain Lord. Lift his spirits and remind him that you have a plan. Lord, please, just fixt it. Take away the cancer and fix it. Please.