We just rolled in a little while ago from our regional Young Life retreat over on the Kitsap Peninsula in Poulsbo, WA. I loved turning off my cell phone and not having access to la Internet for three days....it makes coming back into "reality" that much more fun. (How I love seeing the Inbox! Checking up on friends' blogs! Listening to voicemail! Ahh, it's the little things I love). But the retreat itself was INCREDIBLE; much of the time I'd sit there thinking, "this is my job?!" Are you kidding me? I've been SET UP to SUCCEED!
So we're sitting at dinner last night, at this cutesy Italian restaurant in the downtown area; about to burst from the brick of 5-cheese lasagna in my stomach, I'm trying to decide whether I should stake out a spot in my favorite public restroom, or continue being social. The social butterfly in me wins out, only soon to be told that I'm going to be one of the first voted off the Young Life Survivor Island! Indeed, while the 27 of us on full-time (mission) staff in the Puget Sound region sat in our Restaurante Italiano, a new game of YL Survivor was hatched. I had high hopes of getting by on my charming personality and loads of witty banter to the final four, but NO! I was told that my snort, instead, got me voted off the island right away! Dreams of being on Survivor ceased....apparently I won't be able to go under the radar, so to speak, in order to win the million dollars. Hopelessly, I have no chance in hell of even winning it among peeps who "get" me because I'd be too hot to handle, too cold to hold. Or so I tell myself. Secretly, I always dreamed of being on Survivor, and imagined (in my frequent bouts of day- dreaming) indeed, letting go of that thing we call "personality," and just flying under the radar...plugging my nose when I felt a snort coming on...walking around with a frown on sometimes to disguise the otherwise "Heck yes I'm glad we haven't taken a shower in 36 days" positive mentality. But apparently it's not going to work.
In all seriousness, the time away was exactly what I needed: I felt encouraged, supported and "ME." I laughed more than I've laughed in a long time and felt understood. I had excellent conversations with all kinds of folks, and - this is random - SO appreciated being in friendship with husbands. I appreciate that I can call many of these male (and married) area directors up here my friends, and that we can have a healthy conversation without the rules and regulations that are sometimes presumed when you talk to someone of the opposite sex who's married. I think it's totally healthy - because I know it was "safe" on both sides - and I appreciated it. (Does that make sense?). Even though I'm not technically an intern, I'm receiving YL Intern training for the next two years, and I'm stoked about learning and growing and getting equipped in this ministry. Josh, Jessica, Josiah and Melissa are already my favorites, and ranging geographically from Olympia up to me, I can't wait to do dinners, making relationships with them a priority this year. We had excellent teaching on the Holy Spirit on Tuesday, and then did a lot of business stuff yesterday....we played card games and games 'round the outdoor fire pit....we ate well and slept little. I went running one morning and saw the TV show, "The Office", thinking it's quite possibly the funniest thing I've seen in awhile (I'm a big fan of the "mock"umentaries, and this one had me rolling). There were intense personal and corporate times with Jesus, and my heart was glad.
I move in two days. Whew. Tonite is back to school night at Mt. Baker Middle School, so Young Life will have a little table there; this will be my first BTSN not as a teacher. I'm heading over to (area director) Shawn and Anna's house right now for a nap, and then it'll be roll time tonite. Hugs.