It was a weekend of excitement....the two biggies: Brian and Mary got engaged, (!!!!), and I moved down to A-town. Wa-hoo to both.
First, Brian and Mary: these two cats are two of my favorites. I met Brian a few years ago at Mission Springs' Endless Summer fall camp when I was the speaker. A special relationship then developed with his church, Hillside Covenant, and through different speaking and hang out/relational gigs, they became a second church family to me in CA. I remember the first time Brian and I hung out in Santa Cruz: we ended up at the Gordon Girls' casa, and feeling hungry, decided it was time for lunch. Out of the fridge I pulled moldy bread, questionable turkey and cheese with white spots (we're not talking Colby here). Brian's naturally a, well, how shall we say it....he just likes certain foods, and old bread, cheese and turkey aren't three of them. Sitting in the hot sun on the porch, he made it through lunch, but refused anything else. I don't blame him. Regardless, he still saw it to being my friend, and last Thanksgiving I had the AMAZING opportunity to head down to Mexico with Hillside Covenant for the high school group's annual mission trip. I wasn't the speaker but the "chaplain" for the week, and my job was simply to come alongside, encourage, love and get to know their RAD students; each night I'd share my heart, and it was a monumental week for me personally because it's when I finally said "YES" to Young Life. As well, even though I had met her a month or two prior, MARY came into the picture that week...I admire the way she works alongside and loves high school girls. She has one of those rare listening ears that just encourage you to keep going in your thoughts, without her saying a word. She just nods and looks at you with these penetrating eyes that silently say "you're not done yet..." I love that girl. She and I bonded over our favorite authors, and together with both Brian and Mary we share a rare humor and a love for Scrabble gone bad. When I think of the two of them, I think LIFE. No matter where we're at, the to-be Team Gleason will always be a part of it. I am so FOR them and look forward to wedding ala Walnut Creek.
As well, this weekend I moved into my new place! On the way to town, I stopped by IKEA and purchased a mattress. They said delivery would take place sometime between 2 and 10...and at 7 pm that night, delivery happened. I tell you, sleeping has never been BETTER!!! It was great unpacking stuff for the first time since CA, and really putting together my new casa. I feel blessed and loved by all the help I received....by the hook-ups from team Miller to better my living room...and by the fact that I'm living underneath a family that chooses to LOVE. Even though I have my own space, and could get away with never seeing them, I want to choose to see them and not take this time for granted. Last night we watched "Grey's Anatomy" together, and then Heather (the mom) helped me put my bed together. I've made my Target and IKEA lists, and in the meantime am drinking my hot bevvies and new coffee pot from Anna and Joe.
A final thought: I had an EPIC conversation with an old and dear friend, Karly, earlier today. In telling her that I can't believe how much I LOVE middle schoolers, here's what she had to say: "Cara, of course you love middle schoolers. You were MADE for middle schoolers. There was no doubt in my mind when you just DIED from those kids doing the Gargling Olympics, that that's who you're supposed to be with...." FYI: the Gargling Olympics might be one of my favorite memories from doing program at FR. She went on to pump up my heart (thanks, Kar!), but it's just GOOD seeing the pieces of the puzzle fit together. YES.