Despite the weird November like conditions outside it is now officially summer! Our summer calendar is already jam packed as usual. From this point on we don't have a free week or weekend until August. This has been our life for 11 years now. Summer for us has never been as it was in childhood, a time to be lazy in the warm sun (HA!) enjoying otter pops and buckets of fresh Oregon berries. No, our summer is filled with teenagers. Amazing, incredible students that have changed our lives for the better.
This is our last summer as official youth pastors. It's hard to believe, really. I'm sure as our church plant is still in its infancy we will be deeply involved with youth next summer, but it's not going to be our main focus any longer. It's strange. Students have been our life. We have had our hearts broken by them, our fill of fun with them, our house brought to life by them, a renewed understanding of grace through them and a solid belief in hope established for them.
While I am more than ready to move out of youth ministry, I will never ever be one that says it wasn't worth it. I have LOVED being in the youth ministry. I have LOVED how passionate teenagers are about EVERYTHING. I have really really loved seeing some of our students grow up to be faithful, passionate, generous adults who are now raising their own kids to love Jesus.
So, this summer, as I begin to complain about our crazy schedule I will stop myself. I'll treasure the hilarious/delirious moments that are sure to happen during fundraisers. I'll savor every life-changing, albeit late night, prayer whispered at camp. I'll relish in the texts and emails about the latest friend-lationships. I'll pour out words of hope and belief with joy.
I'm overwhelmingly excited for all of the new experiences to come as a lead pastor's wife, but there is a bit of me that is sad to close the youth chapter of our lives. So, bring on the summer (with the appropriate weather, please) and the crazy schedules! Bring on the teens and their crazy lives! I'm ready.