Question: How do you spell the letter “H” ?

Question: Who is the hottest Disney princess?

Question: Who is the most awesome Disney sidekick?

Question: How much can high school boys eat?

if i hadn’t thought about these things before Friday, I certainly was trying to decipher them before the end of the weekend. because high schoolers are somewhat nuts.

i met some really cool ones this weekend at the retreat. i realized that i would take 30 high school boys over 2 high school girls in a second. i was tackled while playing baseball in the sand. my feet were buried in the waves of an ocean so cold it took my breath away, but the boys still ran right in. i slept in a sleeping bag, i didn’t wash my face once, and i wore a headlamp.

oh yeah. fall retreat, baby.

with my church’s high school group, i found myself in the perfect trifecta of nature known as Santa Cruz. the redwoods, the mountains, the beach. singing, playing, praying our way back to jesus and the lives we want but sometimes run from.

i spend all week teaching junior high, and after last year’s retreat with the high school group, i thought it would have taken a miracle to get me to ever go again. well, it didn’t take a miracle. more like a couple of high school boys i play “big sister” to that i would do anything for giving me the “puppy eyes” and begging me to go.

we played all the games, sang songs, slept in bunk beds and tried to ignore the spiders and wasps (somewhat successfully). We ate at picnic tables and were hot during the day, perfectly chilly at night. We saw herds of deer, bobcats, and collected sand crabs. dirt and sand seeped into crevices we didn’t even know we had on our bodies. we shared secrets and dreams, and sang along to Disney classics at the top of our lungs.

and coming off a long week at work and having to cram a lot of school work in, this weekend was beautiful and horrible and awesome and terrible….just kidding. thats kind of a camp joke.

do you ever come home from camp on a high from everything you experienced there? its so easy to go up to the mountains, to unplug from technology for a few days, to leave your cell phone in your cabin and just wander about, driven on the schedule of the sun and the dining hall bell. the simplicity of it and the honest hearts of the people around you fuse to reveal a purposeful and satisfied life. and to return home means a return to the disappointment of the mundane. to the troubles, the worries, the text messages, the expectations.

and every minute that drives you further away from that feeling of peace, even now i feel my heart trying to claw my way back to that place of rest and fulfilled design. i don’t want to live in the hard or confusing times. but i inherently know i am being chipped away to reveal something beautiful.

can’t i just get to the finish line now?

no, he says. i’m not through with you yet.

i learned a lot this weekend. the words of a song we sang are guiding me through the maze…

my heart will sing no other name. but Jesus. Jesus.

oh, I’m running to your arms, I’m running to your arms…

so…..what did God tell you this weekend? and what are you going to do about it.