If I was Sadie I would have all kinds of great pictures to illustrate the awesomeness that was this weekend. But alas, I am not so I will just have to paint a picture for you with words :)
Yesterday almost the entire staff left the lovely city of DC and I drove them all out (soccer mom style in the mini van) to my grandparents' house to celebrate my birthday. My grandparents' house is about an hour west of DC and sits on 10 acres of land. They have lived out there since before I was born and it was always one of my favorite places to go visit growing up. I could not have asked for a more perfect place to celebrate with family and friends yesterday. You can ask anybody on staff and they'll tell you that this job is awesome and they couldn't think of a better way to spend their summer. But, it's also exhausting. And you don't really get to do the whole summer thing of relaxing. So having a few hours where we could leave the city, go swimming, pick berries, go fishing, shoot a bb gun, eat chicken and burgers right off the grill, and just truly enjoy each other's company was incredible.
I love those moments where parts of your life that seem completely separated from each other just mesh together - and yesterday was one of those. My coworkers/friends from this summer, who have been a huge part of making this summer as awesome as it's been, came out to my grandparents' house to hang out with my family and a dear friend from school met us all there. It's so easy to compartmentalize these different parts of my life, especially when I'm so focused on one of them at a time. But when these different parts come together I feel like I get to experience a little piece of heaven. When people who ordinarily would have no reason to all be together come together for a common cause. Yesterday it was to celebrate my birthday, but underneath all the love that I felt it was also a gathering of believers taking time to celebrate God and the incredible work that He has been doing in each of our lives this summer. I could not have asked for a better birthday, spent in the company of so many loved ones and in the middle of God's awesome creation.
Now it's about time for another week to start. Staff meeting starts in less than an hour and groups will be here in about 4 hours. And Steph and I get to head out into the middle of the woods once again. But we're not going out to a place that's familiar to either of us. We're heading out to the alternate housing site that's been out of commission for all but 2 weeks this summer. The housing site that's not even in DC but out in Maryland. The one that has a gravel driveway in the middle of the woods. The one with the bathroom that caught on fire last weekend. Yup. I'm going to live out there this week. With Steph. I'm not sure who thought that was a good idea. Apparently God did. I mean, He's orchestrated everything so well this summer that I have no choice but to trust that He has something incredible up His sleeve for this week. Just like this past weekend, there's really nothing other than God that could bring a youth group from Greenville WI and two random girls from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to a house in the middle of the woods outside of DC. God has a little bit of heaven to show us as we travel over the river (not really) and through the woods (very literally) to serve Him this week. And I can't wait. :D I'm sure I'll have stories to tell from this next week - be prepared!