Well, I'd have to say this has been quite the busy summer for me. It has definitely had its fair share of ups-and-downs, but also many amazing moments with friends and people whom I dearly love!
After getting off of school in early June and enjoying what would seem like an awesome first weekend of summer, my dear sister in Christ, Kyria, passed away unexpectedly on June 10th. It hit all of us like a Tsunami. Kyria always had such a smile on her face. There was never anytime I didn't see her smiling. She was so joyful, and everybody knew her. Her funeral was very hard, and death takes on a whole other toll when its someone who is your age, and only 17. I know that my entire grade misses her like crazy and wishes she was back, but God is in control, and she is with him now. It just made me very sad to think that oftentimes God uses tragedy to draw people together and make them closer to him. She will be sorely missed.
After Kyria passed, I went to Csehy for three weeks, which is one of the best places in the entire world! However, it, like everywhere else, is still not perfect. I'd have to say this was one of the most hard, but rewarding years at Csehy. I have met so many wonderful, God filled people there who have blessed me in incredible ways. Some of my closest friends come from there, and every year it is so amazing to come back and have fellowship with my second family. We are all so close and tight knit, and it truly is an AWE-some thing!
This past week, my family and I took a vacation to Spruce Lake Retreat, which is a Christian Retreat Center in the poconos. We have been attending there for 15 yrs now. (practically my entire life). It was so amazing spending time with my friends Leah, Emily, and Brynna, and many others throughout the week. Among some of the things I did were hiking up the mountain and almost getting lost of the trail with leah, emily, and daniel, running around the camp with a group of incredible people trying to win the Amazing Race and ultimately building the tallest fire, playing in the volleyball tournament on the AARP Team, (No, I am not retired. Ironic, yes), playing our old tag game with my dad in the pitch black and sitting in the gazebo hiding, and getting to spend some time with two amazing, sweet, beautiful little girls, Emma and Sarah.
Emma and Sarah are cousins, and are super close with each other. I have known Sarah's family for most of my life now, and have been blessed to get to know Emma for the past few years now too. It blessed my heart to spend time with both of them, play in the play ground with them, take them and Sarah's little sister on a wagon ride, share some onion rings, and pet a snake together throughout the week. (yes, I did pet a snake, and it tried to go down my shirt. :) Quite an adventure!)Both had so much joy and happiness and just generally loved to have fun and laugh! It truly gave me joy to spend time with them and look after them a few days of the week, and God really showed me what is was like to bless other people, and not just myself, through it. I miss everyone there so much and can't wait till next year.
As of Monday, XC practice begins, and then next week I head off to Seattle for one more week of Adventure, and finally school starts after that. I know, like this summer, there will be trials this coming year, but one thing that God has taught me this summer, is that He is in control even when we feel like he is not. Friends, be strong and of good courage! For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!