Friday, September 12, 2014

Funny Fridays // CHURCH RETREATS & Good-Bye Summer

Very recently, I had a church retreat.

Church retreats are always incredibly fun. Basically, the entire church goes off and lives at a nearby hotel and has fun together and listens to a speaker and so on and so forth...for four days! (I'm well aware that for church retreats, four days is a pretty long time.)

This year was especially fun, because first of all, I WASN'T SLEEPING IN THE SAME ROOM AS MY FAMILY


Whenever my family has to share a hotel room, there are always several fights going on simultaneously. Fights like...

  1. Who gets to go shower first? (Not me. Not me. Not me.)
  2. Can we pleeeeeeease go to the pool now? (No, now we have to take naps.) Whaaaat? Mom, I'm too old to take naps!
  3. Who gets to sleep in the beds? (No, Mom, she kicks in her sleep! Put her on the floor!) But she's the youngest! (Soooo???)
  4. How late can we stay up? (Ummm...11 or 12-ish.) But Mom! He's staying up however late he wants. Why can't we do that?
You know the like.

But this year, I was rooming with some single sisters from our church. And I have to was interesting.

The problem was, I kick in my sleep. So I'd brought a sleeping bag and situated it near an outlet. (Because I like listening to music as I fall asleep.) The first night, I slept by myself in the sleeping bag. The second night, my roommates were like, "Yeah, just sleep in the bed!"

So I slept in the bed.

And I kicked the other person.

I asked her, and she said, yeah, you did, so I was like, I'm not going to risk it again. (Let me just say, future husband...If you're reading this, I'm sorry. Maybe we'll have to make the Great Wall of Pillows or something.)

So, the third night, I slept on the floor. And it worked out perfectly fine...I was so tired I just fell asleep right away.

The first night, after the official start of the retreat, the youth group went to a local burger place and got shakes and fries.

And...apparently I don't have any pictures of it.

These past few months, our youth group grew by, like, ten people (no joke), so we had to use three cars to drive us all the way to the place. We had a HUGE order, and the place was one of those outdoor ones, so we all just sat on the grass by the street and talked while we waited for our food. (I forget what we talked about.) Meanwhile, it was like 10:30 and some of the guys in the youth group decided to see how many pull-ups they could do on a nearby tree.

Yup. That's right. A tree.

They jumped up, and one kid did like fourteen or something, but he's working towards a six-pack, so he doesn't count, because he's some sort of disciplined human being. (Me? I jumped up and didn't even attempt it. I was too busy trying not to laugh.)

They told us to get down from the tree, though. It was hilarious.

The next day, we had our first session on discipleship. (We have two sessions a day.) Then the church went to a nearby park, ate El Pollo Loco, and participated in several activities (including a watermelon-eating contest and a water race thing).

During the water race, one of the men lost his wedding ring.

So for, like, twenty-thirty minutes, most of the church body milled around the park, searching the grass for his ring. The grass was thick and wild and jungle-y and pretty much impenetrable, so after a while, we gave up. (I even downloaded a metal detector app on my phone, but it didn't work.)

Apparently, though, one of the families owns a metal detector. Since the hotel is relatively close to where they live, they went back, grabbed the metal detector from their garage, came back, and found the ring!

I'm wondering though...metal detector? That's kool, but...not everybody owns a metal detector, you know.


Metal detector?

That's kool.

And, of course, here are some pictures of food...

When we got back to the hotel, I studied for my AP Euro test.

Then we had dinner. 

And another session.

And I went up to practice my testimony. (To prepare for my baptism. Read about it here.)

The next day, I rose, and everyone started asking me if I was ready to do this. (I responded Yes!) 

I went to the ballroom early, where the sound ministry people played Andy Mineo just for me.

Then I went up and talked.

That's a heavily edited picture of me sharing my testimony. (As you can see, I barely cleared the top of the podium. And I totally looked like a boy--I was wearing black shorts, a black shirt, a ponytail, no makeup, and a double chin. (Not that all boys have double chins.)

To be honest, I was nervous. (I was. I was.) But I also knew almost every single person in that room. And I knew that they weren't going to judge me. I knew them. 

So I just talked.

Initially I was afraid I was going to go too fast. But then I realized that I had some sort of unspeakable emotion in me, and it was all I could do to keep from crying. (I still don't know why I wanted to cry.) I didn't break down, though. I just kept moving on, from one aspect of my life to another. I cracked a few jokes. (I love making people laugh.)

And somehow I made it through.

Thank you, God, for letting me not flub up.

Then came the baptism part...

The water wasn't cold, thank goodness. And I didn't get water up my nose. And it was short and quick. And I was smiling. And then I got flowers. And I was happy.

And I'm so encouraged to hear that my baptism sparked conversations between parents at our church and their children. Hopefully I'll see more younger baptisms in the coming retreats!

Thank you, God.

After my baptism, we had our morning session and ate lunch.

Then came some of the most fun times I've had all summer.

We went to an ice cream place.

Let's give it up for some salted caramel TRUFFLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I went thrift shopping for, like, the first time ever. It was so much fun!

Found this shirt. TOTALLY should have bought it...not sure why I didn't.

I'll probably show you guys what I bought later (4 things for under $7! Miraculous!). If I can remember. You should probably remind me.

Sunday's dinner. (The churros were the best part. The enchilada was cheese. Just cheese. What kind of legitimate enchilada is just cheese?!)

And honestly, this retreat has been one of my favorites so far. This retreat strengthened me in so many ways, and it was definitely a lot more fun now that I have a little more freedom.

So now, with some fun and games under my belt, along with two weeks of school, I think I'm finally ready to get back to normal life. Routine. 

Funny how this summer turned out to be so much different from what I had originally planned.

Thanks, God, for an amazing summer!

P.S. How was your summer amazing? PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!


  1. Oh my gosh!!! I want that Hunger Games shirt! :)
    Your life is so interesting and awesome. I really like reading your blog! Keep it up! :)

    1. Thanks! (Yes, why didn't I buy that T-shirt?! UGH!)

      Also, thank you for being the only person to comment on this post when I specifically said, "PLEASE COMMENT!" (You're very special.)

  2. I am sure you could find the shirt online, you could ask for it for your birthday! :D

    Hahaha you are very welcome! I know how awesome it feels to receive a comment on my Blog, so I am happy I can give you that feeling! ;)