top 5 summer highlights:
1. chris and lacy visited. we spent their anniversary on paul and bishop's porch. everyone was there - we were happy and close and loved each other. jon played their wedding song. my eyes filled up with tears and the distance that seems to separate all of us was no longer frustrating but freeing. we each pitched in twenty bucks and bought them a hotel room.
2. visiting kelli in philadelphia. after i left, my jaw hurt from talking and laughing so hard and so much for the weekend. this was the first time that our time was not constricted by mentor - mentee, or boss - employee, or college campus minister - college student. so we drank wine and talked and saw good music and stayed up late.
3. working with a girl who i love. and kids who i mostly love. spending the days at parks and swimming pools and the zoo. it's a small little community that i live in - 13 kids, miss kristin and miss laura. i learn from them about what it means to live and share in life together. the frustrations and anger - but then the joy and happiness when you persevere. their love is unending for us - even when we are short, or mean, or angry with them, they still want nothing more than to spend time with us, talk to us, tell us things. the relationships are always shifting - kids who i love, i grow tired of, and kids who i was initially annoyed by, i've learned to love. this is happening with my friends all of the time. it's okay. things are never ending, just changing.
4. having an air conditioner in my bedroom. camping out in my bedroom with laurie like we're living in a club house in our parent's backyards. sometimes it feels like hiding away. closed to the outside world of the living room and kitchen and neighborhood and city and friends and relationships. we've spent days in there - napping, listening to music, talking, drinking and eating.
5. a confusing, but healthy, shift in my life. more church. more church friends. can they become my community? can they become the people i love and share my life with? they're a good group - mostly stable, mostly healthy - but smart. they like good conversation and good music. they read. if i can be myself with them, i think that i have the potential to grow deeply attached to them. realistically, though, my self will change in relationship to them. so maybe it's not a matter of being my self, but discovering a new part of my self with them.