Today we went to Michigan’s Adventure with our middle school youth group kids! I always look forward to this trip because I LOVE my roller coasters! We had 10 kids go, which is AMAZING – that means every single kid could have gone, except one – but that one hasn’t been real involved over the past year. We had safe travels, awesome weather (though we thought it was going to unload with rain on us at any moment at about noonish), and a great time of getting to know our kids better. To see the excitement on their faces and the “are we there yet?” questions, brings us pure joy. To see them running from ride to ride, out of breath. To see them stressing about what ride to go on next. It’s kind of our “big” trip that we go on with them (besides Craig’s Cruisers in Grand Rapids), so they all look so forward to it. Amazingly enough, after we got back to the church at 9:00pm, they wanted to play tag and have running races. Yikes! I was starting to feel my age :). We were so blessed to have SUCH a great trip!
While there, Dan and I were really bothered by some of the things we saw. The t-shirts that some kids were wearing. The actions they would do. Thankfully none of those kids were ours, but it was reality of what our kids have to struggle with daily at school. There was one kid (he was probably in middle school) who had a t-shirt on that had 3 legs on it and underneath them it said “Gifted.” The third leg stood for a distinctive male body part. REALLY PEOPLE? Does he even know what he is wearing? DO HIS PARENTS know what he is saying through that t-shirt? It saddens me beyond words.
On our way to the most awesome rollercoaster, the Thunderhawk, we saw a young high schooler wearing a t-shirt with a woman in her underwear, with her hands covering her naked breasts. SERIOUSLY? A high schooler? You’d think we wouldn’t be surprised by anything – oh we are. We are surprised because I guess it hurts. These are the lives that these kids represent and may want to be a part of someday (or sadly enough, may already be a part of). Yeah “it’s everywhere” you may say, but to us, it doesn’t have to be. God calls us to be part of His redemptive plan. That means redeeming all things that are broken/sinful. T-shirts are one of them. We saw another YOUNG high school couple ALL OVER each other the whole day (yes, we saw them multiple times), and one time, the guy was “kindly” fixing the triangles on her bikini. My mind only wonders what they do in private if this is how they portray themselves in public. Meanwhile, while waiting in line to get into the park, his hands were all over her body while they were kissing. This kind of stuff just breaks my heart. Honestly, sometimes it just makes me cringe. Cringe from disgust for those who MAKE those t-shirts, but also I cringe because what are these parents letting their children wear and do? I understand that many kids do a LOT outside of their parent’s knowledge and those parents are trying their hardest. But. Are these kids hiding these clothes? How do these parents see their kids act while at home with their significant other? What are they saying or watching that would lead to wear these things or act in these certain ways?
Dan and I went on a few water rides and we both thought the lazy river sounded perfect. I had a tremendous headache and was just a tad lightheaded, so we just chilled. I tell ya, it felt so good! We got out of the lazy river and just sat in lounge chairs for like a hour. Yes, we sound very lazy. We were with our kids when we saw them, but they were running from ride to ride and I just physically couldn’t keep up :). So we just let them go. We realized that we aren’t as “young” as we used to be, but also that we are just plain tired. Mentally, physically, emotionally. There has just been so much going on that we finally had a chance to just BE. Never thought it would be in a lounge chair at Michigan’s Adventure, but God gave us that time for a reason. We talked about things we rarely get to talk about sometimes – our summer so far, the future, kids, the upcoming youth group year, and just plain LIFE. Just to TALK. The last few nights we haven’t been able to fall asleep because there has been so much going on, so we just talk. I feel like a girl at a sleepover, but it is so easy to get caught up in life, running from place to place, that you forget to debrief the day with the love of your life. We just so happened to do that at the waterpark today. Then we saw some of our kids and tried to keep up with them again. But off them went again, running to the next ride :). It just brings us SO MUCH JOY to see them having so much fun. It makes what we do so worth while. To see who these kids are and who they want to become, we just get all excited :).
It was a GREAT day. A day filled with life lessons, things to praise God for, and things to pray to God for. God showers us with HIS purposes everyday – we just need to look for them and be open to them. The day flew by and it’s hard to believe it’s over, but all glory be given to GOD!!!