What I love most about days like today when the weather is almost 70 degrees and sunny is the anticipation that comes with it. Anticipation of more days like this. Being able to enjoy leaving my jacket at home, driving with the windows down, and counting down the days til the weather will stay warm like this for a while. We had a gorgeous weekend here in Newport News and it seemed everyone needed to be outside. Understandably so! In newport news, the place everyone goes is down to the river. We’re so lucky to be so close to it, and its just the perfect place to be when its warm enough to be outside but not warm enough to head for the beach. I needed to get out of my little apartment. I needed to find a quiet place that was just for me that afternoon. As I drove past the masses who were laying out, reading, or playing football down by the river it hit me, and I knew where my spot was that afternoon.
Some of my absolute favorite memories of college happened on beautiful spring days like this one. As a younglife leader, a huge part of that role involved going to high school sports to cheer for our friends, and every year I counted down until softball season. A lot of the girls that I was closest to were on the varsity softball team, and that was always the highlight of my week getting to go sit out in the sun and cheer for my girls. The field where they played was just a short walk from campus, so my teammates and I would meet up and walk over, or if we were running late (which was pretty much to be expected) we’d drive over, but make sure to park far enough away incase any foul balls decided to venture that way. Softball and warm spring days just sort of went hand and hand for me. Grab the sunglasses and head for the bleachers. Well this time I grabbed the sunglasses and headed for the bleachers, and enjoyed sitting there remembering all the games, conversations, and new faces I met at these games. Here’s a little bit of what I wrote sitting there this weekend, missing my girls, but thankful for the sunshine in my eyes. “Jesus, I miss this place. I miss this ministry. I miss my teammates; people who, whether they liked it or not, were intentional with me and could always make me feel better. I miss these girls! I miss the excitement of cheering them on, and the look out of the corner of their eye when they heard me cheer for them by name. I miss the sunshine in my eyes and feeling its warmth on an afternoon like this, and thinking every time “you’da thought they woulda put the home team on the side of the field that did NOT have the sun blinding them as soon as it started setting!” I miss what us being here represented as YoungLife leaders. Travonna’s mom yelling tips and encouragement to each one of the girls when they were up to bat.. “NAH baby you don’t want that one! wait for yours! WAIT FOR YOURS!” wait for yours. hmm what a concept. These girls are halfway through college right now, but I will always love the memories I have watching them kick butt on this field. They are rockstars. Beautiful, talented, girls who I was proud to call “my girls”. I was proud of the plays they made, the ones they missed, and of how they played the game. Some of my favorite college moments happened right here, and I’m thankful for teammates who sat and cheered with me, and that yl leaders at warwick still come sit on these bleachers to cheer for their girls. I wish I was one of them so often, but I’m thankful for MY girls because I know that they were placed here for me specifically during those few years. Thanks that something as simple as a muddy softball field and uncomfortable bleachers can put such a big smile in my heart. Thanks for the sunshine.