This past week has been full of celebrations. It is that season—end of school activities, awards banquets, graduations, weddings. On May 18, Greg and I were honored to attend Andy Hong and Ashley Romberg’s wedding. We have known Andy and his family since Tae Kwon Do days, and Andy was in our first group of Oasis teens. He is now a college graduate with a job and a new wife. The wedding was so beautiful because it was personal, intimate, and Christ centered. As I sat at the table with people so important to me, I was filled with pride and joy. The Sellers—a family who raised their beautiful girls in the church, and who are such dear friends. Mikel Carrion, also another Oasis teen, who was Andy’s best man, his mom Laura, and his girlfriend Morgan. Mat and Janell Marbrey—former students back in the day, former YL kids turned leaders, and then Mat and I began the Oasis ministry together—wow, we were a team! And here we were, all together, in one room, celebrating a beautiful union that has God at the center. Mat was a groomsman in Andy’s wedding—Mat was Andy’s youth pastor—just another testament to the power of a solid foundation in Christ and relationships appointed by Jesus. Our conversations centered on “impact” and “legacy”—how we as people can impact those around us by simply loving the way Jesus loved.
This week a number of my Oasis teens graduated from Santa Fe Christian and Tri City Christian, and a number of my Scripps teens were honored with huge awards and scholarships at their awards banquet. We are preparing for Promotion Sunday, on June 9, where 38 of our youth group teens will graduate from Oasis. It will be very bittersweet for me.
It’s also end of year activity time for my family—Noah starting travel soccer again with tourneys, and both boys playing summer lacrosse. Micah’s spring concert this week and Noah’s and Micah’s lacrosse banquet and party next week. It was a weekend of spending time with friends, barbeques, great food, a fun night dressing up as flappers and going to see Great Gatsby (amazing film, don’t know why there are mixed reviews). Got me all fired up to be an English teacher again as we all talked about the characters and symbolism in the movie as we chatted on the way home. Family time on Monday and preparing for Noah’s trip to Uganda. Whew. Good thing God is keeping me strong despite cancer and chemo. The side effects have been minimal this time, and I know it is because of all your powerful prayers. Keep them up as I enter round four of chemo next Monday.
You know, Jesus was all about celebrations. His first miracle was at a wedding in in Cana, in Galilee (you can find the story in John 2: 1-11). Jesus loved people and he wanted the best for them. He turned jugs of water into wine, and not just wine in a box, but the best, and finest wine. Jesus wants us to be with people we love, and celebrate, and He wants to be at the center of all of our celebrations.
So, friends, let me remind you again—be passionate about life, about people, about seasons, and celebrations. Enjoy those around you and don’t let your “to do” lists rule your life. Your time is now—celebrate each moment. I am.
Thanks for your prayers, support and love. I celebrate because of Jesus, and all of you.