Sunday nights are my favorite night of the week.
Every Sunday, I make the almost 20 minute drive to my church, twice. Obviously, I head over there in the morning for Sunday school with my students and then church, and then I usually make my way back home for a nap (so good!), and head back to the church for small groups that evening.
From 6-7, my students are in their various small groups, growing in their faith and in community with other believers. It's awesome to watch the high school girls come bounding down the stairs, talking and laughing after a great small group time; or to hear the CRAZY middle school boys acting, well, like crazy middle school boys; or to hear the middle school girls talk about how excited they are to see what Ms. Debbie has planned for them that night. It's my favorite part of my job, being a part of discipling teenagers, and encouraging our volunteers.
As if that weren't enough fun for one day...
After small groups end, I run to my car to make it back to the other side of town before 8, to meet up with Rebecca and the guys as they're finishing packing up their gear from leading worship at their church's night service.
Since moving here, I've really begun to experience what it means to "do life together" (outside of the camp world) with a group of like minded Christ-followers. I love these people so much. Every Sunday, after we've all had long days serving at our churches, we hop in our cars and head out somewhere to eat dinner together. These meal times are precious to me! So much can happen while a group of people break bread together. We laugh, oh man do we laugh! We argue... usually about theology or politics. We plan and dream about the possibilities of the future. We encourage one another in the things we're facing. We probably annoy everyone around us, because we're a little rowdy sometimes. We talk about our weekends, and the weeks we're facing.
It's a great time, and like I said, my favorite night of the week. I am blessed beyond words for the community the Lord has given me here in Chattanooga, for the people He has placed in my life that serve as constant reminders that I am surrounded by people who love me, and encourage me, and challenge me on the regular.
This weekend our friend Ryan was in town, and after lunch as we headed to our cars on Friday, Rebecca and I were walking ahead of the guys, and I sighed and said, "It really feels like I've always been here." As much as I miss my family and friends back in Virginia, everyday, more and more, Chattanooga is beginning to feel like home... and that is an excellent feeling.