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It's finally here!!!

February 13, 2016

The first night of the eXtreme retreat 2016 is off to a great start! We had a great opening session with lots of laughing!

 Margaret and Julianne kick off the evening. 

Margaret and Julianne kick off the evening. 

We did learn tonight that there are some distant cousins to the Kardashians out there: Kiwi and Klaudia. Kiwi is quite the diva- you can follow her on twitter: @kiwikardashian. We watched the first installment of their mockumentary tonight. Lots of laughing!

And no retreat is complete without the silly/gross/messy games. In tribute to the movie Elf, four contestants created a spaghetti dish filled with m&ms, maple syrup, and other sugar goodies and then had to eat as much as they could in two minutes. 

 Ethan won the game with some aggressive eating skills! 

Ethan won the game with some aggressive eating skills! 

 Doesn't this look appetizing???

Doesn't this look appetizing???

Our theme this year is "Simplify." We want to really help the students focus on cutting through the busy noise of the world that so often distracts and instead focus on growing a relationship with the Lord. Our speaker is Mary Beth Walker and she did a fantastic job introducing the topic to our students. She talked about how busy we all are and how much we glorify being busier than necessary. Not only do we compete to be busier than other people, but we feel pressure to continually add to our plate so that we can constantly measure up to an impossible standard. Mary Beth highlighted for us, though, that probably no one in the history of people was busier than Jesus. And when we look at what Jesus modeled for us- he continually retreated away to focus on prayer and building his relationship with God. In the same way, we need to make sure we are including prayer in our daily lives. We are never too busy to commune with God. 

        

 

 

 

I do want to tell you about one really great moment that I witnessed tonight as well. There was a high school boy standing off to the side all by himself during the singing portion of the evening. The group of girls standing nearest to him looked over at one point and, realizing that he was hanging alone, invited him to come over and join them. And he did. It was really lovely to see our students caring for one another and making sure all are welcome!

What a great night! I can't wait to see what the rest of the weekend holds! Thank you so much to all of our parents who volunteered tonight! We are so grateful for the help in the kitchen, driving, working registration, hanging out with our students, and more! RyeX is so very blessed with so many amazing volunteers and parents! Thank you all!!!