Knee holding up amid busy summer

A few days ago I was scrimmaging with some college and high school girls and I was so terrified of doing too much too fast and reinjuring my knee that I felt like a pretty worthless teammate. I was really surprised, though, at how encouraging the girls were to someone they barely knew, especially when she air-balled nearly every shot.

So while I wasn?t exactly Michael Jordan on the court, it was just good to be back.

It was also so good to hang out with a bunch of my Ministry Quest friends for a week at the beginning of July. Three of them came down from Canada and the other seven live in Wichita, Hesston or Buhler.

We spent a few nights in Wichita, seeing movies and eating out and stuff, but discovered we had the best times just hanging out in Hillsboro. Who would have guessed that a bunch of teenagers would prefer to spend time in Hillsboro instead of Wichita? I mean, seriously.

But I think we just got tired of spending money and always GOING somewhere to DO something. In Hillsboro, where we had to create our own fun, we took hundreds of insane pictures, had random dance parties to ridiculous music and sporadically made crafts, like collages and Canadian-American friendship T-shirts.

After a week of little sleep and lots of laughing, however, it was time for me to re-enter the world of reality and responsibility. Bluhh.

The last requirement for the Ministry Quest program I participated in this year was to spend a week doing the type of ministry I?m interested in. Since I feel that inner-city youth ministry has a place in my future, I chose to stay at City Union Mission in Kansas City for a week with Kalie George, who is on summer staff at the mission and was a youth leader at my church before graduating from Tabor.

I loved hanging out with the kids at the mission, just playing basketball or kickball with them, hearing about their lives or letting them play with my hair.

On my last night, 13-year-old Chelsea convinced her mom to cornrow my hair. It only took an hour, and all the kids were sure to take a picture with my phone every five minutes to send to my friends.

I?m not sure that I looked all that attractive with my hair peeled away from my forehead, but I was too excited to have legit ziz-zag cornrows to really care.

The next event in my freakishly busy summer is family vacation. As I write this, I?m sitting on my bed next to Sara, one of my best friends from Ministry Quest, listening to music and mocking humorous article topics in Seventeen Magazine.

We?re off the coast of North Carolina, staying near the Outer Banks with all the family on my dad?s side. It?s a lot like indoor camping: tons of fishing, swimming, game-playing, sun (I don?t really tan?just freckle), fish-eating (ick) and?spiders.

My cousin Ian, who?s like six months younger than me, desperately wants to be referenced in an article. I think I?m going to take this opportunity to casually mention the way he would relentlessly torment the 10-year-old version of myself with horror stories about bloodthirsty spiders the size of his leg, black snakes that would attack me at night and sand sharks that angrily chomp off the toes of swimmers that step on them. I still have difficulty swimming comfortably in the ocean and walking through the trees at night.

Thanks, bud.

I have just been informed that school starts in like three weeks?but I?d prefer not think about that just now. As much as I love back-to-school shopping for pencils and notebooks (I really do), I?d rather focus on attempting to tan my perpetually fair skin and eat fish. Maybe.