For starters, let me apologize for the silence the last few days. If you keep up with me on instagram, you know I spent last week in Orlando at the Youth Leader Experience and Rock The Universe. [Which, good gravy Rock The Universe has already got it's 2014 website up and I haven't even finished my laundry from the week! Sheesh.]
I spoke or was interviewed eight times in six days and so that means six photo-op ready outfits and hello I do not live like that in my real life. It was early mornings and late nights and I promise I loved every minute of it. My family joined me on Friday, so I was able to spend the weekend with them as well, which was awesome.
[Biggest thanks to Word, Girls of Grace, and Zondervan for taking me to the place where dreams come true... and pretty much making all mine come true as well.]
So. Marshmallow bricks. It’s time I explained.
Here’s the thing. I preached my first ever Sunday service this weekend. Three times in a row. [That's me.... on the far left with the microphone.]
WHOA, right? I know. I was sweating like I was running a 10K for a few reasons: because I was preaching outside in the heat of Florida and because ALL THE PEOPLE.
As I was praying for months about a sermon topic, I kept thinking about these students, about 1500 per service, needing a solid foundation. I talked with my friend and co-Girls of Grace speaker Chris Wheeler and he said it should be the difference between marshmallows and legos.
And that got my wheels spinning.
I decided that when we discuss a solid foundation, I wanted to compare standing on real bricks to standing on marshmallow bricks, and bring them with me from Nashville. [It felt like a stresser to try to build them in Florida... I didn't have time to BLOG much less build marshmallow bricks.]
But this whole plan would require some ingenuity.
Insert smart intern Sarah here. Sarah [on the far right] took jumbo marshmallows and bound them with toothpicks and water and recruited other small group gals [Kendall and Hannah] to work as well.
Before we knew it, we had fifteen jumbo marshmallow bricks made. We stuck them in the fridge, then laid them on the counter for a while to dry out, then put each in it’s own large ziplock bag and then I flew to Florida with an entire suitcase full of jumbo marshmallow bricks. Exactly 31.5 pounds worth.
Once in Florida, I practiced my full talk multiple times- making sure I knew how to explain how a wise man builds his house upon the rock [bricks that I bought at Home Depot in Orlando] and the foolish man builds his house upon the sand [or marshmallows, as the case may be].
Sunday morning came and in each service, I would bring up two students. One to stand on the bricks and one to stand on the marshmallows. I would remind the students that we can stand on things like the holiness of God, the security of His love and His plan for our lives, and Jesus’s death and resurrection. And I would mention again that while things like our friendships, abilities, and relationships are GOOD THINGS, like marshmallows, and have a place and a purpose, like s’mores, they are not things we can stand on.
And it was awesome every time.
[This may be one of my favorite pictures ever because my face says EXACTLY how I feel about high school and college dudes- I absolutely LOVE THEM TO PIECES.]
So I guess you can see why we had to make fifteen bricks- five for each service. Because, ya know, there wasn’t really any reusing them. And you can see the cute girl on my other side and her bricks she stood on.
["...on which she stood"? I dunno. Grammar. Woof.]
So I hope that explains fairly well why marshmallows took over my life last week.
I could tell you so much more about the week in Orlando- how I saw many of my musician friends from Girls of Grace events, how much I enjoyed my time with the staff and executives from these companies that now consider me a part of their families, how my family tackled Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure like they were teenagers.
Mainly, I’m home now and all I can do it thank God for letting me live this life, as different as it is from what I dreamed and expected, and how I can’t wait to hold a microphone and talk about Jesus all over again.
This weekend. In Phoenix. Sans marshmallows.