Summer 2017 was a summer of learning. Overall, it was a phenomenal summer. It was one filled with disappointment, spontaneity, and loads of great memories. Although it certainly did not meet my every expectation, I would not change one thing about this summer.
Summer started off slow enough. Work didn’t pan out exactly as I had hoped, but I was able to grow from that setback. I thought I had my summer all planned out and ready to roll, but I came to realize that I shouldn’t be relying on my own plans. I needed to be abiding in God and following His will for my life. It was eye-opening and calming. It seems so basic, but it is one of the hardest things for me to do.
Another lesson I learned was in the area of prioritization. Specifically, in the realm of making sure I take time out of my day to read the Bible and pray. I was willing to stay up till 3AM for a sneaker release and then wake up at 4AM to go on a run, but I couldn’t carve out 15 minutes to meditate on God’s Word. As silly as it may seem, I took a break from both of those things in order to gain perspective. Since I was prioritizing them over God, I was making sneakers and running idols in my life. They may not seem like traditional idols, but anything that is put ahead of God is considered one. It was a definite reality check. I since have been trying to make sure that I read the Word and pray first thing when I wake up before I do anything else.
I definitely had some memorable moments throughout the summer. Whether it was a spontaneous day trip, or attempting to cop Yeezys during a Vietnamese church service (I told you I had a problem), there never seemed to be a dull moment. I’m writing this on my way to Michigan and I can’t help but reflect on some of the great times I had this summer. Here’s a noncomprehensive list of people that helped shape my summer into what it became. PS, if you’re not on here, you probably didn’t eat ½ Price Apps with me enough times for me to remember you. Just kidding. Mostly.
Shout out to you for being the only person to grab breakfast with me all summer. I loved being able to talk with you about the deeper things in life. You definitely have wisdom beyond your years and I hope that you utilize it. You have a knack for leadership and a lot of those younger than you see you as an example. Also, thanks for driving me back from camping that one time, finally.
I actually did the math, and I swam in your pool 87.23% less than I did last summer. With that off my chest, I just wanted to let you know that it’s been fun to watch you grow and mature. You have a direction that you want to go, and you’re willing to stick to it. Remember this: don’t let other people’s thoughts determine your actions, but don’t be afraid to heed wise counsel.
Thanks for taking me camping. I almost died, but it was fun. I also really appreciated the links to songs that were weeks old. They really turned me into a music connoisseur. In all seriousness, I appreciate your ability to call me out and keep me humble. My hope for you is that you can obtain whatever it is that you’re righteously pursuing.
You are to Perkin’s as I am to Applebee’s. Thanks for always being down for almost anything, no matter how crazy. I also appreciate how blunt you are and how often you put me in my place. Keep the faith and rely on God. With God at the forefront, there’s no way that you won’t have a wonderful life. Although, please remember to drive sanely so that you can actually enjoy your life and not die.
I love your work ethic and your commitment to the grind in order to become the best basketball player the Long family has ever seen. However, your most defining quality is that you are always down to go to Applebee’s. When no one else was willing, you pulled through. Your compassion for others and ability to discern is sure to help you in the upcoming years.
It seems just like yesterday that the tides had turned. Now you’re all grown-up and headed off to college. Your calming presence always brought a much-needed counterbalance to my wild ideas and plans. During the times that I could pull you away from League of Legends, I had an absolute blast. I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses you in your future endeavors. Just please don’t lose my luggage like that one kid over spring break.
I’ll overlook the fact that you attend a fake college and focus only on the good stuff. Our trip to Minneapolis was nothing short of legendary. The story about you teaching me to drive stick is whole other post in itself. I truly do appreciate your hospitality and letting me crash at your place numerous amounts of times throughout the summer. Don’t let your relationship status define you, and you’ll be just fine.
Out of everyone on this list, you by far consistently get the freshest cuts. This upcoming year for you will be a defining one. It will test you and push you to own your faith and not ride on the coattails of others. I love your servant attitude and willingness to help out wherever needed. Maybe with a little more faith and spirituality, you can go a little higher on the hammock ladder or actually man up and squash the beef.
Thanks for always returning my sunglasses when I left them at your place. That ticket to 80/35 was a nice surprise. Even though you flaked a few times, I appreciate your willingness to be spontaneous and. I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.
Even though we didn’t get to do a lot of the stuff we had planned, I would still call this summer successful. A lot of the times we hung out, it was just simply talking and relaxing. It gave me a good break from my crazy life. I’m also glad to say that every time I have been kicked out of a parking garage, you have been with me. Oh look, a plane!
You weren’t around much this summer, but it was for a worthy cause. Your passion for the gospel and willingness to share is truly inspiring. From me screaming your name in Alaska, to watching you dominate on the volleyball court, you are responsible for some of the most iconic moments in my life. Thanks for always being a friend and I pray that you will keep doing great things for the Lord.
K. Van Auken
The sheer amount of times you asked me about sneakers was enough for me to remember you this summer. That, and the fact that you sold your Xbox for a pair of Yeezys (that you couldn’t cop), was lowkey legendary. Thanks for always making me feel like sneakers weren’t a complete waste of time. Anytime I need some Arnold Palmer, I’ll make sure to slide through Fareway for that sweet 60% discount.