Thankful 21.

I am SO thankful for EFY!
In case you haven't realized my obsession with this either... I LOVE EFY!
Not only are they such uplifting weeks and the highlights of my summer, but I meet some incredible people. These people have come into my life for a reason and I have learned so much from all of them. And now, some of these people are my really close friends! I have loved EFY every since I was a participant and even enjoy it more now that I am more in charge and meet some incredible kids and co-workers! I've been touched and blessed by so many people over the years from EFY. Honestly without EFY, I wouldn't have met half the friends I have now. Not to mention, I LOVE the music. I listen to it all the time, especially when I need to be uplifted. It's great. Basically, EFY has been such a blessing in my life!
Let me just introduce you to some (sorry if some means A LOT)

Remember Sweet Kaycie? We definitely met back in 2005 as participants in the same group. Since then, we have grown super close and are pretty much the same person. We've been participants, co counselors, BC's, and she was my FC this year. It has been so much fun to have this girl in my life. I know the Lord put her in my life at the right time and has blessed my life so much. I won't brag too much since I just did a few weeks ago. Thanks to EFY, this woman has become one of my best friends. I love her.
This is Miss Katie Claire.
We met our last year as participants in 2006 and were able to be counselors together for 2 wonderful years, and eventually roommates for a year! We shared the same love and obsession for EFY and hit it off right away. Now she is off and married, but I sure do love her and miss her.
This is Sister Harrell. Wow, I love this girl a lot! I met her at EFY in 2009, but sadly we didn't really become friends till the 2nd week in Georgia. She told me that we were going to become great friends because the Braves game was on in our dorm during pizza night (we lived in the sam building). Yes, we share the same love for the Braves. And ever since then, our friendship grew. We've had lots of laughs and heart to heart conversations. She is the definition of a true friend. I know I can always talk to her and she'll always be there for me. I'm so glad we've become such great friends. It has made EFY all the better with her around.
This is Rachy. She is my 3 year old twin. I don't know what it is, but whenever we are together, we tend to act like children. But we have so much fun together! She makes me laugh so much and helps me forget about all my troubles. Not to mention, she has been such a great friend to me too! We've grown so much closer since we met last summer in 2009 at EFY.

This is my Niners. Nina and I were co-co's in Summer 2009 and then I was her BC this summer too! I love Nina. She is so witty and always has the funniest things to say! She can honestly make me laugh for HOURS! She's also been a good friend. Sadly, she is in Virginia most of the year so the only time I get to see her is at EFY. But we make the most of it those few short weeks together. I love this cute girl.

This was my awesome Southeast team from this summer- (top: Jordan, Philip, Heather, Ammon, Annette bottom: Ellen, Andre, Kaycie, and Me. other picture: Ben) Holy smokes- BEST TEAM EVER! I don't even know how I got so lucky to be a part of such an awesome team! Not only did we all get along, but even our Health Counselors were Amazing and wanted to be a part of this team with us! I knew some before (just Kayc and the BC boys... I had been co's with Andre and Philip years before, and I met Jordan through Kayc) We all became super good friends over the few weeks and was sad to leave them all. But we really became close and made this summer at EFY awesome!
As of Friday- ANDRE AND ELLEN ARE ENGAGED! :) I am so excited for them!
I am grateful for these 2 boys who were with me from the beginning. Mr. Daniel Joyner and Brandon Norlund. Sadly, they weren't at EFY this summer but they played a huge impact on my life the first 3 years. They were always there for me and encouraged me whenever I was feeling down. They were two of the major reasons I decided to be a BC last summer because they gave me so much confidence. And I'm so glad I listened to them! They always had faith and trusted in my abilities. I sure do love them.
Ok so maybe we were friends before we became counselors. But really, EFY as participants is what brought us together as friends. And lucky for me- they both game as counselors this summer and we had a blast! I love Tay and Brandon. They always make me happy and bring a smile to my face!
And of course, I've met some FABULOUS youth! Honestly, they are the greatest kids I have ever met! I feel at times like they are my own kids and I am constantly thinking of them and want the best for them. They have been an example to me and have strengthened my testimony.
These 2 cute boys are Casey and Matt. Matt is on a mission and I've known him for a few years, and at this point- Casey wasn't a member and was barely introduced to the church before he decided to come to EFY. This kid had a testimony and knew the church was true. After EFY, he called me about a week later to tell me he was getting baptized in a few weeks! I was thrilled! Some kids teach me so much just by their examples.
"The Crew" Wow.. I have known some of these cute kids since my first year as a counselor and it made every year after that much better. I have always looked forward to seeing them every summer. I was lucky enough last year to have 4 of these cute boys in my group and it was a blast! They have their heads on straight and their futures look bright. I sure do love them all.
All in all, this company I had was fabulous! I've had some pretty awesome companies and co-co's most of my time at EFY. They have all strengthened me and helped me feel confident in my abilities teaching.
And minus Ryan in the background, I've known Kels and Linds since they were youngins. It's always been fun to have them around and I've watched them grow into beautiful young women. I feel like they are my little sisters and I am so proud of them and who they are today.
Honestly, if you know me at all, I could RAVE about EFY and all the fabulous people I have met and who have impacted my life. But mainly, I just focused on the friends I've made this year (cause if I started from the beginning that'd be trouble and take WAY too much time). EFY has changed my life for the better and am SO grateful I've had the opportunity to be a part of this great program for the past 4 years. It is the ultimate happiness in my life.


Kate Harrell said...

excellent post, ashley kay! i'm sure grateful that we're friends now too. you're wonderful and i love you a whole lot!

Kaycie Q said...

yaaay! EFY 2011 here we come!

bigbizzle said...

I don't know why it took me so long to see this, but it touched my heart. You are amazing Ashley Kay!! Love you lots! Hope this summer is amazing!