The American Psychological Association has released an article linking parents' toxically high expectations to perfectionism in college students. Oftentimes, these unrealistic standards and imposed perfectionism have negative effects on the students' mental health. This perfectionism applies not only to academics but also to athletics, behavioral patterns, etc. It's difficult to pinpoint when and how this shift occurred in parents' mentality, but regardless, it's important that parents and teens are aware of what's happening and take steps to address any unhealthy habits that arise.
This week, River Valley Worship has released a new live single "Thank You Lord". The group is made up of many different talented artists all based out of River Valley Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "Thank You Lord" focuses on praising God for all that He has done for us as believers, from being saved to being present in our day-to-day lives. The chorus focuses on directly thanking God, listing out some of His qualities, and how they affect us. The single itself features a lot of contemporary aspects with the added layers of a live congregation joining in worship. Altogether, "Thank You Lord" is a great worship song for a worship set or for singing along in the car when you don't feel like worshiping alone.
This week's game is great for any age group or group size. Caterpillar Race needs plenty of room to work, but otherwise, nothing else is needed. Split your students into teams - as many teams as you want - and have them stand in single file lines. Students should put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. This game is a race, so go ahead and choose an endpoint as well. When you say go, students must caterpillar walk to the finish line. To do this, the first person in line hops forward, then the second, the third, and so on. Only one person on the team can hop forward at a time! When the last person in line hops, they have to yell out a team name or a code word that lets the line leader know they can hop again. You can also play this game relay-style but by putting out a cone or chair the students have to hop out to, turn around, and make it back. Have fun!
Did you know that when you work out, you're actually tearing muscles? Here's an article explaining how it works in detail, but essentially, these tears are called "microtears" because they are so small that they won't cause serious damage. This is part of the reason why you are sore afterward, though. Putting your body through all of that intense work and pain leads to you growing stronger in the long run.
I believe that our Christian life works a lot like this as well. We grow stronger when we are "torn" to pieces, and when we're broken. We know that when we are stretched to our very limits, there is a good reason for it in the future. The valleys of our life help us to grow in our faith and develop greater confidence in God.
This is the time of year when students are graduating, and they begin wondering what their next step is. Whether it's what high school to go to, what college to attend, or where to work after high school or college, there are all sorts of emotions and fear surrounding the uncertainties ahead. Be aware of these anxieties when reaching out to friends in the next couple of weeks. Be sensitive to the fact that they might be more worried and stressed than normal. Give them a little bit of extra grace.
For those that are approaching a season of change, know that it's a part of life. Change is inevitable. Be encouraged by the fact that the good and bad seasons draw us closer to God. Either way, we end up closer to God if we continue to seek Him.
Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
We will be taking a break for the summer, so this will be the last post for a few months. Also, Taylor Bumgarner is moving on to bigger and better things after her college graduation. I just want to take a bit to thank her for all that she's done for Quest in the past year. Come the beginning of the Fall Semester, we hope to have a new writer to bring their unique perspective and ideas to the blog.