Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 years from now...

i know i spend a lot of time talking about how crazy our schedules are and how i'm never getting enough sleep and how stressful life can be and blah da blah da blah...
...so you will probably think i am out of my mind when i tell you that i just started a study group for middle and high school girls in my home.
whether or not this was an 'out of my mind' decision remains to be seen...but i can tell you that so far i am super glad that i am doing it.

i have several amazing students who serve alongside me in our children's ministry on Sunday mornings.  it has been fun to connect with them each week but there is only so much bonding that can be done when there is a wild bunch of 1st-5th graders running circles around you.

for a couple of months i have been praying about the possibility of doing a 6 week study with them to allow us to get to know each other better and hopefully provide a little bit of encouragement for a few teenage hearts.

last month i miraculously won a contest that emily freeman offered on her blog {i never win anything}.  a week later a box full of books, journals, and cute little cards arrived on my doorstep.  i was beyond thrilled because i read emily's book 'grace for the good girl' earlier this year and loved it so i knew her latest words written for young women would be the perfect content for our study.

to kick off our first week the girls and i actually traveled to greensboro on sunday night to hear emily speak and participate in the official launch of 'graceful'.  the evening was...well...delightful.  there was a sweet time of worship, wise {and hilarious} words from emily, and an impressive spread of desserts {plus the most delicious apple-ginger punch i have ever had...i had 3 cups...shhhh...don't tell}.
here we are with emily {isn't she adorable?}...
on a side note - i am one of those people who finds no shame in asking a random person to take a picture.  the particular 'random' people who took these pictures for us wound up being nationally acclaimed singer-songwriters christa wells and nicole witt {who so graciously took our phones, checked to make sure the flash worked, took 2 or 3 shots just to make sure they got a good one, kindly handed our phones back and then proceeded to walk up onto stage to take their places behind their instruments and microphones...i had to laugh}.

ok...ok...you are wondering what in the world this has to do with my 31 days of mommyhood.  i'm getting to that...i promise.  here it is...

10 years from now lucy will be a teenage girl {deep sigh}.  i see her in the faces of our babysitters, our student leaders at church, the girls behind the counter at chick-fil-a.  i imagine how the newly developing little personality that i live with now will translate over into the heart of a 14 year old.  it excites me.  it scares me.  it moves me to step into the lives of teenagers right now.

the truth is...in addition to being compelled as a leader to pour into the lives of six sweet young women, i am also compelled as a mother to understand the season my daughter will be entering in the blink of an eye.  

what are their struggles?  what are their dreams?  what helps them the most...and what hurts deep?  how do they see themselves?  how do they look through the eyes of others?    what are their doubts?  in what do they believe?  who is Jesus to them...and how is that shaping their lives?  what are they hiding behind...and what will it take to find them?

it's a mutually beneficial thing...this 'graceful girls' group.  God willing we will all come out on the other side with more wisdom, freedom, and grace than when we started.