For the Public Interest

Just a few updates and one thought…

1.) I will not hear about CSM this summer until the end of March. Please pray. If this falls through that is not very much time to come up with Plan B and my heart isn’t really into looking for Plan B.

2.) The day after my last post I almost fell again…I caught myself from falling by wrapping myself around a pole…in front of high school students. Just call me Grace.

3.) Tonight my roommates for next year and I had our first roommate dinner! I tried taking a picture of all three of us but the car was very dark. So for now you just get to see one of my housemates, Jessica.

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She hates it when I make this face, so I do it alot πŸ™‚ She is however very excited about tucking me in everynight!

And now for a thought……

If I could ask you to pray for “one thing” this week (if you only had room for one prayer I would forfeit the one above and ask you to focus on this one) it would be for the youth and youth leaders in your area.

This last week I talked to one of my campers 3 nights in a row. Her life is crap right now. Honestly it is probably beyond crap but she is still hanging in there. Her mom is in rehab, she is living with other family. She is 13 and experienced more than I ever have. She has been abused in every way and has unlimited potential. We talked for a long time. She needs your prayer. So do her youth leaders, the ones who get to talk to her everyweek and know what is going on in her life.

This morning at youth group I asked Brittney (13) what the highlight of her week was. Brit is one of those girls who you can kinda just tell has had a hard life. Her response was one of real excited. “Well, on Thursday we finally got a restraining order on my soon to be ex-step day. But it’s only on my mom because he hasn’t done anything to me lately” She went on to say a couple years ago he abused her but they wouldn’t extend the order to protect her because he hadn’t come near her lately. So pray for her. That he would stay away. That she would feel safe. That her walls would continue to come down. And pray for her youth leaders.

I talked to another friend, states away who works with her and her girls are dealing with heavy stuff. They need prayer. So does their youth leader.

So, take a moment and pray for the youth in their community. Pray for them and pray for the people who have the opportunities to connect with them. They need it

For the Public Interest

Faces in your heart

There are people who through the course of our lives make a great impact. Some become our best friends, some are our family, some an unlikely circle of support.Β  Some are teachers or coaches or speakers who shared insights of wisdom that shanghaid our way of thinking.

And some are “the least of these”

Matthew 25:40
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

For me, these are the faces in my heart. I love all the people I mentioned above, but there is a face that shows up when my heart is blesses or burdened. Anytime my classes talk about an unreached demographic or someone asks me about what I want to do this summer (which I still have not heard about :-/) there is a specific littleΒ  face I see. I can’t say for sure why his is the face I see. Maybe it’s because I see him and then think of all the little faces his age back home and their stories are so different. Maybe it’s because the 4 or 5 days I saw him he wore the same thing everyday. Maybe it’s because after that week I knew I wanted to make a difference but am still searching for how. Maybe it is because he was the least of these and I witnessed how a little love changed him.

His name is Anthony.

He was in the third grade when I met him and although he was tall there was no extra meat on his bones. His Adult Medium shirt didn’t help with this visual reminder that resources were limited in his house.

He went to school in the inner city of Chicago and his dark little face was never clean. His shirt, originally white, was stretched out around the neck from games of basketball and doubling as a napkin. It always hung towards his shoulder and got dirtier as the week went on. He wore it everyday. His teacher said it was not uncommon for her students to wear the same clothes for multiple days and sometimes a week. Anthony was one of those kids. He had a temper. He didn’t listen well. He struggled to read kindergarten level books. And he did NOT like me. At least not the first day, and why would he?

Here I was a white girl coming into his school like I knew what was going on; like I could help him. He had already learned that people leave and he knew I was no different. He would not speak to me the first day I was there. Anthony was supposed to come read with me in the hallway one day and he didn’t want to but once he did we sat and read and we did the same thing the rest of the week. He hated coming out in the hallway and looking weak but he was making progress.

By the end of the week he loved me and hugged me hard before I left. I think part of me will always feel like I helped harden him. The teacher explained to the class numerous times that I was just visiting and that my home was far away and I would have to go home but it was still hard to leave them knowing I was just another person who earned their trust and then walked away.

I don’t know where he is today. Hopefully he has found a new shirt, more than one and has escaped the future he and so many others in his school were headed for. He told me his daddy was a pimp (at the time I didn’t even know what that was). Anthony’s scared, hard little face remains in my memory and is etched in my heart. Why? I don’t know. But I do know that it is a reminder to do what I can for who I can.

Who is the face in your heart and why?

Faces in your heart

I can’t resist

Meet Abbey and Maddie

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They were thrilled to be interrupted from their whispered laughter to take this picture. But they love me and I was driving them so they obliged. These two are best friends. They live 6 agonizing hours apart but you would never know it. When they are together it’s like no time has past. It’s truly incredible.

They are both so unique and yet clearly best friends for a reason.

Now for a little backstory.

Maddie is the daughter of my former youth pastor and his wife. Abbey is one of the girls that I babysat since she was 6 months old (which was 10.5 years ago). Now, the youth pastors wife is hooked on Gilmore Girls, particularly the ball episode. So balls are quite the joke in the cornfield where they reside and thus back home too.

This is the conversation that I heard in our county courthouse while waiting for Abbey’s dad to get sworn in. (o what 12 year olds do and don’t know)

Maddie: (straight face) o my balls dropped!

Abbey: (laughing) Again!?

Me: What the world are you talking about?

Maddie: My balls, they just keep dropping farther

Both of them laughing: Duh, her boots!

Me: (laughing and making sure no one official heard) Of course you would say that. Come here and let me tie up your balls…wait that was no better. Just come here

Then I proceeded to tie her BOOTS that had balls on ties nice and tight and high where they stayed the rest of our adventure day.

I can’t resist

New Smew

I can not remember what year it is. Twice now I have had to ask mom if it’s 2009 (i think it’s 2010). Bah.

I feel since it’s a new year I should type some inspirational post, but I’m not really inspirational or inspired.

I feel I should do a 2008 in review. But the past is the past good and bad.

I feel I should do a picture review. But you all have seen my pictures.

I feel I should make resolutions. But I can’t resolve to do anything without Jesus and he didn’t send me a list yet. And considering what I ate yesterday, I think I already broke the one I was thinking of.

I feel I should find something profound to say, but Danielle has not updated anything for me to steal.

I feel I should have a new header. But I’m really not good at that stuff and would just get frustrated.

I think some of you might think I’m a pouty patty, but truly I’m not. πŸ™‚

So those are all things you won’t see in my first post of 2009. I’m not really sure what this year will be but I think it’s a year of dreams. A year to let some go. A year to see some come true. A year to explore what God implants in my heart. A year to be fearless and reckless of living out a dream. I’m more of an idea girl than a dream girl. But I think that just might change. I make no promises though.

So, as I have sat around and eaten a pan of rice crispy treats and enjoyed homemade strawberry limeades, I thought up some potential blog posts.

In 2009 you may see:

*To release or relish: What to do with dreams

*Babysitters club: Jody Training

*If you chew like that we can’t be friends

*Boots with the fur; Hats with balls

*Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego

*No

*When I grow up

Happy New Year Friends. I hope the things you enjoyed in 2008 will be good memories and continued in 2009. I pray the pain you felt in 2008 will not disappear but will be used in a way you may not understand to bring peace and growth. I pray we are all brave enough to start the year realizing how dirty we all are without God’s grace and willingly grab hold of it and live it.

Good day.

New Smew

Babies

While at home I got to spend a whole day with “my babies”. We ran errands. We went shopping for their Christmas concert outfits. We ate lunch. We went to a movie. We got in the hot tub. It was absolutely delightful. The only sad part was that my babies are old now. SO OLD. But they are my babies. Granted they are 13 and 11 in reality but I will always remember Abbey biting me and making me cry, and how she went through a phase (for a whole year) when she would only wear swim suits. And Kailey, sweet Kailey running and screaming anytime she heard a dog bark and practicing her tap dance in the kitchen. Now they are old and have solos in the Christmas program and shop in the same sections and style I do. (maybe I should graduate to women clothes but i don’t wanna)

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And then….I got to babysit these crazy kids

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I don’t know if you can see the two under water. Obviously they were estactic about taking pictures πŸ™‚

And my friend Emily came to the movies with us with Isaac and Daria

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Ya for babies…even when they are all grown up.

Babies

I am NOT Your Mother

this weekend i played nanny for three of my favorite kids. i love them, they are great children and we have a ton of fun. their parents were in Mexico with all the important people they work with and left us kids at home with a refrigerator of food and some play money…er money to do fun play things with, not monopoly money. so we had a great time. so we had a packed fun time. gracie, the youngest thinks it’s hilarious to call me mom when we are in public for the mere fact that i am NOT her mother and she really does look like she could be my child. ha. my favorite time where she did this was at the movies and i laughed, looked at her and said “I am not your mother” πŸ™‚ and then she said it again and fell down the stairs! hahahahah it was great! don’t worry it was more like a slip not a real get hurt fall.

ok so here are some highlights of our weekend. i like playing nanny. any parents want to go out of town. πŸ™‚

My little baby turned 6 this weekend

The girls and I went to a 3D movie while Aunt Jeanne suffered through the new Star Wars movie with the boys
The girls and I went to a 3D movie while Aunt Jeanne suffered through the new Star Wars movie with the boys

Lucas whipped up on all of us!

Their medal ceremony, complete with edible medals

It was Gracie’s birthday on Sunday so we decorated and had lots of fun!

πŸ™‚ take that for a picture post

I am NOT Your Mother