Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ladies of Grace - August 26th

Today I'm linking up to the Ladies of Grace carnival at Walk a Mile! We take a moment to recognize the grace in our lives over the past week - where did we receive it? Where did we give it? Where did we notice our hearts hardened and cold - and what did we do to open and soften them to a situation - or what did someone do for us, to soften our hearts? If you have a story, please link up with us, or leave a comment! We learn so much about each other, ourselves, and our faith journeys when we are willing to share our stories!

So this weekend, one of my youth group kids offered me grace... by shedding tears. She's one of the few youth group kids that honestly cares about me just as much as I care about her - she asks how my day was, she checks in on me when I'm sick, we joke about stories of first kisses, we comfort each other in times of sadness... She's off to college this weekend - and it's harder than she thought it would be.

In church on Sunday, we celebrated Confirmation - and sang a hymn that this girl helped make our "official Confirmation hymn." Her and I made eye contact - and goofy faces at each other. It was a song that (secretly) recognized her last Sunday with us - as well as challenged our confirmands to a life of faithful living.

After worship, and greeting visitors, and talking with numerous people... I made my way into my office to find this girl facing away from me, blowing her nose. I teasingly said, "Oh don't cry! I know you'll miss us!" She turned around - and was sobbing! She realized during worship that she was really leaving and how sad it made her! She would miss her church, the community of people - and me.

Man. Talk about a softened and warmed heart. We hugged and cried together for a moment. I gave her words of encouragement, and told her we'd all be here waiting when she came home. We cried some more, hugged some more - and then I started teasing again. Her tears dried into laughter and we were able to face the world once again.

Every year I mourn the kids that are "all grown up" and off to college... I spend years getting to know them and then one day they are gone... Some come back and stay in touch - some I never hear from again. It's an amazing gift to know when I will still be part of their life years from now... That I will be missed in the meantime. That I meant something to them. Grace in a world of disposable relationships.

Good luck, Kelsey - I'll be praying for you, thinking of you - and right here waiting, when you come home (ready to re-live the freshman year of college through all your stories!).

OH! And check out my GIVE-A-WAY! Entries must be in by Friday at noon!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A heavy quilt on a cool morning.
2. Ladies of Grace - what a neat idea to look over your last week and remember a moment of grace!
3. My ideas being taken well - and praised!
4. Planning worship for this Sunday... Some surprises in store...
5. Getting a lot done in the office today.
6. Meeting one of the hubby's new friends - very fun.
7. New friends who appreciate that I work in a church - rather than shy away from me. (When you work in a church, people tend to treat you like you're fragile...)
8. Stopping at Pottery Barn just to drool.
9. Coming home to a happy dog.
10. Getting ready for bed nice and early.


Beth said...

Lovely story! You are such a great role model! Kelsey is a great ummm I was going to say kid... hmmmm young adult!

Cheryl said...

You are a beautiful soul who has touched my life with your grace and love. Thank you, my friend...

R. Wallis @ TrueBeauty said...

Just stumbled upon your blog! My sister and bro-in-law are the youth pastors at our church, and the hubs and I help out a lot! I often believe that they are definitely more of a blessing to me than I to them. Great blog!

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