*My brother who, even when he only has 10 minutes, talks to me*
His brother graduated last year. He's in college. He is still his 16-year old brother's best friend.
*A party that pulls me from my comfort zone*
Oh-so-shy when we met. Now growing into a beautiful young lady with something important to say.
Every week, we sit on blue carpet.
It's a simple circle, ten souls, sharing hearts.
Our favorite time.
*Time of morning worship in my car*
This girl overflows with laughter and joy and Jesus; she blesses us daily.
*Clean streets after a storm*
Sweet, caring heart. Noticer of the little things. Encourager.
I read the book to them...
The words of thanks and gifts and praise.
The words that changed my life...
And we count gifts.
*A sister who likes to sleep in my room*
She'll be leaving in a year. Her family is her life. She actually realizes how special that is.
They're only 16 and 17, but they always bless me with their words.
Willing to share.
Longing to be heard.
Craving authentic connection.
They fall from her eyes, even now, revealing her heart and all that hides deep but comes to the surface in this safe circle.
Soon, I notice that they've brought in journals.
We call them joy journals.
I watch them, throughout the day, pens in hand.
They write feverishly, recording the gifts.
These love gifts from their Savior.
*That I'm not drop-dead gorgeous and can avoid all the drama*
Oh this girl...she's me. Yet she figured this out so much earlier than I did...
And all the girls agree.
*I can't even imagine who I'd be if I hadn't come to this school. I'm just so thankful...*
Fighting tears, many of them, because they truly love this guy.
*Teachers who care about our character and spiritual well-being*
And I smile, deep in my heart, silently thanking God for these moments.
Among all the notes about Abraham Lincoln, the reading quizzes, and the endless diagramming of sentences, He's given me a gift.
The beautiful gift of watching them bloom.
We're counting gifts.
They're seeking beauty.
My prayer is that they always will..
#283 Gift-sharing with juniors
#292 Jeans on clearance
#294 Crunch of perfectly-cooked grilled cheese
#302 Homemade vegetable soup
#303 That His Word does not return void
#320 Books with surprises
#324 Answered prayers and softened hearts
#325 When worship is more valuable than sleep
#333 Prayer that calms