Today I have someone on my mind. See, I missed her at church this morning, even though it is my fault she is gone! :-)
I have this group of kids, the Super Random, God-Filled Crazy People and trust me, they are all of that and so much more! Through these kids I have been able to form connections and have so much fun! We play, we laugh and we study God's Word and how to apply it in our lives. Many of these kids go to my church, but some don't. And that doesn't matter! What matters is that we all love God.
Through this group I got to know a girl. Her nickname is Sparke. You pronounce a Long E at the end. My son who is 2.5 calls her "my Sharpie". This wonderful girl turned 18 and graduated high school in the last year and she has become like a daughter to me. She is truly the daughter of my heart. My kids have each been taking a turn going to my aunt's house in North Carolina and my aunt (who didn't even know her!) told her that she could have a turn too, so Sparke is in North Carolina at my Aunt Nanna's house this week.
Have you ever met someone and just connected? Just cared? That is kind of how I feel about Sparke. There is just something SPECIAL about her. She touches our entire family (even my hubby just loves her and thinks of her as a daughter!) and in such a positive way.
Oh, I am smart enough to know that she isn't perfect. But there is just something about her that fits with our family. I am so blessed to have connected with someone like that.
People think I am crazy because every Wednesday evening all summer my house is filled with teenagers. Lots of them! We often have 15-20 extra kids here! Some of the kids LOVE God and really want to learn about Him. Some don't know God and just come to hang out with friends. But you know what, each and every one of those kids is special. And I am supposedly the leader of this group, but in reality they teach me so many things! It is through this group that I have been blessed to know Sparke. It is through this group that my 12 and 13 year old daughters have gotten to know good kids who are a positive influence on them. My anti-social hubby comes out and plays a bit with this group of kids. We laugh, we have fun, we experiment with food (Do you know how FAST 15 teenagers can go through an entire POT of Mac N Cheese that includes 10 boxes!) and we talk openly and candidly about God. We don't hide from topics, we don't hint at stuff. We get out the Bible, we read what it says and we really honestly figure out how it applies to our lives TODAY! We accept people. We love them. It is amazing.
Through all this, even though it started out as me serving God, I can't help thinking about my blessings! When these kids hurt, I hurt, when they are happy, it makes me happy. When they connect with God, I feel JOY! It is amazing!
Are any of you involved with something that started out as a way for you to serve and you got majorly blessed instead? Sometimes I feel guilty because I feel like I am getting so many more blessings that I get!