Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's the small things that make a huge impact...

The youth and I worked the chili supper on Friday night.  It was a lot of fun and the youth did an awesome job serving and helping out in the kitchen.  It is always amazing to watch them so willingly give up a Friday night to help with something at church.  I often ask myself if I would of been willing to help out with something at church on a Friday night? 

The most amazing and touching part of the night had nothing to do with the chili supper at all.  While we were cleaning up and getting ready to leave for the night Alex and Eliza came over and said they had something to give me.  People keep having questions for me so they had to wait but I could see they were excited.  When I was finally able to give them my attention Alex pulled her hand out of her jacket and handed me a package of Reese's peanut butter cups.  She said these are for you.  I asked her where she got them from.  She told me that they got them out of the vending machine.  I gave them a hug and thanked them.

When I got home I got to thinking about it and it really meant a lot more than just someone giving me something.  Those girls spent their own money and thought of me when they saw the Reese's peanut butter cups in the vending machine.  All the youth know they are my favorite candy but for them to take the time to buy them for me meant so much to me.

I don't do what I do in order to get things from the youth but when they take the time to buy me candy, write me a letter, or give me anything it makes me feel amazing.  I am blessed to have the relationship I have with my youth.  My job is so rewarding just because I get to know so many different youth and spend time with the future of this world. 

A small gesture such as buying candy doesn't go unnoticed.  It may not seem like a big deal to the youth that gave it to me but it is a big deal to me!  Thank you Lord for all the blessings that you have given me in my life especially all of my youth! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letting Go, and Letting God

Yesterday during church I was deeply moved by Liz's testimony.  Having been a part of the process since she originally wrote her testimony for Pilgrimage, I have read, edited, and heard her deliver the testimony numerous times but it was never as moving as it was to watch her up there on Sunday.  Although we have worked through her pain a couple of times I could see her letting go of even more of it as she shared things with our congregation that only a select few of us knew prior to Sunday.

 Liz is a person that keeps everything inside and closely guarded and I have had to use many different tactics to get her to open up and share what is wrong.  All of us keep things inside and they cause us pain and angst.  We often forget that there are people out there that love us and care for us and want to help us through pain and making difficult decisions.  If we don't allow others to help us then we end up doing more harm to ourselves by keeping it inside instead of releasing it.

People say they don't see God in their pain.  They say they don't see him when they are suffering and need him most, yet they overlook that person that is asking them if they are ok or if they want to talk.  I think that is God right there in front of them.  I think God uses us to help each other and we have to open up and share our pain so that God can help us.  I believe he puts people in our way to help us.  A person asking you if you are ok or if you want to talk doesn't seem like anything different or special, but if you notice it often comes at the most opportune time when you need it most.  It may even come from someone you don't expect it to come from. 

It is in that moment that we need to understand that not only is God there with us in our pain and suffering he is listening, he is loving us, and he is sending us the help we need.  80 percent of what I do is listen to youth talk.  I listen to their problems whether they are big or small. God uses me to help our youth just simply by listening to them.  It took me hearing Liz's testimony yesterday to realize how much God uses me for that.

I am so proud of you Liz!  I can only imagine what it was like to go up there and share the wonderful things that God has done in your life.  I am so glad that he gave me an opportunity to be a part of your life!  You are amazing!  I love you and thank you for sharing your spiritual journey with our congregation. 

God is good.... All the time....   All the time... God is good!