It was my idea.
After all, I am a volunteer leader in the youth program at our church, and I lead a seventh grade girls small group. This position has embraced me over the past few months and I am truly falling in love with these kids.
What better way to connect with some of the young ladies than to have them over to my house for a whole night of controlled chaos. No parents, minimal rules, no pestering brothers, just fun. Chris made his own plans for the evening, and several parents and friends collectively held their breath.
Eight junior high girls. One me.
It was strange being on the other side of a slumber party, I'll admit. I'm pretty sure the last one I had with pre-teens and teenagers was when I was one. I like to think of myself as an auntie figure to them, but if you do the math, I could be their mom. I kind of like that. I also like that they want to spend time with me and they trust me.
And their actual parents trust me.
Even if I let their daughters stay up all night, scare them with ghost stories in the basement, fill them with sugar, let them be rowdy and run around my house, ask them about boys, and play along with their prank on my husband (something about dead bodies and me holding a knife dripping with ketchup).. they trust me.
They even thanked me.
Without a doubt, I feel like I have the best job in the world! I get to pour in to the lives of the youth, pray with them, laugh with them, encourage them, be silly with them, and some times discipline them, challenge them, and correct them.
I find that sincerity, humor and hugs go a long way.
Oh, and I get to send them home at the end of the day.
What also helps is how receptive and engaging these young people are. Maybe there's something in the milk out here? Not sure, but I really do enjoy their company and I am interested in helping them navigate through adolescence in to maturity, and seeing them become better versions of themselves.
Now, where's my pillow? I seem to have lost my sleep.