Monday, January 9, 2012

"My grandma got me clip-on earrings for Christmas that look real because I can't pierce my ears until I'm 14."

Just like that we're back in the routines and rhythms of real life. I felt like a camp counselor meets Junior High teacher today-- as my new kids walked into my room every period it was like having new campers arrive to your cabin on check-in Sunday. You've seen their names on a list, maybe heard a little bit about them, and are excited to finally put a face to the name. We played a loud name game, I told them stories about camp and Young Life, and we learned about the graffiti artist Banksy.

I was thrilled to find this pop can angel waiting on my counter when I arrived. One of my students from last semester made it for me over Christmas Break, she's quite the craftster. It's bittersweet to switch classes at semester. I get nostalgic when some of my students come to visit me and tell me they miss my class but it's exciting to have this fresh start again.

I feel like I have new energy and renewed positivity for this crew of kids. I've got my key phrases up for positive reinforcement, a new set of lessons and activities, and I want to focus on one kid at a time being the best teacher I can for each one of them. This is going to be a great semester--I can feel it.

Tonight also brought the return of Young Life. Oh how I have missed this. Mondays just aren't the same without gathering together in the Miller house. This community is a beautiful thing to be a part of. As per our usual routine, I had dinner at Bella with girls before hand. Everyone trickles down to the basement and finds their circle of friends on the couches or on the floor. It seemed like forever since I'd seen the other leaders and all of us had missed one another's presence these past few weeks. Tyler Bender played guitar, Tony rocked the box drum and together this choir of High School kids sang the words of Glory To God, Heaven Son, and Arms Open Wide like it was their job.

Tonight's Campaigners will go down in the books as one of my favorites. Just as the new school day reminded me of check-in at camp, tonight was echoing one of my very favorite devotions. We read, "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 1: 4-6 together and Jake talked a little about living a life worthy of the calling in the next year.

While Tyler played guitar we spread out around the room and wrote letters to ourselves as though we were writing them a year from now about what we had done in the past year to live this life worthy of the calling. Maybe it's because I love reading and writing so much, but I think that this act of writing a letter to yourself connects you to God in a different way than when you're just talking about it. Later, one of the Senior girls said, "I don't know why, but I'm in like a different place when I'm writing these things. I look back at it and think who is this girl?"

We sat upstairs in the guest room and talked about our letters with our whole Campaigners group and I was encouraged to hear these girls talk about the people they want to be. Yes, we've got to do the hard work of becoming those people day in and day out but they have a picture of the person God has called them to be. When we split into even smaller groups I sat with Samantha and Megan talking about our specific hopes and fears about living this life worthy of the calling and then prayed together. These girls are shining the light of Christ and they don't even realize how bright it is. Sitting in a triangle with them was one of my best moments of the whole day.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to be in your class. Seriously. When I come stay with Mom and Dad for a week in April can I come sit in on your class for a period or two? I would just love to see you teach!