August was crazy for me this year. I had 6 girls staying at my house for a little over 3 weeks. It was back to school time. I started a different job. And it was hot. So when the youth pastor at my church sent out the e-mail asking for small group leaders, it got pushed to the bottom of the pile, and I never answered him. Then September came around, and I got a text message from one of the girls that was in my Bible Study last year. She asked me to be their leader again. I said yes, which brings us to the pumpkins.
Last week we walked to the Farmer's Market.
They each came home with a pumpkin, and I came home with sweet potatoes, acorn squash, apples, zucchini, yellow squash and a few tomatoes...but that's another story...which includes cobbler, stew & deliciousness.
When we got home, we got started on the mission of transforming the pumpkins from simple gourds into master pieces. I have a talented bunch of sophomores.
My first experience with these girls was three years ago when they invaded my house for Epic Weekend. I hosted their grade level, and that is when I learned just how crazy a gaggle of girls can get. We stayed up way too late, ate a million chocolate chip cookies, and made 3D cube pancakes.
(One of these days I'll get around to blogging about how to make 3D pancakes - then again, I can't give away all my secrets, Internet!)
After I fell in love with them during Epic weekend, I started hosting their small group. Now they are my sophomore girls. It's weird to think that I used to call them my middle school girls. They have definitely changed, yet they are so much the same.
I almost didn't say yes when I got the text at the beginning of September because I'm trying to learn how to slow down and not spread myself so thin. I'm so glad that I did though because they are a blessing to me in so many ways. We have so much fun together drinking coffee, laughing about boys, and painting pumpkins.
The evening after they left my house, a friend of mine came over for dinner. I profusely apologized for the mess in my dining room explaining that only a couple of hours earlier there were a bunch of girls sprinkling glitter and dipping brushes and figuring out which bottle of glue wasn't dried up yet. She forgave the mess, and said something that has stuck with me.
She said, "I wonder how different my high school experience would've been if there had been a group of girls that I could paint pumpkins and walk to the farmer's market with." It made me realize that my girls aren't looking for an amazing Bible Study with lots of insight and delicious snacks. They just need a place to belong. A place where they can talk about the ridiculous things that happen in high school and no one will think they're crazy.
The truth is that they are crazy, but then again, so is their leader. It works for us.