The quality of being thankful: readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Lots to be grateful for this week!
I mentioned last week that on Sunday we were able to dedicate the son of some friends in Church. What a sweet privilege. Here we are listening to the his parents read the letter wrote to him, this is something we do at our Church and it’s so touching every time. He was adorable, let me hold him right up till the time we were praying over him, and then he wanted mama back. He was wiggly and chatty which makes the dedication all that much more fun and memorable for everyone. We feel so grateful for his life, for his parents and the opportunity for them to express their heart for him in front of their friends and family and our Church. I’m not used to carting a baby on my hip! I’m a little out of practise!
Also this week was the end of our regular youth ministry programming for the season. Every year we gather at a local park and celebrate with a big BBQ. We have a youth group of 50+ kids so, when everyone gathers with their families, there’s a whole lot of people! This year the storm clouds rolled in and poured down rain on us, so it’s a good thing we had the picnic shelter. About 150 of us tucked in there to welcome new grade 6’s in, celebrate the grade 12 grads and thank the youth staff. Always a fun night.
These three lovely people above are so special to us. They are the two interns and youth pastor (I’ve introduced you to him before). They are like family to us and I’m very grateful for the time they invest in our kids, how much the care about them, and how precious it is to have role models building into your kids’s lives as teens.
The next two photos are of my boy’s own small group leaders at youth.
Our youngest son had two guy leaders, one has already left to be home for the summer. They were great leaders for a group of energetic grade 7 boys.
And along with my older son’s goofy face, these are his small group leaders. He’s in a group of grade 10 - 12 students, guys and girls, and these leaders are amazing, they have deep conversations with the kids and are also so fun. They give a lot of their time even outside of youth to the kids. The guy our son is piggy-backing (also seen above) has been his leader for 5 years. What a gift!
I have loved the teen years with my kids. I really enjoy their growing maturity (notice I said “growing”, we’re not all the way there yet :) ...and I also love that in the midst of some of the bumps and bruises of what growing up looks like for these kids, they have other people that are coming alongside of us, and them who are able to say, “you matter”, “you have a purpose”, “I think you’re great”, and by their example they live out Jesus’ love to each of them. You’ve heard it takes a village to raise a child. Well these lovely people are part of our village, and we feel very blessed.