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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

the reason i spend so much time with 12-year-olds

when i was about 12, a family started coming to my church. mike and liz were their names.
they started working with our youth group and they. were. the. stuff. 
i mean for real. they rocked my world. 
they were in their early 30's and they treated me like i was totally important and like i really mattered. 
in real life i could have argued that liz considered me one of her best friends. 
that is just the way they made me feel.
i would ride my bike to their house, spend the afternoon. eat dinner with them, and play games. 
i loved every second i was with them.
they left our church after only a couple of years, but in that short time they had left a mark. a big one. 

fast forward about 15 years. i was married and had 2 boys. 
mike and liz had moved to Colorado and i heard they were coming to nh for a visit. 
they never contacted me so I could get the chance to see them again. i remember the night I heard they had gone back home. i laid in bed and cried like a little girl. honestly! i cried my eyes out. 
i remember thinking...what is my problem?! i am a grown woman with a family of my own! why should this affect me so much?! 
but it did. and I couldn't explain it, and i didn't want to share it with anyone. but it just did... this was the impact they had made on me. 
i don't share the story to sound bitter. i'm not bitter about it, 
i only share it to show how much of an impact two people can have on the life of one 12-year-old. 

See...i'm sure they were not thinking...i bet rachelle is crying right now since we didn't get together! 
i don't know that they actually fully understood what they did for me. 

they validated me at a crucial time in my life. 
they made me feel important.
they took the time to just share their life with me.

so here i am today.
monday at 2:30 rolls around, and i am totally giddy with excitement about who is about to walk in the door at 
The Porch
ya know why?
because you just never ever know how much your life can impact and influence others.

so maybe grant's life isn't going to be better 10 years from now because i play ping pong with him after school
maybe mercedes isn't going to accomplish great things in life because i am playing foosball with her.
and maybe matt, luke, clinton, aissa, nghia, and austin aren't going to go to change the world because i am asking them how their day was, or getting them another snack and drink.
but then...maybe it is.
see - you don't know.
and maybe you never will know!

i don't know if mike and liz know how much i looked up to them.
how much they affected me
and how thankful i am that they were a part of my life in middle school.

but i do know that i am going to take the time to invest in the lives of these kids who are going through so much right now. 
i am going to validate them, encourage them, build them up and pray for them.

so in case you were wondering why i spend so much time with 12-year-olds?
this should pretty much sum it up.


  1. great thoughts and unselfish living. Praise the Lord!

  2. Amazing. And so so true. Never knowing the power of our influence. Such great thoughts and such a great reminder. Keep up the great work, influencing those kids. Often times more than you even know!


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