Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reflections from Beach Retreat Leader

I spent that last week with 1,300 7th and 8th grade students from Second Baptist Church in Houston and here are my randoms thoughts, reflections and lessons learned. 

When you only have 15 precious vacation days, it's really REALLY hard to decide how to use them.  I was a bit torn about using them to go to Beach Retreat, becasue let's face it, vacation is supposed to be time off, relaxing and recharging to get back to work.  Looking back now it should have never even been a tough decision.  The Bible says we are to
 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matt 28:19-20

Standing in the wave pool at Schlitterbahn early Thursday morning, I witnessed hundres of lives changed.  Young people who made a decision to walk with Christ.  Think about that for a minute, let it soak in....these kids are the FUTURE, we must do all we can to set them on the right path, one of wholesomeness, purity and a love for The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  So yeah, not so tough a decision when it's put that way.  Investing in our future and more importantly following the Great Commission given by Jesus to his disciples, those that call him Master of their lives.  That's me, and that's my calling and if I'm so selfish to only want to use the gift of time off for my own selfishness, then I'm not living the life I was created to live.  Will I go next year....YOU BET!! (It's also not so hard because it was so freaking fun!!!)

A part of Beach Retreat was one on one time with each girl in my cabin.  I can't share what they each shared with me, but two things resonated in the conversation I had with them. (If your daughter was in my cabin, please know that these observations are not specific to one girl or general to all girls, they are just thoughts that I had after spending time with the girls.  Also, I think all these thoughts relate to boys and their parents as well, just flip the roles)

1.  Moms...your daughters want to spend time with you. Even if they don't act like they like you, they crave a listening ear and sound advice. Moms are so busy running the household, whether you are a SAHM or a working mom...we are the schedulers, organizers and keepers of all things to keep up with everyone and everything. I know we are busy moms, I have two sons, one with Austim and I work full time.  But you HAVE to stop what you are doing and plan time with each one of your kids one on one.  Moms, your daughters need "girl time" if they aren't getting it from you, they will seek it out from their friends.  Those friends will then be the ones giving them advice on all sorts of topics and issues.  Those friends are young and immature just like your daughters.  YOU need to be the one giving advice and being sound ear to listen.  Plan one on one time, a pedi, lunch date, shopping date, or girl time laying on the bed in their room.  If she seems closed off and uninterested, keep trying and no matter what she tells you or wants to talk about, don't judge, belittle or act superior. 

2.  Dads...your daughters adore you!  At this age, girls are looking for attention and acceptance, and as they enter puberty more and more they are looking for it from males.  Love your daughter, adore your daughter, tell her how beautiful she is, take your daughter on special "dates" just the two of you.  If your daughter feels any sort of disconnect with you, she will go looking for it elsewhere.  Even if you don't understand her, think she is from another planet, and feel like you can't relate to anything in her life.  You can "date" her, you can show her how much you love and adore her.  Buy her flowers!!  My dad did all of these things with my sisters and I, although I know at times he was overwhelmed with estrogen in our house, he adored us.  Becuase of that we all have a healthy relationship with and about men.  We know how a man should treat a woman and all three of us are strong women with men in our lives that adore us, because we were adored by our father, we sought men who do the same.

Final thought....WORSHIP at Beach Retreat

1.  Thursday evening, I was standing a little behind Parker during worship.  As the worship band rocked the house, tears welled in my eyes as I was overwhelmed with humbleness. I cannot believe how blessed I am to be given this amazing kid.  I take ZERO credit for the young man he is becoming.  If you were to witness what I saw, you would see a kid whose life is filled with the Holy Spirit.  As parents we dream a lot of dreams for our kids...we want them to be happy, we want them to be successful, we want them to find a great spouse, we want them to be smart, we want them to be great athletes, we went them to go to a great college, we want them to get a great job, we want so much for our kids.  But above all those things listed, if none of them happen the proudest I could ever be of my child is that he lives a life following Christ.  If that means he gives up everything and moves to a remote jungle in Africa, living in a mud hut, then I would be more proud of him than if he went to Duke on a Basketball scholarship, got a PHD and a well paying job with a beautiful wife and two kids and never followed the Lord.  

1 comment:

  1. Another inspiring post sister. Thank you for being such a positive light for these girls.