Um so I just realized my title makes it sound like I had some sort of WILD and crazy weekend partying it up. Unfortunately, my weekend was a little wild and crazy but without the partying . . . Some of the wild and crazy was good, and some wasn't so good - but that's life right?!
So Friday night was an unexpected surprise - some of our closest friends came to visit from Florida. It was such a treat to see them -- we haven't been able to visit with them or talk to them as much as I'd like since they've moved. They used to live a few houses down from us. In fact, they were one of the reasons we moved into this neighborhood - unfortunately, they moved out shortly after we moved in. Hmm, maybe our stalker-ish ways drove them away?
Anyways, we ate at our favorite Mexican joint together (and really, that's basically heaven - Mexican food and diet coke with dear friends!) and caught up a little. It was a quick trip though - so luckily we are going to stop in and see them on our way to the beach in a few weeks.
Saturday we had breakfast with our small group. And there were sausage cheese balls - which I adore. Because anything with cheese? I love it. Then we went downtown to visit our kiddos and brought four girls back to our house for a girl's night. Lest you think I am brave enough to handle 4 middle school girls from the projects on my own, let me assure you that I am not. Four of our fantastic counselors (and my dear friends) from camp this summer spent the night too (Adam wisely took the dogs and the baby and bunked at his parent's house for the night).
We had a fantastic time. Seriously, the girls acted like KIDS (a rarity) and giggled, did hair (well I didn't because I am convinced you need at least three hands to braid anything), watched movies and played games. We even took them to Chili's, because I love me some Chili's and pretty much everything they serve. Plus none of them had been there before, and most of them didn't even really know how to act properly in a restaurant as far as ordering and, you know, using utensils and NOT your fingers to rip apart your grilled chicken and broccoli.
All in all, it was a fun night without enough sleep -- I remember distinctly heading upstairs because I am an old fart at about 2am -- and then being woken rudely by one of the girls at about 3am - because it was COLD and didn't I have another blanket? Unfortunately, the only remaining blankets were upstairs in the attic. So, bleary eyed, I yanked down the ladder and gingerly tiptoed through the attic looking for blankets, hoping against hope not to see any creatures of any type. After that, I slept for a good solid 4 hours or so. As it turns out, my body is getting remarkably used to functioning on less than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. . .
I was encouraged, and excited to go to church. I even ventured to make cinnamon rolls for the kids before church, AND we made it on time (OK OK so I burnt the cinnamon rolls - whatever).
I dont even know what to say about church on Sunday. I will say this though; Two girls (Arnesha and Sharonda - one of whom spent the night at my house) got in a huge fight, and we had to hold back one of their mothers to stop her from beating up the twelve year old. Mature right? I cant help but wonder how we will EVER help these kids learn not to fight when their parents set such STELLAR examples . . . Oh and the mom was yelling that the whole thing was her daughter's mentor's fault - and she NEVER should have listened to Becca. . . Needless to say, it was disappointing and frustrating after investing so much in these girls that they would get in a fist-fight at church. Oh and the fight caused mass amounts of chaos among the ranks, and pretty much the room was just a mess of 75 children yelling and fighting.
Days like that make me feel like: This is NEVER going to work, why should I even bother trying? A mentoring program is a terrible idea. Who thought of that? Dumb. Things are never going to change. I should definitely just throw in the towel. . .
Have I mentioned that I have a tendency to believe lies and get discouraged easily??
On the upside, I had a good talk with one of the girls while I was bringing her home to her mom. And I even remembered to speak God's transforming TRUTH to her. Usually, I get so flustered and try so hard to say the right thing that will change them - that I forget just to go to His Word . . .
Needless to say, we're not ACTUALLY giving up - although that's not to say I didn't consider it. For about 4 seconds before realizing that I could never leave these kids. In fact, Arnesha's mother's behavior only served to reinforce the idea that we MUST do something. These kids deserve better. They just need to be taught how to stop the cycle of anger and violence rather than perpetuating it.
Oh and because I figured I needed to hear me some TRUTH, Adam and I ended our weekend by going to Passion City Church. And despite the fact that it was 2.5 hours long - the worship and Word transformed my heart.
I just realized that this is practically a novel. I apologize to anyone (all 2 of you) who actually read the whole thing!