Sunday, June 27, 2010

Life is always changing.

For around the past twenty years I have worked with young people.  Before I was married I was a Youth Director for a Presbyterian church, and after I married a fellow Youth Director I happily became a volunteer.  The churches we served jokingly referred to getting two for the price of one, but I relished my role as volunteer.  I didn't have to worry about scheduling, budgeting or any of the nitty gritty details, I was just called to love the young people.  How lucky is that?

Unfortunately, the time comes when you have to say goodbye.  The time comes to move on.  For the last couple of years our last church has been having a difficult time.  It is a good church with great people.  A long time pastor left and since then, they have been trying to figure out who they are as a church.  While we still believe in, and love this church, it became a very difficult place to work.  Last August my husband resigned his position.  It was time to say goodbye. 

For the previous twenty years, we have been taking young people to a youth conference in Montreat, NC.  My husband and I both attended these conferences as young people and have been a part of them ever since, serving as leadership and support staff for the conferences.  This year we attended as "house parents" for my very great friend's youth group from Wasatch Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah.  For most of the week I felt like I was cheating on my last youth group.  I stayed on the edges of the Wasatch group even though they welcomed us in completely. 

I posted a facebook status that said it felt like I was ripping off an enormous bandaid.   Some of my incredibly sweet friends posted lovely things that were very flattering about the impact we have had on young people, but one other gesture struck me to my core.  One person "liked" my status update.  This person had been a 14 year old in my youth group with the first group I took as an adult.   That one little click of her mouse reminded me how blessed I have been.  I have gotten to know so many amazing young people and their families.  I will be volunteering again with another youth group.  It will be different but that's okay.  For all of those young people I have been blessed to know, we will ALWAYS love you and we will always be praying for you and hoping for you. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday 6/16/10 Why I love North Carolina

On Friday,  I was on a sandbar with my children and assorted cousins.

Saturday I got in my car, drove a few hours and I was here.
I love calling North Carolina Home


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Reasons Chaperoning Teens is NOT a vacation

Top Ten {Tuesday} 

Many thanks to Amanda of for hosting the Top Ten Tuesday every week.  Visit her site to see all of the top tens for the week.  They usually cover a variety of subjects and are very fun!  My Top Ten Tuesday is the top ten Reasons Chaperoning Teens is NOT a vacation.  I have spent the last twenty years working with young people and I love them.  I love every minute I spend with them but trips really cannot be called vacations!

When I go on vacation,
  1. I have two children, not fifteen.
  2. I do not do plumbing repairs
  3. I sleep
  4. I do not have to worry about who is crushing on who
  5. I am able to make my own schedule
  6. I am not a wardrobe mistress, able to make repairs and supervise choices
  7. I am not a walking drug store, dispensing everything from advil to feminine products
  8. I get more than 10 minutes to shower
  9. I don't get to know a group of young people and be reminded again how intelligent and thoughtful this generation is
  10. I don't have my heart moved by watching their faith, their care for each other, and for our world.
This list is made for the number of people who ask me upon returning from a youth trip, "How was your vacation?"  I LOVE chaperoning young people but it cannot be mistaken for a vacation.  With great thanks to the lovely Wasatch Presbyterian Church youth group from Salt Lake City, Utah for allowing me to spend time with them this week!

Monday Mingle 6/15/10

This is my very late Monday Mingle!  I am chaperoning a group of young people in the mountains of North Carolina.  Not only is there no internet, there is very little cell phone service so I am in withdrawal.
Thanks as always to Jennifer of for hosting the Monday Mingle.  Please go to her site and check out the great mingles!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Feeding Hungry Children

With only two more days of school left, my kids are about to jump out of their skins because they are so ready for summer.  For 26,000 children in our area, summer means more than freedom from homework.  For those children, summer means not knowing if there is going to be enough to eat.  During the school year, these children are able to get lunch and sometimes breakfast for free.  When school is out, they are still hungry, and still need to eat.  On Thursday I was able to attend a social media mixer that was sponsored by an organization doing everything they can to meet the needs of the hungry in our area, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.  For all of my friends from this area, you really should know about the work they do.

In our little section of southeastern North Carolina, there are 26,000 children who don't get enough to eat.  That number is staggering to me.  I tried to think of it visually.  We have four fairly large high schools in our county.  If you filled each of their athletic stadiums to capacity with these children (no parents, teacher, volunteers, JUST the kids) the stadiums could not hold the number of children who can't count on having enough to eat.  I almost can't comprehend it. 

Thankfully, the Food Bank is doing everything they can to reach these children.  As an organization, "the Food Bank is rated in the top 10 in food distribution out of more than 200 food banks in the United States."  In their budget, 97% donated goes to food and food programs, with 3% going to administration and fundraising.  That is a great ratio!  "For every dollar donated, the Food Bank is able to distribute generally EIGHT dollars worth of food, or provide FOUR meals." If you donate money to the food bank, your dollars will go very far, but money isn't the only way to donate.  They need and welcome volunteers, no matter your age or skills.

One other way to give is by donating needed items.  Their most needed itimes include
  • canned stews
  • soups
  • canned tuna
  • canned ravioli
  • canned fruits and vegetables
  • rice
  • cereal
You can find a complete list and more information at  .

There is one more fun way to help out in our area.  On Saturday, June 19, from 11am to 2pm the Food Bank is sponsoring a Kid's Carnival at the Mayfaire Event Field.  There will be jump castles, magic shows, musicians, face painters, and the first 500 people in attendance will get a mini-sundae from Coldstone Creamery! (YUM!) Bring your kids out to have fun, and please take a minute to learn about the great work the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is doing.

I am so thankful that I get to enjoy sandwiches on the beach, grilling out, homemade ice cream, fresh corn, and ice cold watermelon.  I am also thankful for the reminder that not everyone has that luxury. 

all quotes from Food Bank CENC information.