So it's been six years since my husband started teaching. We've seen a lot of students come and go. I've known a few. In my defense, there have been four children born during that six years! But mostly, I've stayed holed up in my little circle of friends just trying to maintain my own life. There have been some great students over the years that Steve has really gotten to know but I haven't ever really been a part of that. I've always just considered the students "his job" and not really much of my concern.
Until this year.
Once I started doing the cookie stand, I began to notice and get to know the students who would come by as regulars. While they would pick out a brownie, I had the opportunity to ask how their sports were going, or the play, or whatever it was they were involved in. Some girls would stop and chat for awhile. I had a few open up a bit as the year went on. And whenever I'd be on campus with my children, I'd always see a few students who would smile and wave at me shyly. And as this started to happen, I realized that all this time, I've lived across the street from the school and yet I still hadn't engaged much of my heart into Steve's work. The more I got to know students, the more my heart began to love them. And I realized, there is so much I can do to support and come alongside them even though I'm not their teacher. I can smile at these kids. I can laugh with them. I can be a friend.
But most importantly, I can pray for them.
Our family had a recent experience, where we found out that another family had been caring for our family over a period time without our knowledge. That care, that love for us God placed on their hearts, translated into such incredible encouragement to all of us-especially me. And we didn't even know it was going on. This situation reminded me that I need to be looking for ways to be loving the people God puts in my path.
The girl who looks downcast on a regular basis, the jock who constantly tries to be cool but really exudes an incredible amount of insecurity, the girl who dresses all in black, the boy who won't look me in the eye when buying a cookie, the girl who is struggling with her body image...these are just a handful of the types of kids that come in and out of this place I call home and all of them are people, with families, cares, hurts, dreams and hopes.
And I need to remember them. I need to pray for them.
This last year I finally got my heart involved and it was a wonderful experience. I'm truly going to miss the seniors-a lot! I got so used to them striding through the parking lot, making jokes and giving my boys high fives. But I'm also looking forward to getting to know more kids next year and reaching out to more parents too.
I started selling cookies and brownies to make some much needed extra cash while the husband is in grad school. And what I received was a beautiful reminder of all the amazing things God can do through friendship, reaching out and caring.
So, so much more than I ever thought or imagined. But isn't God that way?
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us..." Ephesians 3:20