By A Living Water Mother
It’s September and time to go back to school.
As a mother, this is a busy time of year trying to get everyone used to the new schedule and struggling to adapt to the demands of the families commitments myself. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and decide to start cutting things from our to do lists. I ask myself “What can we live without? What is vital and what is optional? What do the kids want to do, and what do we want them to do?” I try to make wise decisions but sometimes I just get overwhelmed and want to have at least one night at home.
Our lives consist of making these kinds of decisions. Often we take them in our stride and red line certain activities without giving it too much thought. Rarely do I pray about those decisions. Rarely do I see them as decisions with long term consequences.
Take Youth Bible Study, for example. It is typically a commitment that is made late in the day after the rest of my fall schedule is complete, and usually makes for a stressful series of decisions. What will we need to reschedule to make this happen? Do we really need to give up a Sunday family night for High School Bible Study?
Yet when I step back – these are the activities that reflect my goals for my children more than any other activity. Their value is beyond the immediate and hopefully is eternal. However, it is so tempting to think that we can pass up another night out at an activity 40 minutes from home.
Last year we committed to participate in middle school youth ministry for a full year. The time commitment seemed overwhelming. The fun off-site activities were outside my daughter’s comfort zone. The group was small. Yet, it was a wonderful year for us all. I enjoyed our ride home when she shared everything she had learned from her Bible Study. Her excitement and enthusiasm were contagious. She loved the way that her youth leaders had prepared fun, hands-on activities to reinforce the lesson. I knew she could feel how much they cared about her and her specific questions and issues.
When it came time to head up to SpringHill, it was to be her first time away from home. Again the youth leaders were understanding, supportive and challenged her to make it through the weekend. She came home on fire for the speakers and their message, raving about how fun the Broom Ball tournament was and happy to have grown closer to the other girls in her group.
“Their value is beyond the immediate and hopefully is eternal. However, it is so tempting to think that we can pass up another night out at an activity 40 minutes from home.”
As I feel overwhelmed by the new schedule I am reminded that this commitment is one of the hardest to maintain – but one with a great return on our investment. I am excited to partner with the youth staff to encourage and grow my daughter in her faith. I am looking forward to seeing how God stretches her this year to step outside her box and trust Him to be there for her. Even writing this brief blog article has reminded me how much fruit there was from last year’s time commitment.
As you fill your fall calendar, be sure to schedule intentional time for faith growth in your children, both at home and at church. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in youth ministry at our three sites. You can check out just a few of them below!
High School: High school groups meet on Sunday nights from 6:30-9:00 pm. We’ll be starting on Sunday, September 22 with two regional locations to choose from: The West Wing at St. Luke Ann Arbor, led by Andrew Osborne and Sam Fink and The Dive in Whitmore Lake, led by Paul Easterday. (The Dive is Living Water’s youth room, located at 364 E Shore Drive, Whitmore Lake.)
Middle School: Middle schoolers meet on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00pm. Just as with the high school group, we have two regional locations to offer. The West Wing at St. Luke Ann Arbor led by Andrew Osborne will begin on Wednesday, September 11 and The Dive in Whitmore Lake led by Paul Easterday will begin on Wednesday, September 25.
We also have Sunday morning Bible class available at all three sites, as well as other retreats and special opportunities throughout the year.