eight high-schoolers made my day today. surprise voicemails= joy. earlier, i had been sitting in the conference room during our retreat, thinking about how although i love many of the people there, and enjoy the company of many more, that group of "student leaders" as a whole was still not my family. instead, when i tried to imagine a group that i would see as being as close as family, for whom i have affection that cannot be of myself, it was these same teenagers (and the others of their group) that came to mind. and just thinking of them brought a welling up of love from within me that i hope i will have for others around me this year. i am thankful that they've taught me so much, encouraged me, and been an avenue of God to remind me, comfort me, confirm in me, that youth ministry IS where He wants me. and later, remembering them and others who are family sent such a charge of the extent of God's love running through me that i was sure there was some small electrical current i was a part of. so i am joyful and at peace.

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