Oh! to be fifteen again!
I was reminded this weekend of how great my teenage years were,
but also of how I don't have any desire to go back there again.
Pubescent teenage girls are WOW.
You're probably thinking, "Gosh, is she just realizing this now? Two years after starting this youth ministry thing?"
No. I'm not.
But this weekend was chock full of the drama that is high school girls.
It was a lovely thing and an acid-reflux inducing thing all at once.
First there was Friday night.
At 4:30pm, we took our teens out to an annual community dinner at which they were serving.
This is an annual volunteer service for them, and they were thrilled to do it.
Kevin and I had to leave super early because we had to set up for our 3rd night of "5th Quarter"--
an outreach to teens and their friends after football games.
At 8pm, we ran back to the dinner to pick up our teens and starting filling our home with adolescents.
We had our house packed with 30 teens until 12:30am.
(Two+ hours past my bedtime, mind you.
But it's worth it. *sleepy grin*)
I couldn't sleep in on Saturday morning because girls were going to be arriving for Salon Styles by Melanie.
Throughout the week I had each of the three girls come over three separate times for practice runs--
I had never done anyone else's hair in an "up do" other than mine.
I got up at 7, went running, and thought I had until 9am.
But at 8:15 my phone rang and one of the girls was on her way.
I greeted her and her cousin, then headed for the shower.
I started working on Mary's hair at 8:45am.
Amanda arrived at 9:00 to start on makeup.
Right after that, Ashley arrived. Then Alyssa.
We were off and curling.
Hair was flying.
Hairspray was coating my entire dining room table.
Bobby pins were littering the ground.
Every outlet was being used for curling irons.
Amanda had her salon-sized collection of makeup spread out.
It was awesome.
Kevin was at his desk playing video games and at one point he commented,
"So this is what dance prep is like for girls."
Darn boys just throw on a suit 10 minutes before hopping in the car.
Girls spend entire days preparing themselves.
Four hours later all three girls looked like movie stars and I had developed a deeper understanding of the hard work of hair stylists like my sister.
Sunday morning--again while on my run--my cell phone rang at 7:45am.
For the next hour I was getting the inside scoop on some harsh drama that "ruined everyone's homecoming."
It was disappointing for me to hear my girls acting that way, but I was looking forward to forcing them all to talk through the issues.
I knew there were deeper reasons for the conflicts that arose and I wanted to get to the bottom of it.
None of them thought a resolution was possible and most of them would have rather swept the problem under the rug.
NOT GONNA HAPPEN, girls.
We're doing this Matthew 18 style.
Before the youth group headed into the corn maze for an evening of fun, I played mediator for 6 girls.
I explained the essential importance of forgiveness (as declared by Jesus in Matthew 6:14-15.)
I heard each of their stories while the others listened.
(Not the easiest task for some of them.)
We talked about their feelings, their sins in the situation, and before I knew it the girls were owning up to their wrong-doings and asking for forgiveness without my prompting.
It was a beautiful thing.
For the next hour, our group of 21 teens and 5 adults made our way (or not) through a 10acre corn maze.
It's a tradition of our youth group.
Everyone had a blast--
and I even noticed a facebook status of one of the girls involved in the previously mentioned conflict.
She said, "Tonight was amazinggggg. Better than homecoming honestly."
Also, I would just like to point out that last year's group was "huge" and had 11 kids.
We've come a long way in a year. See:
corn maze 2009.