As a minister's wife, I fully recognize the blessing of serving at one church for almost 12 years. Our daughter was 3 months old when we came to our current church, and it's been a privilege to watch our kids grow up in one place.
I'm so incredibly thankful for the group of girls who are such great friends to my daughter. They are special, and unusual these days because this group (along with several other friends who weren't able to join us this time) gets along so nicely and encounters very little "drama." Such a nice, somewhat uncommon, thing with girl friends these days!
These girls have grown up together since they were about 2 years old. They've done birthday parties, church choir, play dates, Vacation Bible School, and been to several camps together. We're already saving photos of them together for slideshows when all of their high school graduation celebrations occur (slow down, time!).
Most of them attended Youth Camp together for this first time this summer. Of course, they loved it! So, as our summer is drawing to a close, I thought it would be fun to have the opportunity to get the girls back together and reflect a bit on their time at camp and their sweet memories made there. I also wanted them to have the opportunity to encourage each other as a new school year begins.
I know my daughter is enamored with Sadie Robertson, as I think most teen girls are. I'm grateful that she seems to be a sweet and worthy role model for young girls. So, when we saw that she's come out with a new line of products for Dayspring focusing on faith, values, and encouraging others to Live Original!, we were anxious to check them out. A gentle reminder of just how special these girls are is so needed as they navigate their Middle School years, and I love that this line of products does that in a creative and appealing way for them.
So, we were happy to go to Mardel Christian Bookstore and look at all of the cute options. We wanted to choose a few things for each girl, since we had a special plan in mind. We selected a few packs of folders to divide up and a notebook for each one, and invited them over for a fun project and play day.
I love that the inside cover of the notebooks are full of Bible verses, a section for prayer requests, and a spot to record things to be thankful for. What a great reminder to think about and focus on the things that are really important!
I laid out tons of markers, notecards, and paper, as well as a few journals with their notes from camp, and a Bible. After each girl selected a journal and folder, I asked them to trade journals, find a page, and write an encouraging note to the owner of the journal. I suggested that they include maybe a funny or special memory from camp, a memorable story about that person, something they liked about them, or something they remembered learning at camp along with a Bible verse to encourage the person they were writing to.
My hope is that as the girls use their journal at school, church, or wherever, when they come across the pages of notes from their friends they'll remember those sweet times they've spent together, know that their friend is praying for them, and be encouraged!
When they completed their notes in the journals, I also asked them to use the note cards to write a separate note to each friend as well. These are for the girls to stick up in their locker at school for a quick daily glance at their sweet messages from their friends.
At the end of the day we sent the girls home with their journals and folders tied up with a little package of fun summer magnets to use in their lockers. I think they had lots of fun and know that they will enjoy using their school supplies this year, and I hope they'll be a positive reminder of how special they are, especially on the tough days.
We're down to about 17 days before school starts, and I'm excited to see how these girls learn, change, grow closer together and deeper in their faith this year!