Working in the youth group at Grace for so long, it's funny to pick out a certain kid who's made an impact of some sort in your life. Kayla Smith is one of those students. I didn't know her real well at the time, but we were going to Mexico and as you all know, if you've gone on the Mexico Mission Trip before, the students are encouraged to find someone to mentor them for the duration of the training and the trip. Well, me, being the "we'll see if I'm going to do this"-type, prayed: "Lord, I haven't done this before, but I'm willing to do this now, but (why is there always a 'but' in there) You will have to bring someone to me." I figured that was the end of that prayer and I would be 'safe' for another year. You see, I didn't feel confident about doing a one-on-one for some reason. I'm more of a two-on-group type of person where the other person is the main teacher. My gift, and comfort zone, is behind the scenes helping.
As it turns out, the Lord had other things planned for me. As Kayla and I were walking downstairs to the youth room, she just asked me, point blank, "Will you mentor me?" You know I had to say yes, because I told God I would. That was the start of a beautiful friendship. We met every Tuesday at her house and went through the Mexico devos and things like that. I found out later, from her mom, that Kayla told her she knew who she wanted to mentor her, so Kathy knew before I did that Kayla was going to ask me to be her mentor.
When Mexico was done, I don't know where I got the courage, but I asked Kayla if she wanted to continue meeting and she said yes. We continued meeting on Tuesdays, through her high school years going over a lot of things and we both learned a lot more about God, about ourselves and about each other. I love the fact that I was even privy to some of her "Andrew" stories and prayers. When Ken was reading about their relationship at the wedding, I remember some of the things we discussed and prayed about. And now she is Kayla Smith.
I have missed getting together with her. She graduated, went to college and, of course, my life changed, too, as did my location. But, I never thought I would love technology like I do now as far as facebook and blogging, and, of course, emails. I enjoy the fact that we can write to each other and still ask for prayer about things and share things. Of course, she has Andrew to share with now. I know, though, I can always check in on her and now him.
I thank You, Lord, for bringing special people into our lives. I thank You for Kayla and her love, friendship and encouragement and for the time we did get to spend with each other for those few years. She is a blessing to me. And You have truly blessed her life and I've seen her grow so much in her faith and walk with You. Please bless her and Andrew as they are now husband and wife, new roles You have given to them. May they continue to grow closer to You and to each other. Amen.
Friday, July 17, 2009
A SMILE costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A SMILE creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's best antedote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you A SMILE. Give them one of yours, as none needs A SMILE so much as he who has no more to give.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We saw the ice cream/yogurt/coffee shop as we drove by and decided to stop and check out Redondo Beach Pier for the first time since we've been here. The weather was cooperating even at 4:00 PM. There was the breeze, so it wasn't hot at all. The bicyclists were on a bike path that goes up and down the coast (not sure how many miles). There's a beach city bus that actually stops near our place, so we could take a trip down that way and take our bikes. The trip back to our place from the beach has a steep hill - no matter where you come from - that I probably couldn't make. But this might be an alternative. And there were tons of people fishing. It was just nice strolling around and eating our ice creams.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
At my mother-in-love's house, there is now a ton of colorful flowers that replace the wall that you see in the above picture. I couldn't find a front view, but just wanted you to see the colors that now adorn the front of her house. You need to drive by and see it in living color...I couldn't believe what a beautiful difference it made. And you still have some privacy.