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How Long Does it Take to Grow Up?

“Mommy, when you are a hundred, will you be as tall as the clouds?” This, my little daughter asks me from her seat on the swing in our backyard. Her sweet up-turned face looks past me to the billowing clouds overhead. To her, growing up means growing taller so she can reach the monkey bars unassisted and ride all the rides at the theme park. Surely 100 years should be enough to reach those clouds, she concludes. While our growing taller comes to an end during our teens and early twenties, ... Read More »

Reflections

If you haven’t been able to tell by the hyperactivity of your children, the longer and warmer days or the “senioritis” that seems to be hitting people of all ages, the end of another school year is quickly approaching. For many, December is often a time of year for reflection and introspection. But those with children or working in the education field often save this transition time for the close of yet another school year. As we move into the summer and begin making plans for next fall, I often find ... Read More »

Surprising Moments of Grace

Have you ever been surprised by a moment of God’s grace? Maybe you haven’t been bopped over the head by a tidal wave of undeniable grace, but what about a precious moment? Living with our hearts and eyes open helps prepare the soul for an encounter. I had one recently. It happened so fast; I wasn’t prepared. But it was definitely God’s grace. I’ve been volunteering at Hutchison Elementary School with the PALS program since it’s inception nine years ago. (This program matches elementary students with adult mentors once a ... Read More »

Be Good, Be Strong, Be Brave

When our daughters were growing up, my husband often traveled out of town for work. Over the years, the girls and their daddy developed a ritual for saying their farewells, which they still observe today as the girls leave for college each semester or when it is time to say goodbye after a visit. Each time they part, Steve will kiss the palm of each of his daughters’ hands, and the girls will then hold their palm to their face for a moment while they say out loud: “Daddy loves ... Read More »

Seven Creative Christmas Activities for Parents

As you may have noticed, Christmas is right around the corner. For those who have children or grandchildren, the holidays can be a great season of frenetic activity, parties, lights, decorations, shopping and more. But sometimes you want to spend quality time together that doesn’t involve leaving the house and won’t break the bank. What’s a parent to do? Below are seven activities you can do with your children when you have an afternoon free or when you’ve cleaned up from dinner and want to do something different to celebrate ... Read More »

Hi Daddy, Hi Daddy

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6 I’m sorry, but yes they will. Some will step off accidentally and stumble right back on. Some will wander off, oblivious to your calls and whistles. Some will investigate that very pretty flower over there. And some will test the boundaries every step of the way. They most certainly will venture from it. It’s how they find their own way along a path with distinct boundaries but invisible guardrails. ... Read More »

Not the Plan

This is not how it was supposed to go. This was not the plan, at least not my plan. She was supposed to graduate and come home, find a job in D.C. and live here for a few years while she saved money. Then she was supposed to move into a house in Ballston with a few friends. I mean, isn’t that what young people do? They come back home for few years, right? But in truth that was my plan, not hers and certainly not God’s. Instead she completed ... Read More »

Blessed by Camp Hutchison

As another year of Camp Hutchison comes to a close, I have taken time to reflect on all that this program has given back to me over the years. Initially, I took advantage of the opportunity to serve as a junior counselor for three summers while I was in high school. This was when I first discovered what a blessing working with the children of Hutchison Elementary really is for me. Serving in the classrooms with kids who were always excited to learn was my favorite part of every summer. ... Read More »

All the Help We Needed

Editor’s Note: This week 15 middle school students and four leaders traveled to Romney, West Virginia to participate in a Jeremiah Project mission camp. Students help with a wide range of home repair opportunities, from painting to building wheelchair ramps. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Virginia Horvath. This is my second time serving on the Jeremiah Project and my second time at this location: Romney, West Virginia. Something I noticed pretty quickly about Romney was the scenery. The first time I was here I didn’t ... Read More »

Waiting: Camp Hutchison

I am one of two Serve Ministries’ interns at Floris UMC this summer. I had the privilege of serving in this same position last summer and was overjoyed to learn that I would be able to return again this year. My fellow serve intern, Mason, and I are in charge of planning and executing Camp Hutchison with the help of many amazing volunteers. Camp Hutchison is a summer camp that helps students retain reading and writing abilities often lost over the summer in a fun and creative environment. Because camp ... Read More »

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