4 years ago Michael and I moved back from Pittsburgh and traveled north to the suburbs. We were familiar with Buckhead Church from our time in the city, and found ourselves in the seats of North Point Community Church. We had been praying for a landing spot when it came to a home church and community. We knew we wanted to serve, but didn’t know where or how to since we were so new to the area. And then came Senior Sunday.

We saw a plethora of high school students on stage with their small group leaders. Vision was casted about how imperative it was to be involved with the next generation. We heard meaningful stories from said students and leaders and couldn’t sign up fast enough… we looked at each other and simultaneously knew this was exactly where we needed to be.

And the next thing we knew, we were walking through life the next 4 years with some of the brightest, bravest, coolest kids we know.

I can’t even imagine if something like Inside Out was around when I was in high school. It’s hard to fathom what it would have been like to have a “bigger sister” or "second mom” to bring the hard stuff to.

High school can be brutal. I would not want to be in high school in today’s world. I thought I loved high school and then sometimes when I look back, I’m like man it could have been a lot better. I could have processed things a lot easier with the right person.

It could have been better if I knew I had a judge free someone I could go to with simple growing up questions. It could have been better if I had an awesome crew I was doing life with and knew we were in the same circle on Sunday nights. We could talk about the fun stuff and hard stuff together.

The next generation needs you. They need your experience. They need your ears and heart. Every student and every child need people other than their parents pouring into their life. And I hope you as parents or mentors have a relationship with those said people. I genuinely want my kids to come to us with things but i hope I’m not naive enough to know they won’t tell me everything. I hope my children have a minimum of 3 other people they can call especially if they feel like mom and dad aren’t cool enough or understand.

And for my girls? I hope and pray over the next 4 years you:

  • Grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ

  • Don’t find your worth in others (or their opinions) or likes or streaks or whatever

  • Find community aka a home church aka a small group to do life with

  • Serve others through being a leader or volunteering at a non profit that gives you life

  • Don’t settle for anything less than what you know you’re capable of or deserve

  • Be nice to yourself and be nice to others

  • Push yourself and set goals. Write them, believe them, achieve them. And celebrate the little ones like getting to class on time or not hitting the snooze button after your alarm goes off =)

  • Don’t be in a rush. No one said you HAVE to make a 4.0 and graduate in 3 years. But yes, give it your all.

  • Give yourself grace. You’re not going to figure out it all out in the next 4 years

  • Get out of your comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens!

  • Embrace the ordinary and make it extraordinary

  • Call your parents

  • And then call your small group leaders because they’ll be ready to see you on fall break, thanksgiving, christmas, spring break (ya right, doubt you’ll come home… maybe I’ll come to you?) and so on.

Thanks for an amazing ride.

You are all called to do great things and look forward to hanging on the sideline and watching you girls as a next generation of leaders and world changers!

But seriously call when you come back in town. K bye.