I have meals in my freezer, do you?

 What I brought back from summer camp!

     One of the challenges of being a woman in youth ministry is having extra time to blog...so after some down time after summer camp recovering from the stomach flu (a gift from helping sick campers) I have a few minutes to finish a quick blog post or two. I have a long list of blog posts I have been working on in my Evernote notebook, so hopefully I can edit a few and get some useful content up here for you women in youth ministry.  Speaking of summer camp, look what I brought home from camp! A freezer full of breast milk. For now,  I have meals in my freezer (at least for one member of the family!). I am so happy to be home with my family, yet I can do cartwheels of thanks for the wonderful ministry time with my youth group.

     Our youth group took 60 middle school students up to Forest Home for summer camp and had the best week! They do such a great job there. The girl deans on staff happily took my breast milk into their care and kept it refrigerated in their personal dorm fridge without seeming grossed out or bothered at all. Serving happily and saying yes to every possible request seems to be the way they roll around there. If I needed water to stay hydrated or time away to pump, they made it as easy for me as it could possibly be at camp to tend to my nursing needs. After Forest Home,  I always return home much closer to my youth group kids, more bonded with staff, and ready to better minister and serve my own family. After giving all I have to church kids and staff, I am reminded to give as much or more to my own flesh and blood.

     Being a youth leader makes me a better mom, and being a parent makes me a better youth leader. I honestly don't believe you can truly understand the parent's perspective of your youth group kids until you have your own children.  You can read books, you can say you do, you can think you do...but until you trust your own kids into the care of your church staff, you have no idea. That is why I will sit next to your barfing 7th grader on the bus and hold his vomit bag in my hands. That is why I will hand him a wet wipe for his face and repeat the process 4 times on the way home. I will do it and not flinch an inch because I have my own babies I would want someone else to do the same for... should the situation be reverse. That is why I lost 5 pounds in 24 hours losing it all on both ends with a stomach flu that left me crying for my own mama. I am a mom, and that makes me one youth worker you can count on to treat your babies like my own.



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