People often assume that my busy times at work are around Christmas and during the summer. And I agree. But I’m also quick to say that “every time is really my busy time”. It’s true. There is always something happening, or planning that needs to be done; an endless cycle. It can be overwhelming at times. But I always come back to the moments that I get to share with my youth. Whether one-on-one, or in groups. That shared time is the most precious.

Yesterday we had a lock-in, really today too as they are all still sleeping. Doing some extra planning for Youth Sunday in April, playing games, watching a movie, and of course: eating. That has filled our time. I am clinging to these moments because spending time with these youth makes me the happiest. They amaze me, they challenge me, they make me proud, they make me LAUGH, they revitalize my soul. The time we share together always teaches me something new about them–it leaves me in awe. Not the dumbstruck, mouth agape kind of awe. But the kind where you smile because you can see how much they’ve grown and how they continue to morph into these incredibly insightful and loving people.

I’m lucky to share part of their journey. I’m lucky to have their influence on my life. And I thank God for the gift of their presence in my life. They say that faith formation for young people gains strength through relationships, more specifically intentional relationships with five+ adults. I am humbled and honored to be among that five. Just as I feel when serving during the summer with ASP, I feel that I gain more that I give. “Sticky Faith” relationships, while monumental for the youth, are also beneficial for the adults. And I stand in awe this morning recognizing the gifts of relationship and community with these youth.