January 24, 2015

Brain Babies

Brain babies are what my co-counselor and I call the crazy ideas that pop into our heads at like 6 am when we are working out, drinking our coffee, or eating breakfast. They are inspiring. It’s like this vivid picture pops into your mind and you’re like wait this is the best thing I’ve ever come up with (whether it really is or not you don’t know yet), but it’s like burning you up inside to tell someone. Sometimes these ideas seem great but fizzle out because they weren’t so great. Sometimes you start preparation for one and don’t finish. Then sometimes you start seeing one of your ideas through and it works awesome; like better than awesome. Then there is a time like I’m in now where my brain baby took form, I have implemented it, and have been running it for a couple of months and yesterday I felt the world stop. I wanted to throw in the towel on my precious brain baby. I know I’m being really vague. So I’ll give you some background info.
This year I decided to follow suite with my co-counselor and do an all-girls group (he’s doing an all-boys group) on growing up. Basically I’m teaching them life skills, but also trying to instill leadership characteristics into these girls. How did I compile my group you may be wondering? Well, we went to our school’s discipline data and took kids who had missed 10 or more periods of class time last year due to a discipline issue (time out, in school suspension, or out of school suspension) and randomly put them together to form our groups. I knew in the beginning of the year I was setting myself up for either A) something awesome or B) wanting to punch myself in the face all year. I’ve experienced both of these feelings several times already and we aren’t even half way through the year.
Yesterday I had a moment where I wanted to quit. I have a new motto this year that is “don’t put in more work than the people you’re trying to help.” I have to set limits for myself because by nature I am someone who feels compelled to always help others and sometimes this is to a fault. I end up working harder than they do! Anyways long story short I want my girls group to go volunteer somewhere to experience something meaningful and develop their empathy for other people (as you can probably guess they aren’t the nicest group of girls). As we were chatting about it, they started laughing at a soup kitchen saying it was ratchet and hilarious. This really disappointed me because they were missing the whole point of volunteering. I let them go right then because I could honestly feel tears welling up in my eyes. I didn’t yell at them, I just simply said “you guys can go back to class, and please don’t come back to group until you can identify why I’m having you leave.” They all looked at me surprised, but left.
I took a time out at that moment, went to my office, shut my door and read a couple bible verses.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Mark 10:27 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God, all things are possible with God.”
Then I looked up from my momentary time out and there were 4 of them standing at my door. I let them in and they apologized. They said they should have never laughed at the soup kitchen and they felt bad for doing so. Then a little bit later another one of them came in to apologize as well. She wasn’t sure what she was apologizing for so I explained. “This group of girls is so consumed with their own lives and feeling that the world revolves around them that they have absolutely no compassion for other people. They can’t understand why other people feel the way they do and do not respect anyone, or even themselves.” She nodded her head and agreed. They really are essentially a group of mean girls. However, they did recognize that I was not happy and did come to apologize which is a baby step in the right direction.
So the moral of my long post is even when you’re sure you want to quit, take a time out and talk to God about it. He will provide insight into whatever situation you’re facing and He will guide you on what to do next.
Through the 2 bible verses I read and my girls coming back to apologize I know God was telling me not to give up on them just yet. Something amazing is going to come from my work with these girls. I can feel it.

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