November 23, 2017

Through the Eyes of a 7th Grader…


As I put-zed in the kitchen,  slowly stirring the brownie mix, I listened carefully.

Thirteen seventh grade girls, sharing their heart on the topic of relationships; relationships with family, friends, authority figures, and even “those that don’t fit into the friends category.” It was our church’s annual discipleship weekend, and our family hosted this group of girls in our home for two days.

Wow, was it loud, yet so full of life, laughter, hope, passion, silliness, but most of all, girls whose desire was to know our Savior more. Girls whose hearts were pointed to Him, yet struggled to understand that true identity.

Do you remember seventh grade? So many tangled emotions. Things seemed so complicated; pressures overwhelming.

Friendships were a sensitive matter, and parents didn’t know a thing. (I try and remember that perspective, as the battle wars for the hearts of my own children.)

As I continued stirring, I processed confidences the girls shared around their intimate circle. By opening our home, they were able to open their heart. This tech savvy’s generation deals with failures on such a heightened level. When I was in seventh grade, slight verbal gossip behind ones back, is now this generations’ Facebook status. Humiliations are public fodder, and emotions are continually fragile in the wake of the all knowing cyber world.

I continued to listen.

I’m sharing this post over at (in)courage today…read here for the rest of it.


  1. What a great and right on post! I have a 6th grader and a 9th grader and it is so true. Awesome that you were able to give them a safe place to open up their hearts. For the last few years we do a youth conference instead of a youth camp, but we offer host homes up to kids from our own church (we don’t have enough to offer to everyone), the kids love it, and it gives them more opportunity to be with their small group leaders in a more intimate setting.


  2. LOVE THIS PICTURE!!! We have just moved into a home that we hope will have many groups like this (in fact as we speak our church’s youth summer intern is moving into our basement for the summer) throughout the years. Wouldn’t go back to 7th grade for anything in the world, but what important years those are. Thanks for sharing this great picture!!


  3. Jen, I wasn’t sure where to put this, but there is an ad up top right that I am sure would horrify you if you saw it. I know you don’t control them, so I thought I would mention it.
    Very buxom young lady offering herself…


    Jen Reply:

    NO NO NO!! Do you have any idea of the company or the URL? I can block anything and of course, I have that stuff blocked – anything sensual, but it’s crazy what the blockers think are acceptable or not.


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