I am one of those weirdos that loved high school and who thinks teenagers are awesome. Not scary, not something to dread, but truly, wholly, amazing.
Good thing that my husband is in youth ministry. Because our house is constantly filled with teens and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So what is a girl to do, when after church one Sunday, my husband mentions that we are having a pasta night for twenty (which turned out to be more like 30) of our student leaders? That night. That for sure he told me about, but me in my scattered A.D.D. I didn't write it down, shop, prepare, much less remember?
I get water boiling. That is what I do. Because pizza and bbq's are always nice, but a cozy, home cooked meal is always better. That is, an easy home cooked meal is always best.
You might not have teenagers yet, but one day you will. How great would it be your house was the house that they all want to come to? They don't need much. A comfy couch, food, Just Dance on the xbox... They will never leave. While they are there you will get to see who they are, their hopes, their dreams, their fears. Then too, you might learn to love instead of fear those the world often dismisses.
Try not to mentally curse the man at the appliance store for talking you out of a double oven.
Because a convection microwave that can bake an 8x8 dish is NOT THE SAME as two full size ovens.
I bet he would have listened to Mrs. Duggar when she said that she would use two ovens ALL THE TIME. Sigh. It did work better for the space, but at least once a week I wish we had two.
Lots and lots and lots of food. More than you think you need. Way more. Garlic bread from Costco. It's ridiculously good. Impossible to mess up.
My grown up friends always clean my kitchen and do my dishes for me. Teenagers? Not so much. So I am so cool with boring old paper plates. When the boys want to fight over who gets to do the dishes, my happy fiestaware will come out. Until then, sorry earth.
(Public service announcement: if you happen to have teenagers and you really want them to be invited over again and again, brainwash them in to doing other people's dishes. Who knows, maybe they will realize what a huge blessing it is and start helping with your family's dishes unprompted.)
Two words: Sonic Ice. Drive on through and pick up a few bags for only $1.69 each. Nothing says awesome like rabbit pellet ice. Nothing. Except TWO OVENS.
Fun sodas, full of sugar and food coloring. Lots of kinds. Combine with Sonic ice and you are suddenly a superstar.
Set everything out and watch it disappear. Quickly. Messily. I made a super easy baked ziti cheater recipe, with penne, red sauce, half & half, ground beef and lots and lots of parmesan and mozzarella. Just thrown together and then covered with cheese and more cheese. Easy to prep before hand. Even easier to cook if YOU HAD TWO OVENS!!!
Sugar. A requisite. These are our version of a local restaurant's Pizookies. Pie tin. Cookie dough. Bake. Easy and mindless, and again with the TWO OVENS!!!!
Step nine: Put your little ones to bed with the lovely soundtrack of Lady Gaga on the Just Dance game downstairs. Then try scrubbing Lady Gaga out of your mind as your try to head off to sleep hours later. Still be haunted by it for days and days.
Step ten: Be glad that you had the opportunity to be a part of their lives. To laugh when they text each other while sitting in the same room. To know that there is not enough money in the world that would get you to play Just Dance, but the simple fact is, an open door, dinner and a comfy couch is really all they need to let you see into their world.
Want a little peek into the crazy that is youth ministry?
To see one of our students use his gifts and talents in a mighty way?
Ariel Amaro is a name you certainly will hear in the future. He is sheer brillance with a camera and we are so very, very blessed to have him be a part of our team.
This is why we do what we do.
Each and every one of our student is such a blessing, there is no place we would rather serve.