Woke up with JUST enough time to throw my hair back and pull on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. Foggy and chilly morning flag pole, head pounding like it had been hit by a very large hammer, massive drainage from the sinuses and throat, voice sounds like I could easily sing baritone.

Welcome to Thursday.

By the time I got to breakfast, I was pretty sure my day was going to seem very long. I went out the door to the back patio and was greeted by cheers and excited waves. I was given 4 quick hugs before I even made it to the stump.  I climbed up and the kids started to cheer. That’s when it started:

“Hey Paula, are you going to teach us another song?”

“Paula? Can you call my group first?”

“Paula! What’s your favorite color?”

“Paula, where did you get your shoes?”

Before I could answer these questions, a flood of new ones were hastily and excitedly thrown my way.  I hushed the group, and began to lead them in a ridiculous song.

Somehow, sometime (I’m not sure when), the chilly breeze and stuffy nose didn’t matter anymore. The stress of being out the door 2 minutes after waking up had melted away, and all that remained was what is really important: I was with my kids. MY kids. My 220 crazy munchkins. These 10-14 year-olds that want my love and attention. Rich and poor kids: city and town kids: tiny and HUGE kids: black, tan, and white kids.

220 hearts and minds. 220 pasts, presents and futures. 220 souls. Thanks, Lord, that their stories aren’t done the moment they leave here. Thank you that YOU have a perfect and wonderful plan for each of them.

I’m not ready for my kids to leave: I want them to stay forever. I don’t want them to leave: I will miss them.

Lord Jesus, please send someone into their lives. Please send someone to tell my kids about you.