The icing on the cake, though, was having my older sister and my 2 nieces, her daughters, there. They even brought a friend with them! One of my nieces, Tari, pitched in and helped as well. I was so grateful to have the girls there because, finally, after all the girls the Lord has had me to minister to over the years, MY GIRLS got to hear from the Lord in a large girl group setting, which was worlds different from those one-on-one talks with their Tee Tee. They got to interact with God's word and get involved in the lesson in a way that they definitely hadn't done with me before. I loved every minute of it!
Then, it was time to go to Lake Charles, LA, and I was more excited about this stop than I could even explain. Not only would I be visiting my college friend, Milena, whose husband pastors the church that was hosting the book reading session, but I would be bringing my first niece, Jazmin, along with me as my assistant. I couldn't wait! I'd been longing for months for some quality time with my girl.
See, Jazmin, who also happens to be my godchild, was born when I was in high school, so by the time life started "moving" for her, I was 5 hours away from home in college, and then, immediately after college graduation, I was states away into adulthood and beginning ministry. I would see her and the rest of my nieces and nephews when I'd visit home ever so often, but that was it. Sure, my visits were regular enough that I didn't miss them growing up, but there were definitely some gaps; I missed a lot.
As Jazmin and my other nieces and nephews got (and get) older and mature enough to handle conversations about the route their lives were taking, I became intentional about having those conversations, and especially with Jazmin. She's so much like me, it's scary, but that's all the more reason for me to use whatever wisdom I have to help guide and direct her. When it was time for her to apply for colleges, I couldn't be there physically, so I prayed about the best way to guide her from afar. I made it my business to be ALL UP IN her business so she can avoid unnecessary pitfalls and walk wisely through her years in school. And I'm SO proud of her! She killed her first year and she's handling the second year well too! Even more than that, though, her character is intact and her head is on straight. She sets goals and works hard to reach them. She's sure of herself and doesn't need others' validation to feel secure. She walks with her head held high, and her eye is on the prize. I count it my responsibility to cover her how the Lord leads me, and since her school is only an hour away from where the book reading session was in Lake Charles, I wanted her to see how the Lord tells me to cover other girls too.
And every time I looked over at her while I was teaching, I know the Lord was teaching her too. I watched her countenance as He spoke to her heart, reminding her how precious she is to Him. I saw her taking in the scriptures and planting them in her heart. I watched her eyes and knew that God telling me to bring her with me was a divine assignment. I may never know just how much our day trip impacted her, but I know it did; I know seeds were planted that will blossom into greatness. I love how this trip surpassed my visit to her campus last year, and how next year's trip will top this one. I look forward to continuing to pour into her life (and my other nieces and nephews) the way the Lord leads me. I treasure every laugh and every word of every conversation I had with my girl. She sure made Sweet Home
And she didn't go to sleep on me in the car. Major points!
- Get your Stories That Teach Girls: A 30-Day Walk Through Girls' Life Lessons With God's Word book here: http://www.ianthasinsight.com/author.html.
- Interested in having a book reading session for your girl group, youth group, dance team, etc.? Join in on the next tour! www.ianthasinsight.com.