Although I’m not a houseparent, I was invited to contribute to our blog since I work part-time at Joy Ranch. I love being part of the “family”, even though I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with the kids we serve (as a homeschooling mom of my own three, high-spirited sons).
A few weeks back, I did spend some time in conversation with Cheyenne and Chloe at a picnic table outside their cottage. The other gals and fellas were playing a game and running around, but these two ladies and I discussed skorts (and how hard they are to find), drawing, books they are reading, star constellations, and more. It was a pleasant time of having them share their lives with me. I don’t get to hang out with many young ladies, so it’s nice to have those conversations.
Earlier this week, I had another conversation with Cheyenne… It went something like this:
Cheyenne: Hey, look at my hands!
Me: [staring hard and trying to figure out what she’s talking about]
Cheyenne: Do they look purple?
Me: Yes, they do! Have you been playing with poke berries? [This was totally left field – I had NO idea that she really had been playing with poke berries… It just came to mind, because one of my sons had been playing with poke berries the previous week.)
Cheyenne: Yes! I have! I’ve made poke berry ink!
Me: Really? That is so cool? How did you do it?
She then went on to describe how she strained the poke berries through a sock (because they didn’t have any cheesecloth or trouser socks handy), then mixed the juice with salt and vinegar to make ink. She’s been using different quill feathers to write using her homemade ink. Isn’t that neat?
That same day, I got to speak with one our newest young ladies about where she was from. She proceeded to tell me she wrecks her bike a lot, so I encouraged her to always wear a helmet (there’s the mom in me)!
Lily and Julia were playing with a caterpillar, so we discussed how do you know when it’s a type of caterpillar that turns into a moth/butterfly (we really didn’t know). And the caterpillars with fuzz on them and how we ALL call them “stinging worms”.
I’m sure the full-time houseparents have a million interesting conversations with these kids (I see the pictures of the things they do and sometimes hear quotes from them). What a blessing to have these creative youngsters around to help us see the world as a child.
Thinking about these conversations with the kids led me to think about conversations with our heavenly Father. How sweetly He speaks to us through His written word (the Bible) and how He longs for us to speak with Him through prayer. I’m so thankful that our Joy Ranch mission includes “Christian” and that we actively seek to teach our kids to read the Bible, pray to God, and listen for His voice.
May YOU be encouraged today to speak to YOUR Father who loves you so and listen for His voice.