About two weeks ago I, Matt, and my husband spent a Saturday taking a short road trip up to Kansas City, really it was a small town just outside of Kansas City called Lawson, Missouri, but the reason we drove up to Missouri was to join a youth group from St. Paul’s UMC in Lenexa on their weekend retreat focused on Discovering their Spiritual Gifts. Their youth pastor, Allison, a former youth group student of Matt, invited us to join them so we could speak about self care and spiritual renewal and how those aid in finding and using our spiritual gifts.
It was a very enjoyable afternoon with the kids. After spending so much time among other college students, I’ve forgotten how funny high schoolers are, but they’re actually pretty hilarious. Anyway, we showed them different practices they could use for spiritual renewal, from breath prayer to the practice of play, which was the kids’ favorite practice to learn. We spent quite a lot of time in the practice of play, enjoying activities such as singing, coloring, and a very exciting game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
All in all, it was a gratifying and rewarding weekend. I felt exhausted as we got home, but I also felt fulfilled. I enjoyed the opportunity to share with the youth group some of the things I have been learning in my classes which I find helpful in my own spiritual life, but I also was surprised at how much I learned from the kids as well. I do not think we always give enough credit to the wisdom of high school and middle school age children. Watching them interact with each other and hearing what they had to say during the discussion times was very enlightening.
I was grateful for this experience. It was actually the first time I’ve helped lead a retreat like this, and it was a little intimidating. But even though I’m still getting the hang of it, I enjoyed hanging out with the kids and sharing these practices with them.