Sunday, September 15, 2013

Completing Her Quest

It's mid-September, the leaves are beginning to change, the apple orchards are all open for picking, the farm stands are selling corn AND cornstalks for seasonal decor, and I am not so happy about all of this.  It's too soon! I do love the fall (really nothing like fall in New England), but I love the summer more, and it was just too short and went by too fast and had too many activities packed in to truly savor it ~ or blog about it, or read blogs, or respond to comments, or...

But a lot of special things happened this summer, and I've not told you about one of the most special.  Some of you know that Kayla was working on a Quest all last year between her 12th and 13th birthdays.  Maybe you read this post about the challenges she was asked to accomplish over the course of the year.  And maybe you also read this one showcasing a few of those completed challenges.

Well, she finished (almost!) ~ and last month we had a special dinner party to celebrate!
Some of the books she read and Bible studies completed as well as some of her artwork.
Kayla made the guest list which contained close friends and a few special women in her life.  We set a pretty table, made a yummy dinner and gluten free cupcakes, put all of Kayla's special projects on display and sent our guys off to eat dinner out (Chipotle) and watch a movie (Percy Jackson).  After eating dinner, we played a round of The Game of Things (Kayla LOVES games), and then each older woman in attendance shared on one of the following topics, all virtues displayed in the life of the Proverbs 31 woman:

Health and Strength
Skills and Hard Work
Abby shared about the privilege of serving the Lord ~ as well as a very special way Abby herself was served by a woman in India who really had "nothing" to give.

 "Think about God's love for the least and the lowly. The world avoids the awkward, the annoying, the smelly, but God doesn't. Listen to the spirit with fearlessness, Kayla!" ~ Abby

Lois also shared about the privilege of serving  ~ both a specific story from her own college days in which she had the opportunity to help a student with cerebral palsy, and also a story about Darlene Rose, who was a missionary to New Guinea during WWII.  It was a raw and compelling passage about Darlene's husband's feet which had been bloodied by walking through the jungle without shoes in order to fulfill God's call, and from a book which Kayla had read for her Quest! Perfect!
Christie shared about rewards, and told a story from her own life about striving for earthly rewards in athletics and the approval of her coach. Then she shared about the reward of knowing Christ now and being with Him eternally.
 Cindy shared about wisdom and told a story about a breakup that she experienced. She explained to Kayla that though it was a painful time, the Lord grew her in wisdom about herself and navigating future relationships.  So perfect and practical!
Izckra shared about strength including specific stories from her own life about losing her parents and other hardships.  She told Kayla "Life will not always be pink," or "rosy" as we Americans would say, but that pain can be brought as an offering to God, and that His strength is sufficient. Jenna shared about a godly view of work and Sarah M.(via email!) shared about wisdom as well.  Some gave Kayla small gifts that helped to reinforce or illustrate the virtue about which they shared, and one of the most creative gifts was this from Sarah A.:
 Miss Abbott has been Kayla's Classical Conversations Director for the last several years, and these flashcards are a spoof of the vocabulary cards Kayla had to memorize in her Essentials classes. (Mrs. Plotczik will be proud!)  The set contains HAND DRAWN cartoons (much like the silly IEWriting ones) illustrating different kinds of strength a woman will need and can depend on the Lord for.  So great!
So thankful for all of these very special ladies and their willingness to make such a significant contribution to Kayla's life as she grows into womanhood. So proud of Kayla for putting in a year's worth of very dedicated effort to complete all of her Quest challenges.

Next Up: Back to School, A Month of Paleo Living, and a trip to NYC for Fashion Week (really!)
(Well...if I can somehow achieve a balanced schedule now that we've started school for the year and there is a bit more of a predictable weekly routine!)

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