Summer Field Trips 2012 - Best and Worst

I took my oldest daughter downtown to walk around Michigan Avenue - window shopping (I was very clear about that one), and lunch.  I did this, not because it is something I enjoy doing, but because it is something she enjoys doing.  She is twelve (and a half) and into this type of thing; I, however, am not. But I tried to be into it for her, and came to the realization that one day she will be the one taking me downtown and showing me around this bustling part of Chicago because it is clearly not my comfort zone.  After forking over $30 plus for parking, we left.  I felt depleted (and we had just eaten).   I tried to keep a conversation going in the car so it would feel like a great bonding experience, but not sure that happened this time.  She is an awesome kid - responsible, mellow, good student, and good friends, but she's a night owl who likes the busy city, and I am an early bird who is more of an introvert.

I honestly think I'd rather live on a farm.

My youngest and I went to another part of the city last week.  The parking is free here.  There's nowhere to buy lunch, so we ate first.  She is the daughter who increases my patience, teaches me to love those who act unloveable at times, shows my lack of self-control, forces me to get up while it is dark to prepare for her early arrival every day, and makes me laugh.  "Mellow" does not define her.
As we entered the Homeless shelter, she felt at home, and so did I.  She did not need my presence to accompany her everywhere, as she usually does, I think she knew who was in her.
She wanted to come with me to "work" that day.  This was our field trip.
Arloa Sutter says in her book, The Invisible, "Joy comes when we practice the discipline of engaging regularly with those who are less fortunate."
My youngest daughter was reminded what joy feels like.  She had experienced this in the Appalachian area we served at in 2011, and at the Boys and Girls club we went to earlier in the summer.  As she exercised with some of the women and made friendship bracelets with others, she didn't want to leave.

Luke 10:20 says "The Great Triumph is not in your authority over evil, But in God's authority over you and presence with you...  It's not what you do for God, But what God does for you - that's true rejoicing." MSG

She was learning that with God's presence, there is triumph, and what He does for us in that time, brings true joy.
As we left, it was quiet.  We were not depleted, but filled, I think with a silent awe.
Half way through the quiet car ride, she said,  "I want to go next week, too."