Since day 150, I've been counting down. To be honest, I just can't help it. I decided in these last 30 days, I want to share some stories that maybe you've never heard. Steven and I have have known each other for 8 years, been in 5 different countries together, spent countless hours with teenagers and even more over cups of coffee laughing and telling stories. So for those who only know us apart, I thought I'd give you a little insight into some of our fun together.
Let's call this one: Middle School Camp...
My very first summer in Dallas, Steven offered, or rather got tricked into helping me at middle school camp. Between us, I believe we had 20 crazy kids to chase after and try to keep them from killing each other. If you know Steven at all, you know that he has a real way with pushing boys to step it up. That was probably the first character quality I saw in Steven that really intrigued me. Steven has a way about him that guys respect... not out of fear, but out of a gentle strength.
One of the boys on that trip had never made it through an entire week at camp. He would either freak out and be sent home or refuse to speak. He refused to be involved in the games or to participate in any way. Every time I pushed him he would retreat further into himself, so I finally just let him do what he wanted.
As per usual, he chose to sit out when the kids were playing tug-o-war. We had a bunch of girls and a couple small boys, so of course we were losing. Steven, standing next to this kid, leaned over and said, "They need your help." The kid flippantly said, "They don't need me." Steven responded, "They won't win unless you are their anchor." My mouth dropped open as this kid, who I couldn't get to do ANYTHING walked over, grabbed the rope, put it around his waist and pulled them to victory.
Over the course of that week, I saw Steven willing make a fool out of himself to get others involved. I saw him eat the most disgusting concoction just to get a rise out of the boys and I saw a gentle leader. At one point, I was freaking out and I said, "Steven make the decision for me!" And he looked at me in his calm Steven way and said, "I can do it for you if you want, but you're in charge of these kids and I believe you can do it." I loved that he was willing to step in for me, but believed wholeheartedly that I had the ability to do whatever I put my mind to.
That's what I learned about Steven at middle school camp... and I am still following that gentle leader.