It is winter break for all of our former youth group kids. It means lots of visits from old friends. One of those regular visitors is Tim Dukeman. Tim was part of our youth group all 4 years of high school. He is now in grad school in Memphis. We see him almost every time he is home. This trip was special as he was bringing home his girlfriend and wanted us to meet her. For those of you that know him - yes he has a real girlfriend. It was a fun evening spent telling stories about Dukeman. It is entertaining to see our kids grow up and see that in a lot of ways they really don't change. He is still the loud opinionated kid he was when he was in high school. Let me give you a little background on Tim and my (Bethany) relationship. It was a love/hate relationship. Some days I loved him, other days I hated him. Tim knows how to push my buttons. Tim loves confrontation; I flee from it. When it comes to personalities we are night and day. For those of you involved in ministry Tim is the kid that makes you doubt if you should be doing this anymore. Tim is the kid whose parents give you a thank you note when he graduates thanking you for loving their difficult son. Tim was never a bad kid. He just was a little hard to get along with at times. His nickname in youth group was fun sucker. So you may wonder why would I invite him over every time he comes home. Because like every other teenager that ever came through our youth group, I love him. The new bonus to him being an adult is - he has matured and grown up. Every time he comes over now he thanks me for putting up with him. I will be honest, I have had kids thank me over the years. Each time it is a reminder that God did use me in their lives. With Dukeman it is different to know that he caused me stress and is sorry about it. There are not words describe how that makes me feel. Visiting with Tim and the other ex-youth members the last few weeks makes me miss youth ministry - but that's another post.
So for those of you that don't know Tim you may wonder what is this post about. One of our family goals for the year is to have a different family over for dinner each month. Tim & Carrington were the first. We have a list of people to invite but the year is not full yet. If you would like to be added to the list pick a month and let me know. Don't worry I won't write a blog about you.
I did ask Tim's permission. Not that I needed to. Check out his group on Facebook & you will understand.