Shandra Lee. With Heart Wide Open. A Miracle In The Making.

October 2010, a group of us were in a ‘wilderness’ area for a middle school Youth Camp/Retreat. I was just beginning my second year with this wonderful group of people . A memorable weekend. A memorable season.

This was a time of watching God move and work in the lives of young people…and some not so young. (like me), To truly get some of the jist of this story may I take you back to the previous summer August 2009. A request was made for volunteers in the youth ministry. A t-u-g, no a better description would be a magnet,, to my spirit. God always has a Great Plan.

Have I mentioned that I  teach? Elementary Ed degree back in the day when it was K-8 certification . Additional degrees which have equipped me to consult, coteach and 1:1 teach with a wide age range and abilities of the most amazing children and staffs in some amazing classrooms across the state, region and community.


Still. I felt ill equipped. Unprepared for what lay ahead. This was R-E-A-L life. Not lesson plan scripted. Not state mandated. Choice. Love. Hearts. Beauties.

God is a gentleman. His invitation was  gentle yet compelling and over these 2 years I have received so much more than I could ever have offered.

I understand the challenges many of you may have had letting ‘strangers’ into the lives of your Jewels and Warriors. Bless you for your trust in this team but mostly for your Trust In Jesus.

The Leaders,volunteers of this 180/JV Youth Group are amazing. Passionate and Patient about reaching kids (and the sometimes uncertain volunteers God brings their way). Patience, passion, committment and goodwill is their fiber. We are here to empower these young ones  to fight against a culture  and let God Write their future..

The lovelies I hang out with were just a few and in 7th grade when we met. Now we are a group of 11, ready to be launched.

Tonight will be our last official activity together as most of them move on to High School . We’ll laugh, we’ll run down the street, we’ll share pizza and stories.

Through them I have learned again how to  have fun. How to be not so serious. That girls, boys, women, men; people are passionate creatures with thoughts and dreams, and hopes and Amazing American Idol renditions during a sleep over in which they WILL expect you to take part even if it is 1:00 am. Through them I have learned to dream again.

I’ve learned that no matter our age or stage we have something to offer each other when it comes from our heart.

So many major notable moments between  November and May of this past season.  Perhaps because we were all ‘coming into our own’. Perhaps we felt the pull of God calling each of us. Our lives, Our attitudes. Our dreams. Our healing. Watching our buds blossom, soften, open, ready to burst forth. Watching, waiting, watering, applauding, crying and praying. ..together


The stories of awakenings are not mine to share. Only to say that ~yep you guessed it~ But God.   



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