An Unexpected Lesson (& the RE Message is Spreading!)

I didn’t think I’d write a post about Balcony Girls this week. But two things happened. A thrill for cooking was reignited in me. And the girls learned a powerful lesson again!

Our time started off in my home, sitting together and discussing what it means to be a Courageous Girl. Showing bravery in the face of fear, learning how to be an encourager (fostering courage in another person), and how it’s almost impossible to take any chances in life without facing your fears and showing courage.

Then the fun began. We went down the street to Kitchen Depot where the owner, Judy, allowed our Balcony Girls group to come into her kitchen store for a cooking demonstration. First she walked us through the store and showed us the many cool, yet so practical, new kitchen tools. Something burned inside of me after seeing all of these tools. A thrill for cooking defiantly was reignited just walking through this awesome store!

The girls sat on the barstools in the kitchen while Judy taught them how to make several appetizers using some specialized kitchen tools. Each girl got to participate, ask questions, eat, and enjoy. The girls were so excited and energized, and I must say that Judy was an excellent teacher, very knowledgeable and very patient.

As we were getting ready to depart, the unexpected lesson happened. Judy wanted to know what a Balcony Girl was – and as each girl explained it to her, Judy got tears in her eyes. She got down on the girls’ level and looked into their eyes.

She explained how her experience in school growing up was a very painful one, because she was always the tallest girl in the class. She was not accepted, she was picked on and teased, and those experiences went deep into the core of her being.

She explained to the girls that she wished she had had balcony friends in her life growing up. And right then the girls got it!

Can you imagine how different life would have been if Judy had had friends who were “courageous” and stood up for her?

We often think of courage being fostered only in ourselves when we are brave. But what about being a courageous friend and actually offering courage (encouragement) to another person, including the victim of a bully? Those friends could have pointed out the positive aspects of being a tall girl. They could have included her more. They could have seen beyond Judy’s height and awkwardness, straight into her loving soul!

The girls and I gave Judy a hug, we thanked her, and we walked away with yet another lesson for Balcony Girls: that courage really matters. That we can’t pass up one opportunity when it comes to being a courageous Balcony Girl!
(Photo: Girls getting an Extreme Juice drink right after Kitchen Depot fun!)

Exciting News!

The Reluctant Entertainer message is spreading! Some of my blog posts have been adapted into articles to Crosswalk.com. This is very exciting news to me, as more and more people are going to get the help they need to go from reluctant to gracious entertaining!


see you there! said...

Congratulations for being featured at Crosswalk.com Sandy. I just read the article.

Your wise words, warm personality and passion for what you do needs all the exposure out there.


Tammy said...

Oh Sandy, this was so wonderful to read!
I didn't really know what the Balcony Girls were, and so I hopped back to your links and read some more.
How I wish there was this group around when I was in school, also...I could so relate to Judy in this. What a wonderful thing you are doing with this group!

I'm not sure I am prepared, at least right now, to start something like this but I'd like to learn a little more about this. I'll check out the Faithgirlz website, as well.

God bless, Sandy!

Org Junkie said...

I'm thoroughly enjoying these posts and I want to thank you for sharing them with us.

I'd love to know more about your courageous girl talk.

Oh and what is the clothespins in a jar game? Not heard of that one.


ValleyGirl said...

Man, there are so many books you should write!! It's never to late to learn these types of lessons and you do such a wonderful job of illustrating them.

Congratulations on Crosswalk.com!!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible blessing - to the girls and to Judy. I understand Judy's message all too well. If only I'd had balcony friends back then, when I was a lonely, shy, skinny kid with a secret of abuse I couldn't share with anyone. I wonder how my life would be different? And yet, I know God allowed that time in my life so that I would need Him desperately and so I'd be able to share His love with mercy to those who are hurting, just as I was back then.

Barb said...

Wow, you couldn't have planned that any better! How neat for both Judy and the girls!

momrn2 said...

I so love the concept of encouragement fostering courage in others. I have never heard it stated that way or thought of it that way... but I am processing that concept. What a beautiful one!!!

And congrats on Crosswalk!! What fabulously exciting news! Rejoicing with you!!!

Room for Grace said...

What a wonderful moment b/t the girls and Judy. Judy sounds like a wonderful woman to be able to share so openly.
So exciting about your news - for you and for the people who will be blessed by your message! That is so wonderful!
I am so grateful that I found your website, I'm blessed each time I come.

Ornery's Wife said...

What a wonderful post. And what a rich ministry you have toward those girls. Maybe you'll start a nationwide movement!

Judy Chiosso-Glass said...

Sandy - love you and the girls - you have made my life richer . .