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A couple weeks ago I was listening to a sermon which focused on our

responsibility - our ability to respond.

The key part of this was the emphasis on respond….How we choose to respond to any person or situation has a huge impact on what happens next! I have been thinking about this ever since because it seems to be resonating with my life a lot as of late. School is back in session for our kiddos and with all MPS schools learning virtually, that has posed somewhat of a challenge. We have now begun to offer the opportunity for our kids to all be present in a single space to gather for school. On most days, about 5 of our kids, ranging from 4th graders to sophomores, have come together in the community room to learn virtually! Now, I am definitely not a teacher, but as I oversee our kids programming here at Hope Street, I have taken the lead on this. Monday through Friday at 8:30am we are ready to go with computers turned on, school supplies out, and breakfast served. The beginning of the day tends to be the easy part. It's the independent portion that becomes the struggle.  Back to the importance of how we respond - imagine helping our kids complete their math homework or read after they stared at their teacher on a screen for the past 3 hours…To say the least, they are ready to just be DONE and honestly, I don't blame them, I would be too! It is during these times where I have really paid attention to how I respond to their questions, frustration, and sometimes complaints. Kids feed off the energy you give. If you respond positively and encourage them, there is a better chance that they too will be encouraged to complete that assignment or believe that they can finish reading that one book! I am by no means saying I have it all down. I still have experienced days where I too have become a little frustrated or discouraged or am just a little too tired, but I am grateful to be able to stand by our kids and help them work through this challenge of virtual learning! Lord, thank you for our kids! Thank you for each one of their different but beautiful personalities - for their smiles, their laughs and quirky habits. Thank you, Father, that we have a space here at Hope Street where we are able to walk alongside our kids as they continue to grow! Thank you for Terrence, JJ, U’nique, U’nasia, Shania, TJ, Lebron, Davonte, Audrianna, Michael, ElyJah, Valencia, Marshall, Bryson, Bryan, Nasir, N’mari, and Nick Jr. Father, please help us all work on how to respond to life's circumstances. May we look to you for guidance and remember the following…

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”  Proverbs 15:1

Amen, Brooke

Last but certainly not least, thank you to all those who have generously given their time to help our kids learn!


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