Since God blessed us with this house, I knew I wanted it filled to the brim, with laughter and conversation, and planning and goal setting. Last December, one of our neighbors talked about opening up his house once a week to his friends. He would throw food on the grill and everyone would commit to bring drinks and sides. He said they did it until their kids were grown and left the house, and still to this day, come together every Sunday night in summer.
I had sat on that idea all year long, wanting to incorporate into my own life. Summers are busy for us because we are wedding photographers, but like for so many wedding photographers, winter brings a little less hustle.
Ike and I have a very active street team. Sometimes its hard to connect from event to event, so, a couple weeks ago, I introduces this "Sunday Dinner" series to them, but instead of a grill in sides, they would bring a plate (potluck style) and we would do a study hall.
Every Sunday night, from 6-9p no matter what is happening, this would be our time to come together and connect.
It isn't mandatory but a time for us to just check in with one another, a safe place, accountability.
Our first Sunday dinner was an incredible success. I had current street team members and alumni come and we worked on everything from college applications, to personal statements, to Seattle Fashion Week to accounting homework.
We are in the process of selecting another street team and last week decided to open our "Sunday Dinner" up to every girl who applied so that we could do a "meet and greet." It was AMAZING to see 67 girls show up to our front door that night.
What started as Sunday Dinner, very quickly, turned into a house party AND WE LOVED IT! Dancing to Justin Bieber, red solo cups, tasty food, and fellowship. So many of the girls kept telling me they were getting texts asking "Where the party was?"
About an hour in we sat down and we talked. We connected. We shared our hearts, our hopes and our dreams and we built so many genuine connections and relationships.
When it was all over, I was so fed. So moved and so grateful for what took place.
Young people are needed. They are precious. They carry innovations, purpose, our future in their hands. They deserve a voice. They deserve an opportunity. They deserve passionate adults who believe in them, want to sow into them and will help them realize their greatness.
I sat in a room full of young girls with dreams bigger than theirselves. They carry great vision to change their world and to leave it a better place. I felt motivated, inspired and moved to do something, not just in words, but in action to support them in catapulting forward.
Even though these girls were JUST applicants, I knew it couldn't stop there.
After so much prayer and agonizing over the non-reality of a 94 member street team, we decided that the best way to move forward was opening up our Sunday Dinner's the first Sunday of every month, to every single girl who had applied to be on the street team to join our current street team and our alumni for food, fun and fellowship.
We are so thankful for this house. This house filled to the brim with estrogen, and laughter and fun and every single girl who finds their way here, that she will feel welcomed, loved and supported.
I want this time to be intentional, uplifting and life giving.
I got a text from our accountant volunteering yesterday to sponsor a Sunday dinner and I was so overwhelmed and my heart started bursting!
There are so many people who may not be called to serve girls but who can support us and what we are trying to do in our community, so if that's you, and you can offer tutoring, or any other resource, or food that might help us serve these girls better - we have our hands open and would love to collaborate with you!
Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below so that we can reach out to you!
And thank you to all of the people who have commented and texted and offered encouragement and support - We are honored to be able use our business to have this kind of impact on the girls in our community!
And some images from the girls below!
Fun behind the scenes photos provided by all of these amazing girls!