In spite of the fact that I lack the credentials and maturity, I have recently volunteered to guide the spiritual minds of 12 seventh grade girls from our church and lead them in a small group. I'm in it for the sleepovers and candy. The wrestling and screaming I could do without.

Since snacking is a must, in addition to the Bible teaching and journaling, I inquired with my 9 year old as to what snack I should bring to our first meeting. In addition to my insatiable sense of humor and fashion know how, I was hoping that my reputable and highly creative snack choice would supersede my age factor and make the girls fall in love with me. The disappointed whispers of "Aw, we got the mom and not the teenager" would die quickly when they saw my snacks hence the need to acquire wisdom in the snack area from one who knows snacks well.

"Jello!" was the first suggestion from our youngest child. Although initially skeptical, I knew that expertise was greater than my negative intuition. "And popcorn?" I suggested hesitantly. I wanted to bring popcorn because the last time I saw red Jello it was cut into smallish cubes and spiked heavily with vodka. It's been a while. Popcorn was a good back up if my cooking skills failed.

My popularity hinged on the Jello so I nervously blended two boxes of strawberry Jello with boiling water and dumped the contents into a large metal bowl. The mass of red goo was impressive but I wondered how much would actually leave the bowl.

Before leaving for my small group I grabbed a large can of whipped cream. At least we could do whipped cream shots straight into our mouths if the Jello was a flop. That's fun.

When I arrived to my small group I slipped the bowl into the kitchen quickly before the girls arrived. I couldn't bear any ensuing negativity prior to delving into God's Word.

The group went well. The stifled outbursts of giggling were reaching their peaks and I knew the snacks would need revealing soon. After prayer I unveiled the Jello. The girls jumped up and down like, well, excited 7th grade girls about to get sugared up and sent home for the aftermath. My snack was a success.

As the girls left, throwing out hugs and thanks I was certain of a three things. The bouncy 13 year old middle schoolers have a small group leader who loves them, is dedicated to their spiritual growth, and currently wears the title, "Queen of awesome snacks."