Gaga Ball and Jesus- What’s the Connection?

The pledge of allegiance to the flag

The pledge to the Bible

A song from the hymnal – probably Stand up, Stand up for Jesus or Standing on the Promises.

Rotations through crafts which probably included some type of string art or finger-painting.

The preacher preached from the Bible

Prayer dismissed you and you took the 10 things you’d created with you and looked forward to coming back the next night.


I’m reminiscing about Vacation Bible School, now shortened to VBS.  Those good days in the summer when you went to church at strange times and all the little old ladies made as much kool-aid and as many cupcakes as you could possibly consume.


I dropped my children off tonight at our church’s version of VBS.  We have amazing leaders and volunteers who work very hard to make this happen.  There are HUNDREDS of kids who are coming to the church for this event.  The amount of work that is put into it is not to be taken lightly.  It’s a heroic effort.

However, I left sad.  I also left with a headache.  During the five minutes that it took for me to drop my kids into their respective color and number groups, the noise level was mind boggling. There were no less than fifty kids screaming just to be screaming.  There was NOTHING peaceful in this place at the moment.

Two and a half hours later, I picked them up.  One of my daughters has a bit of trouble processing things when she is overstimulated.  She was literally staring ahead and didn’t even seem to notice me when I went to her group.  I jokingly said “Hey…do you recognize me?” She teared up to cry.  She was obviously overwhelmed.

One of the three could tell me that there was  a short story given about Jacob.  No details, but Jacob was the subject.

The other two were sad that they had forgotten their crazy socks and wanted me to turn on the interior lights of the van so that they could read the flyer to see what was coming after crazy hair night.

Now, I know I’m not young.  But I am struggling just a little bit.

I feel like I might be promoting the idea that we might need to be loud, chaotic, wild and crazy to learn about Jesus.  I’m not saying there is anything “wrong” with that.  I’m just struggling a bit with it.

Be still.

Be still and know that I am God.

I think that the mission is to get children to enjoy coming to church so that they might want to return to hear about Jesus.  That’s a noble mission.

What about the children who are already coming?

I know that it is not the sole responsibility of the church to teach my children about God. I am thankful that I have that privilege.  However, I desire to have the support in a corporate setting.

Maybe that is my take away.  Maybe the church is there to initiate the conversation and then the work is mine.

Either way…..there’s a lot of Gagaball being played in the southern states this summer.

I’m going to trust that Jesus is in there too!





Character Development: Let His Light Shine

“They won’t let me play.”

“She said I can’t be a mermaid too.”

“I had it first.”

These are examples of the great conversations that we have around here.  It can get tiring.  Being a referee is draining.  So, how can we turn that around?  Well, we can’t totally win that battle.  However, hopefully we can praise more than we correct.  We are working on it around here.

For me, one of the greatest privileges and biggest responsibilities of parenting is encouraging my children’s character to shine for Christ.  While we certainly have not perfected this in ourselves or our children, we do want to encourage it.  This world is a hard, hard place.  It takes about two minutes of life to realize that we are battling all sorts of external influences.  We feel that the more that we can do to help direct their actions, the better.

Character development, one buck at a time...One of the things that we have done at our house is what we call “Bulb Bucks.”  When we catch our girls doing something that is symbolic of letting their light shine for Christ, we award them one.  This could be a kind word to a sibling, giving encouragement to a friend or family member, being extra helpful without being asked and a host of other things.  While these are some of the things that we also expect, we feel that pointing them out and rewarding them helps to solidify that they are important parts of good character.

When our girls have accumulated five bulb bucks, they can visit our treasure chest and trade them in for a prize.  I have filled this with a collection of mostly dollar store finds that appeal to the girls’ interests.

My husband made a cute printable for the bucks that we hand out.  I have included it here.  Feel free to print away.