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!

 

 

 

 

Only One Little Bite

I think this post may be my confession of sorts.  It’s my public recognition of weakness if you will.

I always say that I’m a work in progress and that has certainly been true this Father’s Day weekend.

I’ll put a picture next and you can guess what might have happened here.  If you read my earlier post about Trim Healthy Mama, you can clearly see that these are the direct opposite of “on plan.”

We had family over to celebrate this weekend.  My white cake and chocolate buttercream frosting is just amazing!  I don’t take compliments well but when people oooohh and aahhhh over it…there’s nothing to say to dismiss them because it is just SO good.

Enter my weak moment.  I decided Saturday night that I would just have 1/4 of a cupcake. I made a nice little cut with my steak knife and oh my stars!  It was divine!  So I had the other little 1/4 of the half that I had cut.  Sigh.  It sounds crazy but I don’t remember eating the last 1/2 but I did.

Today after church, we went to another family celebration and I had a slice of pie.

We came home to a rainy, lazy Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t prepared with any healthy snacks.  Sidenote: Does anyone else plan for a week, cook a ton of food for a gathering, and have nothing to eat once that one meal has been served?

So…..a few cupcakes were still on the tray.  Repeat the same scenario from last night (because that worked so well….insert eyeroll.)

I have spent the last few hours feeling SO drained and SO lazy.  I’m about to change into my tennis shoes and shorts and walk the neighborhood to make myself feel a little better.

So, what did I learn?

First, let me say that there is nothing wrong with having an occassional treat.  I do not plan to be so strict that I cannot enjoy my food.  Food is not my enemy. I just need to use good judgment and set limits.

But what I took away from this is:

Had I not taken the first bite, I wouldn’t be feeling awful.  Taking the first bite made the next one seem ok.  After I had eaten half, what’s the big deal. I’ll just finish it.  It’s just one cupcake.

What it did was create my desire for sugar again.  I have had very little sugar and that little bit made me crave more.

Somewhere I’m guessing there is an alcoholic with a similar story, a drug addict, someone who is an abuser and someone who gets abused who could probably figure out what their “first bite” was.

You may think that overeating doesn’t wreck your body like those “big offenses” but I am learning to disagree.

The lesson that I personally had revealed to me was that if I dabble in the things that bring me down, it makes going all in a little easier.

It is so much easier to stay away from the things that are my weakness.

Looking back over my life, and hopefully being a little wiser, it is easy to see where my weaknesses were and where satan knew to attack.

What did I learn?  Be prepared.

That doesn’t apply to only stocking healthy snacks.  It applies to my life.

 

Did I Hear You Right, God?

Do you ever deeply long for an answer to a situation?

Do you pray to have clarity?

Do you sometimes think you hear the answer but then wonder if you made it up yourself?

Those are the ways that I’ve felt for the past six years regarding the schooling of the girls.  Since having the twins, I have felt the deep longing to home school.  I knew for years that there was more that I was supposed to be.  However, by the time that I got done teaching and they got finished with school, we were all too tired to connect.

So, we started thinking of how I could stay home.  We did the budget.  It didn’t work.

We did it again.  We tweaked.  Not much had changed.  We were super frugal.  We still needed to come up with some additional income.

We heard a message at church one Sunday last fall that just stuck with me.  Sometimes, you don’t get the blessing until AFTER you’ve taken a leap of faith.  It was a message for me.

In February, we decided that I would quit my teaching job and home school the girls.  Keep in mind that the girls were in one of the best schools in the state.  People would think I was crazy.  I did not really share this information with many.  If I said it out loud, it made me anxious and doubtful.

Time ticked on.  In May, I finally did it.  I quit full time teaching.

The first few months of summer were spent in anticipation of what school would be like.  The first week in August, we started getting our classroom ready.  The girls were SO excited!  While everyone else was posting back to school pictures, I was posting a relaxed morning with my kids sleeping in.

We started school on August 8th!  We had an incredible week!  We felt immediately that we had made the right decision.

This picture was taken on Friday, August 12th.  Everything about this was peaceful.

The following morning, all of that changed.

My classroom is a little lower than the rest of that house and was the first room to flood.   Two days later, it looked like this.

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I said out loud to God, “God, did I hear you right?  I really thought this is what I was supposed to do!”

Five weeks later, the girls’ desks, still neatly labeled with their name and grade, were hauled away with the rest of our home’s contents.

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As I stood watching, I was sad.  Those were my honest feelings.  I haven’t been sad very much.  I wasn’t sad for the desks (although those suckers are not cheap on Ebay)!  I simply needed to hear God’s voice of reassurance.

This is what I’ve learned from this situation.

God is here.  He is good.  He cared that I cared about those desks.  He has reassured me more than he needed to over the past weeks in many ways.

He has blessed me with people who have restocked my home school supplies.

He has sent many, many encouragers along the way. I am making new friends with people that I already have grown to love in a very short time.

He has calmed my heart.

We have an apartment for now.

Little things don’t upset me much.

My body feels better than it has in years.

My husband and I are a team.  We grow stronger every day as a unit.

My girls still love our version of school.   This week at co-op, my eight year old looked up as we sat together on a picnic blanket and said, “I love this.  I love everything about this.”

If your dreams are being rearranged and your “desks” are being thrown out, believe this with me.  God has good things in store!  He does for YOU and for ME!

I didn’t hear him wrong.  I just didn’t know the path it would all take.  And that’s okay.