I will make my boast in Christ alone

Like I said, this past week was VBS week.  I got the chance to be a sort of assistant director in charge of the high school and jr high leaders.  I’ve held this position before and once all the pre-work is done it basically means that I get the chance to participate in all aspects of VBS.  Once you train the volunteers, sort t-shirts, decorate the church, co-ordinate the band and tech and sound, teach the motion girls the motions we made up, blah blah blah …. all there is left to do is have fun with the 250 4-12 year olds that sign up.
The most stressful part of the VBS morning for me, honestly, is the first 15 minutes.  That’s our opening program which I was in charge of “producing.”  So every morning I would make sure that the slides were right in MediaShout, that the sound and the powerpoint guy were ready, that the band was ready to go, blah blah blah.  It was honestly really fun because that’s where I find a lot of joy in church work.
The other place of joy in church work I find is in the relationships and VBS is a breeding ground for relationships.  Here’s a little insight to what I got to do this week, I basically walked around handing out stickers to children.  Between making sure all our leaders were doing their job and those little detail-y things, I simply walked around to all the stations and talked with the kids.  It was such a joy and so much fun.  Here are a few things that I got to be a part of this week:
A conversation with a group of first grade girls (I did not make this up):

Girl 1: Alicia, you have the best sunglasses ever!
Me: Thanks hun!
Girl 2: I like them more! They are like the greatest in the whole world!
Me: Aw, Thanks!
Girl 3: Well I like your name tag!
Girl 1: I like your name tag too!
Girl 2: You’re the best!
Girl 3: Yeah! the Best Ever!
Me: Well you girls are pretty awesome too!

 A conversation with a first grade boy:

Me: Do you remember me from last year?
Him: Kinda, I think you gave good high fives.
Me: We were buddies last year, remember?
Him: Well I remember the high fives..
Me: Good enough for me
**we high five**

Another great highlight was a fourth grader named Aspen who was a big fan of giving me hugs and telling me how she thought I was cooler than her leader (my guy friend.)  Then there was first grader Maya who I am pretty sure never actually said anything to me but gave me a lot of hugs and ended up being the daughter of my HS drama teacher.

Now, I sometimes get a little down on the silliness of VBS and the way that it’s a whole lot of work and I question about whether or not there is retention in these little ones.  But this morning as we were singing this song called “I Will Boast” it sort of hit me.  This may not be a profound moment for these kids, but the basic biblical truths that we are echoing every day to them, the thought that God is Wild about You!, may be silly, but it’s truth that they need to hear, even at a young age.

The lyrics of the song we were singing was talking about how we shouldn’t boast in riches, wisdom or strength but rather be humble and give thanks.  The chorus simply states, “I will boast in the Lord my God, I will boast in the one who’s worthy.”  I like the thought of these kids learning this lesson young, even if at 4, little Ainsley doesn’t fully get it, it’s a conversation starter, a seed planted at a young age.  With cool motions to go with it.

The point that I guess I’m making is the fact that we are merely planting seeds in the lives of these little ones, but at the same time, as they look up to us we must be the example to them.  Where I put my trust, my faith, what I boast in, those are the things that they take notice of.  And I need to know that and it helps me keep in mind that I need to make my boast in Christ alone.

He is awesome

This week is VBS.  So for the last weekish I’ve been eating, sleeping and breathing Pandamania.  It has been pretty exhausting.  But yesterday morning started the pay off.  250 kids showed up to learn about God and how much he loves us.
It’s just a joy to see these kids come in, some that have been coming every year, some that are new this year.  It’s so fun to be a part of all the action.  It’s been fun being able to be the person behind the opening and closing sessions.  But the relationships with the kids and the leaders is by far the most rewarding.  It’s so fun to see how these kids grow and see how they experience God.  It’s also amazing to watch volunteers from our church step up and serve in places where they are gifted.  I am more and more thankful to see the way that God has created people so vastly different and allow them to serve in ways that they are uniquely gifted.
It makes the hours of painting, group arranging, t-shirt sorting and name tag writing totally worth it.

come pick me up

Tonight an unexpected detour rerouted me about 15-20 minutes out of my way.  Most days this would annoy me, especially at night after a long day of vbs preparation.  But tonight it was a deep breath in.  Let me explain.
I am an extrovert.  I know this about myself, I’m a people person, I like people.  But every now and then I need some quiet by myself time.  And more specifically I need some quiet me and some music time.  I need a few moments to listen to good music and not have to talk to anyone.  I need permission to ignore everything and everyone around me and just breath in the sweet melodies of some of my favorite songs.
The other thing I need in my life is fresh air and wide open spaces.  Tonight’s detour took me on some of my favorite back roads which do not have street lights.  When I first got my license, these were the roads my mom hated me driving on, especially at night.  I’m sure she had nightmares of me being stranded on the side of this road late at night.  So in a lot of ways these roads meant freedom since it wasn’t until I was about 18 that my mom felt comfortable letting me drive on them at night.
This last part you might find weird, but whatever.  I love to drive with my windows down.  And sometimes it’s too cold outside to really have that be super enjoyable.  Tonight was one of those nights.  However, these backroads were so awesome and the air was so fresh I needed to roll my windows down.  So I turned the heat all the way on and rolled the windows down.
So there I was, driving down the pitch black roads, listening to my music super loud, windows down, heat up.  It was so beautiful and such a great end to my perfectly crazy, people filled day.  I almost didn’t want it to end, but alas, it had to.
I love Colorado so much because of nights like this.  Clean air and roads where you can feel like you’re the only person for miles.  Mountains that remind you how small you are in this great big world.  It might be cliche but I don’t care.
Sometimes I think that God gives me these moments in His creation to remind me how much he loves me.  Cause tonight, that road, the mountains, the fresh air, even the sweet melodies coming through my speakers were all meant just for me.  Like a little gift from God reminding me that I’m his beloved child.  And some days that’s all you need.