Posts in June 2013

Things I learned from kids at VBS

Disclaimer: This is a gushy, faith-based post. I don’t want this blog site to ever sound too “preachy,” but I had to share this experience.

Over the last few summers, I have led the singing during the opening and closing assemblies at our small little church’s VBS (Vacation Bible School). It’s no secret that I agree to it grudgingly. I am not very confident in my teaching skills, and for some reason, I am just plain awkward around grade school aged kids. I never know how to talk appropriately to kids 5-12. My voice pitch is usually too sing-songy and childish, and I usually don’t know what topics or subjects to discuss. Before and after these ages, though, I seem to do fine. (Maybe this will change once Wes is in this age group!)

So preparing for VBS is always a worry for me. Every year. Even the week of VBS, including last week, I was pretty timid and unsure the first day. The theme was “Kingdom Rock,” where kids stand strong for the Lord! complete with exciting castle displays, costumes and Celtic music. I was Lady Leah, the gal who welcomed the kids to the evening’s program, taught songs and scripture and each day’s Bible point, and then closed up the evening with another round of songs and dramas.

Because I was a Lady, Mom, who is also the VBS director every year, thought it would be fun to bring out all of my former dance and bridesmaid dresses. So hey, if I was in your wedding, know that I probably got another full use out of my dress! The girls especially loved my changing outfits every day. And wouldn’t you know that the theme of “strength” (i.e. pumping arm motions for all songs) looks really bizarre in a fancy dress…

I surprised myself this year. I actually had fun! Yes, the worry carried on somewhat, but our whole theme was about trusting God no matter what. And I did try to do that myself. Funny thing is, God took over and gave me the strength to overcome my awkwardness and gave me the ability to enjoy myself.

Pretty certain that the Holy Spirit did this through the kids themselves. Here’s what I learned from them:

  1. Kids love to be goofs and love it even more when adults are goofy.
  2. Kids have the sweetest voices in the world. They amazed me with their quick learning and ability to hit every note spot on.
  3. Adults connect and grow closer because of kids.
  4. Kids remember verses through song. It’s pretty much the best thing ever to hear a perfect recitation of Proverbs 3:5,6 in unison.
  5. Above all, kids just want to be loved. They need affirmation just as much as I do.

Photo 1(1)Wally, a knight-in-training, interacted with Lady Leah each day on how to trust God in order to accomplish anything – in his case, becoming Sir Wally. Poor Wally was afraid of horses, attacked by a bully and just had a downright awful week. But by Friday, he had indeed been knighted, and as a surprise, the adults coordinated together to have a REAL LIVE (!) horse be Sir Wally’s steed at the closing ceremonies and after party. (It’s a big deal for us city folk.)

The excitement on those kids’ faces just about did me in. They were thrilled at the sight of that horse and the face that Wally had enough courage (you know, God-provided) to get on that thing and ride it around. Call me sentimental and emotional, but that moment made VBS completely worth it for me. Those kids will remember that night. They may not remember all the Bible points 20 years from now, but if they’re anything like me, they will remember, through song,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.

And heck, these kids are Wes’ peers and those he will follow. Let’s lead these kids onward.

PS – And yes, those of you know who Steven know that he is afraid/allergic/terrified of horses. He commanded me to “go directly to the shower” once I got home.

Posted: June 21st, 2013
Categories: Leah
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Turning Pages

I’m not the first parent to say, “my kid is getting too old, too fast,” or, “he grew overnight!” But I feel like I can officially be grouped into the nostalgic parent club.

945552_10101220866131488_1068542644_nTonight is the second night of introducing the bed rail. I took off one side of his crib yesterday, and thankfully we have had no issues thus far. It’s weird to think about how high the crib setting was just two short years ago. And at school, Wes has transitioned into the early twos class. The new kids in his former class look reeeeeally young. He was a champ today and “talked” about his day all the way home.

Even though most people have recommended we wait to potty train until he is closer to age 3, Wes is showing more and more interest in the whole process of going to the bathroom. He understands where the urine comes from, that Mom and Dad also “go potty,” and that he is still to young to use the toilet, so he potties in his diaper. He gets it. I don’t know how, but one day something clicked with him. With all these new changes happening at once, I find myself living with a little boy – not a baby.

I really enjoy watching Wes grow up. I don’t wish him younger, and I certainly don’t miss the early days of confusion and sleepless nights of anxiety. That’s not to say that I didn’t like baby Wes – I just have made an effort to enjoy each stage of his life as best I can. However, tonight I’ve reminisced about little gurgles, spit up and tiny hands that used to be part of our daily routine.

We have a neighborhood-wide yard sale day this weekend, and I’m planning to get rid of some things sitting in our basement and closets. I am detaching myself from lots of baby gear and doing much better at lending things to families with new babies, but there’s still many things not being used. Big tubs of  baby and little boy clothes are filled to the brim, and they keep getting put in the sale pile and then taken out. I’ve even gone through half of the clothes and separated the pieces I just have to save, thinking that will help me justify selling the rest. But there’s still this weird feeling of saying goodbye.

I don’t want to be attached to stuff. Truly, I have everything I need to survive and then some. So why do I hesitate so much about the baby stuff? I mean, even if we do have another kid, all this stuff is replaceable, right? We’re not planning on kid 2 at all. At this point, we’re happy as a family of 3 and will leave the future plans to the guy upstairs. I do think (often) about another child, but it’s time I continued to live as normal and give my existing kid the love and parenting he needs and deserves.

I’m kinda excited to share my summer months with a little boy. And Steven has been waiting for these days since, well, forever. So, I guess now’s the time when I say something cliche, like, “can’t we just freeze time?”

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Posted: June 3rd, 2013
Categories: Leah
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