Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Glimpse of why I do what I do......

I attended the wedding today of a close family friend. The eldest son of this family was married. It was a neat experience. I have had the privilege to serve along with this family at two churches- the father of the family is my current co-pastor (at our church the two senior pastors are called co-pastors- one is more the preaching pastor and the other is more the ministries of the church). As I waited for the service to begin and I looked about the sanctuary I realized the impact on young people and families this family has had. It is neat to see people and what God has done in their life and how He is using them to impact His kingdom - it is amazing. I have told my pastor before how neat it must be as he sees this in young adults he has had in the past as a youth pastor and to see young adults begin families he and his wife have had the opportunity to impact. To think that you have had a small part of things like that is I believe one of the blessings here on earth our Heavenly Father allows. I realize as the old Lee Greenwood song "Thank You" says we will each never realize the ways God uses us in others lives until we are gathered in heaven.
Today a tear or two trickled down my face as I looked at the TEN children this couple has allowed my husband and I to get to know over the past 8 1/2 years and I was choked up.
At the reception a family from my former church approached me telling me their son who just completed his 5th grade year was required to do a chapel talk at his school. She handed me an envelope and shared he had chosen to speak about me. She wanted me to have a copy of what he said at that talk. He specifically wrote about the adoption journey my husband and I are on. I told her I had better wait to read it and she agreed I should wait. Well as I drove away that day, I did read it. It talked about how I was his first children's minister and how sad he was when I left. It talked about how I help children and go on mission trips. He then talked about our journey to adopt two sisters from an orphanage. Tears streamed down my face as I realized what I had been thinking about my co-pastor had just happened to me. It reminded me that is why I do what I do- to impact children and their families lives. Yes, I get tired sometimes and yes sometimes I think is this worth it. Then I see all the little faces smiling at me, excited to see me, all the hugs I get, not to mention the kids who promote to the youth but still come see me and then I get handed something like I did today... It is then the Lord reminds me what I do is not a job but a calling. I am called to minister to boys and girls and their families. So even when the days are long and I am tired (and yes I am getting tired more often) , I am to keep on keeping on! And I think of how glad I am I get to do what I do!

A Day Off

Today I had TOTALLY off. Well I did get a few calls related to church and quite a few emails BUT my point is I did not "have" to do one thing today- YIPEE!

I enjoyed today and am thankful for time to rest. My awesome assistant called me FROM THE BEACH !!! Wishing I was there sitting in my beach chair, reading a book, soaking up the sun and jumping in the waves........... soon enough, huh! For now a day to just hang out at home will do!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

AWANA Awards Night

Last night we had our AWANA awards night. If you are unfamiliar with AWANA - it stands for Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed - and is an awesome scripture memory ministry for children (and youth). Our church offers classes for Puggles (twos), Cubbies (threes and fours), Sparks (Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade) and Truth & Training (boys and girls clubs in grades 3rd, 4th and 5th - 7th combined). It is truly the best I have seen for children. You can check it out at
This is one of my favorite nights as children are given their year ribbon, plaque or cubbie bear for their work at hiding God's word in their heart. I am so thankful for the 75 + workers who volunteer each week through the school year. These leaders teach children God's truths, teach them how to be on mission for Jesus, play AWANA games, prepare them a snack supper and more than anything love and nurture them. What a great privilege. AWANA store nights are fun but WOW! on Award's night it is incredible to see the pride in all they have learned. I am thankful for our Kindergarten Sparks who shared their club song and Books of the New Testament song.
I left last night wanting to begin next year with a challenge to our adults- to memorize the scripture along with the children (most likely they are already). I also want to figure up how many verses were memorized each year. I know it is well into the thousands with 250 people present each night (workers and children).
We have said goodbye to AWANA until September but I am so glad the truths of God's word we never say goodbye to- once we commit them to memory ...... they are there forever!
I praise Jesus for all the boys and girls who when faced with a choice to make and don't know what to do the things they have hidden in their heart (GOD'S WORD) will help guide the choice they make!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Another Overnight!!!

Well tonight I am headed to the Knxoville Zoo for a program called "Bedtime with the Beasts". Right about now I am thinking I am crazy. Well yes I will be tired tomorrow and it will take me a day or two to recover BUT it is so much fun. I will get to be at the zoo with animals at night- yipee! I will get to see kids interact with kids, some with their parents but most of all get to know some of them a little bit better. Fun stuff. We leave at 3:15 this afternoon- stop and eat dinner and then head for the zoo. We will return home about 1:15 tomorrow afternoon. Glad I have LOTS of chaperones for this event. Also the weather is calling for the rain to stop and it to be a really nice night. I had better go pack my bag and put on my walking shoes. My little secret to making these nights even more bearable- I take my camping cot. Sleeping on the floor - is just a little too much for me these days! So when you are in your nice, comfortable bed tonight going to sleep in the quietness of your home...... think of me on my cot, listening to little girls whisper and giggle. Fun stuff and memories made await me....................

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Awana Derby

Last night we had the AWANA Derby at church. It was a lot of fun! If you are not familiar with the AWANA Derby it is where kids build little pinewood derby cars with a parent (some build with a grandparent) and then they bring them to church and we race them. Not only do we race them to see who is the fastest but the cars are judged for Best of Show based on their design / decoration of their car.
It is always interesting to look at all the cars and see them race. I find there are three types of cars (in essence parents) represented-
1. cars who are most definitely trying to go for speed (mostly parent made)
2. cars who obviously the child did most of the work and was really working on the car looking good (often not always the fastest car because in my experience the child has done most the work; although some are fast and look good)
3. cars who tried hard to be fast and look good but are just glad to be a part of the race

It is amazing to me the measures some will go to in making their child's car fast.
The main thing in this event is for kids to spend time with their parent(s) creating the car together (while they make memories).
Some comments I heard last night-

"my cars wheels are wiggly"
"what is wrong with my car?"
"I'm going to lose again, will I ever win?"
"That was a close race, cool"
"Great, you won this time"
"We are having a technical glitch, thank you for your patience"
"Next year I am going to do ............ to my car"

It was a lot of fun and can't wait to see the cars next year.

Might I add that the winner is a child due to physical reasons can not participate in a lot of sports or extracurricular activities- therefore does not have the opportunity to "win" at many things..... His dad is one that works with him to make his car really fast and he has won for several years. His parents have shared with me they work so hard with him to make his car the fastest because it is one thing he can succeed in. I wish you could see how proud he is of his car and excited about the race. He tries his best not to smile when his car wins each heat and when I call his name to claim his Fastest Car trophy- but he can't contain his little smile- the corners of his mouth turn up in a grin as he tries to suppress it-- it is priceless! It is an awesome privilege to see the other racers, their parents and grandparents be excited for him.