Friday, April 22, 2011

I was speechless..............believe it or not!

For those of you who know me personally - know I seldom at a loss for words.  Most often quite the opposite, I am full of words.  I want to tell you about a time this past week when for a moment I didn't know what to say but was actually overwhelmed by God's goodness. 

You see, it has been a really busy month.  There have been many activities and events at church.  Several of these were providing childcare.  Every single time it was to support incredible opportunities for parents.  As the excitement of the first night of our Music and Media Ministry sharing a worship experience with our church family and community, so did my desire to attend.  I had heard great things about it and one of my good friends even told me you have got to attend.  She encouraged me to find someone to work the desk so I could attend.  Well I tried and after asking several people just resigned myself to the idea I would not get to attend. 

Well the Friday night it opened the weather was horrendous.  I mean it was a down pour.  It was a huge storm and I thought oh no, people will stay home.  They will not come out in this weather.  I was beginning to get disappointed for our new Music Ministers - they both had worked so very hard.  Then an amazing thing happened - people began to POUR in just like the rain was pouring outside.  There was an excitement all around.  Then it happened. 

I began to have a big pity party for myself.  I wallowed in a lot of thoughts in my flesh.  It was not a pretty - all the thoughts going through my head.  I actually prayed Lord is there anyone that cares that I don't get to go to church most of the time and that I would really, really like to be a part of this special worship opportunity.  To be completely honest with you I was even mad and told God I was mad.  I ended up telling myself to "suck it up" and "get over it" (forgive me if that word offends you). I just accepted it is what I do and that often there are sacrifices that go with being called to Children's Ministry.  So I went about my night and didn't think of it again. 

The sanctuary begin to empty and parents returned to pick up their little ones.  One of the parents came up to the desk and said are you getting to attend one of the nights.  I told her that I wanted to and tried to find someone but could not secure someone.  She said I am going to cover the desk so you can attend.  She said the Lord told me during the worship service to come and offer to stay so I could go.  I just looked at her for a minute and then said are you sure?  She said yes, I know the Lord told me to offer to do this.  I didn't really know what to say but made the necessary arrangements and thanked her.

As I had time later that night, to really think about what had happened, I realized God was answering my plea.  He was saying Tara - I heard you and I care.  I care so much that I have secured someone for you.  Not only had He secured someone but it was a former staff member who had worked the desk before.  I then realized not only did God find someone to cover the desk but someone I was more than 100% comfortable covering the desk.  Someone I knew I didn't have to wonder if they were okay.  Because of those two facts I was able to have an incredible worship experience that next night. 

When my friend came to cover the desk - I left her a note telling her about my pity party and thanking her for being an answered prayer.  She told me later that she wondered if when God spoke directly to her and told her to ask me, if it was at the same time I was asking Him if anyone cared I wanted to attend too.  I believe it was.  I believe it could have even been before.  I believe when I made those pleas and lamented to God - even if not necessarily with the right attitude- He heard me and answered my plea.  I remember saying God please send someone who can work tomorrow night.  The reason I think He might have even prompted her to ask me before I prayed those prayers- is because He already knew my heart.  He knew how I felt but He wanted me to tell Him how I felt (and boy did I).  Oh His grace and goodness!

What an incredible thing- I know He answers prayers all day long, every day but I am reminded of His goodness to me when He makes Himself known that powerfully and quickly in my life. 

The neat thing is she came back the next night so one of the "nursery ladies" could attend.  And when someone else heard what she did for me, they came back the next night and worked so another "nursery lady" could attend.  There is no better life than to live for Jesus.  Even when I fail, He unconditionally loves me!

Tomorrow is a day to remember what He did for each and every one of us on the Cross at Calvary........ but remember Sunday is coming!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

School Lunch

I always have fun eating lunch with kids at their schools.  Each January I begin the trek to the different elementary schools we have children attending.  There are 22 schools I will have visited this year.  Most of the time I am in the schools on Wednesday.  I think when I write my book (yes, on my "bucket list" is to write at least one book), it may take more than one chapter to expand on the things I learn at lunch.  I am going to list just some of the things I learn......

  • how kids interact in the school environment (as opposed to church and church activities)
  • how they relate to the peers
  • who their peers are at school
  • what their teachers think of them (or the cafeteria lady)
  • what they like to eat and what they don't like to eat
  • what happened at their house that morning or the night before (sometimes good but sometimes sad)
  • how they view me- often in how they introduce me- which often makes me feel really good- "this is my friend from church Mrs. Tara"
  • many interesting things about their teachers, friends but most of all my book you all shall remain nameless but man oh man the innocence and honesty of kids- tee hee- it's awesome
If I were to be the "cafeteria lady" .......
  • I might be broke all the time- how it pains me to see the kids who have to put things back up because they don't have the money for that item
  • I would outlaw television (cartoons) EVER being played during lunch
  • I would pray the noise and behavior issues in the cafeteria would not get to me and I could remain "nice" - which most places I visit the environment is really neat! (yes, I do realize I am in the cafeteria once a week and they are in there every day, all school year)
  • I would figure out a way for little ones not to have to begin lunch at 10:30 in the morning..... I know it is a tight schedule but come on (it makes for a really long lunch time when you begin then and the last lunch is at 12:40)..... if I wouldn't look silly I would take a seat cushion
Kids in their environment are awesome.  I love it when I get to sit with them at their regular lunch table.  Most schools that is not possible because we have way too many kids who attend there- and I can't bounce back and forth from tables.  However, it is amazing when we get a table for our group and they say "I didn't know you go to First Baptist".  I like to see them connect. 

Oh yes- and I always take my lunch.  No offense cafeteria ladies of the world- I always did and always will.  It is just better that way ......

Tomorrow the homeschool are coming to me- whoo hoo! Lunch with all of them here at the church and guess what??? They are bringing lunch- woot woot!

Have a great afternoon!