Happily exhausted.

Ask any adult that has logged a week at VBS and that about sums it up.

I grew up in rural New York State, not attending church on a regular basis.  It wasn’t until my 30s when  I started having my own kids that I even knew what Vacation Bible School  is.   And in the South, churches get down! Themed curriculum, scripts, materials lists, treats, discussions, it is no small thing.

We had a lot of fun helping with games this week, and in reflecting upon what I learned, it got kind of deep.  I thought I was walking into a refresher course on “Jesus loves me, this I know,” and my heart was so encouraged beyond.

I cherish opportunities where I get to see our kids bonding with our adult friends at church.  They need to be challenged and have fun and laugh and be pushed out of their comfort zones by adults other than Dad and I.    They  won’t be good at everything in life (who is?) but they can experience that our joy comes not from how well we do things, but from who We are in Him.  The more people that can live out this concept with them, now, when they are young and impressionable, the better.

If you want to serve God’s Kingdom, He will find you.  The last few years with two little kids and two working parents have seen many a daunting Sunday morning.  The Spirit is willing, the body is weak, and that body wants to stay in bed.  More times than not, we get there, but walking in wearily, I often don’t feel like I am contributing much to the Body.  Can I help God’s Kingdom by balancing a wet sponge on my head at 7p on a Tuesday night with  a passel of  laughing 5th graders? YES! Church activities like VBS provide an opportunity to serve when the ‘usual’ times to serve seem tough.

Kids watch what we rearrange our schedules for, and for what we are willing to be inconvenienced.  I’ll be real:  for a lot of us, a week of VBS was not very practical.  It meant 5 consecutive 14 hours days, leaving the house early for work and going right to the church and getting home late.  It was a week of eating dinner late and more fast food than normal and my already minimal housecleaning routine was totally jacked.  Our kids stayed up late, went to bed without baths when they were grimy, and were really tired in the mornings.  But you know what?  Having VBS this week stretched me to see that their spiritual growth is more important than a death grip on my so called schedule and my so called comfort. Their memories, their conversations in the car ride home, their night time prayers ‘thanking God that they got to go to church camp’ were all confirmations that tweaks to the schedule for the right activities are totally worth it.    Kids are watching how we spend our time and for what we make our schedules flexible to accommodate.

A week of VBS takes a village.  I am so glad to have been a part of one.  It was designed to bless the young ones, but I think it did a lot of good for adult hearts too!