For the third summer in a row, I led my kids “crew” at our church Vacation Bible School (“VBS”).
VBS isn’t new to me.
If you recall, I’m the kid AND grandkid of preachers. Any my granddaddy was a BAPTIST preacher and those folks love themselves some VBS. Not only did I grow up going to VBS, but then I taught and helped organized VBS-es for years in high school and college.
But if I’m honest, after years of VBS, it lost its luster.
I wasn’t involved in VBS as a non-parent lawyer, and then when the kids were young I never helped because, well, I had young triplets.
Then, as we approached kindergarten, I knew I wanted them to be a part of it. So I wanted to be a part of it.
First, I work relatively far from where I live. This means I wake up early to leave for work and regularly don’t even see the kids in the morning. While mornings are often a time for families to kick off their day with prayer and faith reminders, I’m not there for that. And sharing God with my kids is incredibly important to me.
Second, I don’t get to do a lot of “kid” stuff with them. Working mommas miss school parties and field trips and a number of other day activities that crop up while they’re suited up and clinging to the corporate ladder. But this “day” activity is wildly important to me because it’s time for them to learn about their faith and see the stories in the Bible in a fresh way.
So, I pitched this to my then-boss three years ago: Let me take HALF day vacations. I’ll take the mornings off and work from home in the afternoons. Work is crazy busy and this way the clients won’t lose me for a week and I won’t lose a full week of vacation.
They had NO problem with it. I stayed dug out of a backlog of work AND I got to hang in the mornings with my trio and their friends.
I loved it so much, I kept doing it and just finished year 3.
There is something so overwhelming about watching your kids sing songs about Jesus love and seeing the Bible come alive to them. I’ve had the opportunity to answer other children’s questions about who God is and what He’s done. I’ve handed out Bibles, written notes of encouragement, made snacks that look like an empty tomb, and watched the kids grow “in favor with God and men.”
This year, they ransacked all our change drawers and wallets to help fund a girls school in Africa with Change for Change. They bagged cans and boxes of food to take to West Houston Assistance Ministries. The eldest corrected the parts of the Bible stories that the actors left out when telling about the night of Jesus’ betrayal.
Y’all, it’s basically all I can do to keep from crying every single day. I am a MASSIVELY imperfect Christian. I love Jesus but I muck it up all the time. Patience – um, virtually absent most days after 6 pm. Generosity – sigh, only when it doesn’t hurt. Mercy – not when I fall into my all too regular back up position of judgment.
But they are learning to KNOW God. On their own terms. Despite me. They are seeing who He is and what He’s done for them individually. I remember hearing Beth Moore’s voice crack when sharing about her young grandson singing a praise song in the backseat of her car as she was thinking, “You have no idea now how much you are going to LOVE Him! You have no idea what He will mean to you!”
Life is beautiful and full and glorious. Life is also hard and dark and bumpy. People will fail my people. I won’t want them to but they will. I will fail my people, despite my best efforts. My husband and parents and friends, we’ll all fail. But I know God won’t.
So as long as they think it’s cool, you’ll find me as the crew leader for my trio. And maybe even a little while after they think it’s cool. I love their friends. I love my growing people. And I’m incredibly thankful for these years that I have.