Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vacation Bible School 2012

I love this week.

Vacation Bible School at St. Vincent's has become a special tradition for both Madi and me, and it is truly one of my favorite weeks of the year.

The first two years, I volunteered in the babysitting room with Madi on my hip (not literally, of course, but she was with me).

For the next three years, I had the pleasure of being Madi's group leader when she was old enough to enter camp. It was so much fun to take the kids from station to station and watch them learn about Jesus and God's love for us. I loved sharing that experience with my daughter, and truthfully--each year I learned alot!

This year came with a twist though. Most of the leadership from years past had a timing issue and couldn't be involved. The church really needed volunteers to step up for new positions.

It was a tough decision, but I knew God was calling me to step out of my comfort zone and step up to a new post, so without (much) hesitation, I volunteered as the leader of the "snack station."  Food has always been something that I feel comfortable with (as long as I'm not cooking)!

Of course, the trickiest part was getting Madi to "sign on" to my new position. I knew this would take much mental preparation for her, so I first broke the news a couple of months ago. There were alot of tears, along with many requests to kindly email the organizer to let her know I'd changed my mind. Poor Madi tried everything to get me back as her group leader. But day by day, as I enlisted her to help me with my station planning, I could see her attitude shifting. With each day that passed, the idea grew on her a little more, and she knew that what I was doing was for the greater good. And by going along with the plan, she was aware that she was helping, too.

Another tricky part was Charlie. My last experience with leaving him in a room with caretakers did not go over so well, so I really wasn't sure how he would handle being in Tadpole Bay without our family for three hours each day.  But I was hopeful, since we'd been attending the SVF Mommy & Me playdates, that he was at least familiar with the room and knew that might be helpful for his transition.

The major hurdle was my inexperience with something like this. In an interesting way, though, I could compare it to the beginning of an adoption process. The first time I read through everything, I felt totally overwhelmed and submerged. The second and third time, I approached my task with a legal pad and began to formulate a solid plan.  The forth and fifth rounds of my review came with more clarity, and the feeling that perhaps I could actually handle this. The rest of the ride was downhill.

I am so thankful for my support system. I've been blessed with kind and competent assistants to help me out at camp. And my family has endured my stressed out, impatient mental state as I contemplated whether I prepared enough, worried if I ordered enough food, and became anxious about what to expect--all of the things that God did not want me to do.  So in the final days leading up to camp, as I prayed for guidance, God certainly answered my prayers and gave me just that.

And then I stopped feeling anxious...or worried...or scared. And the week has gone beautifully.  I've had a ball teaching these children and feeding them healthy snacks.  I've seen my daughter become independent without Mommy as her leader. I've watched my son blossom in Tadpole Bay, working on puzzles and playing with other kids. When he sees me at the end of the day, the expression on his face is priceless.  

It has been an incredible week, and I can't believe it's over tomorrow. I feel so blessed to have had this experience, I can't believe that I've almost completed this task. I actually asked the organizer if she can put me down again for next year!

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