Monday, June 18, 2018

When you're trying to slow down summer

These "lazy days of summer" sure have been busy!!
Two of my teenagers and I are going out on a two-week mission trip this week,
and we've been busy making lists, dusting off luggage, shopping and packing.

We've had to be absolutely intentional about carving out some slow time
to just enjoy each other and the simple pleasures of this season!

These are glimpses of what we've indulged in the last couple weeks
 as we've had time.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Vacation Bible School!!

During the last full week of May, we sent Lexi off with my Mom
back to Ohio where Lexi visited for 8 days.
I prepared for and coordinated a beautiful wedding over the weekend,
and the following Monday the rest of our family jumped in to a fun week
packed with energy, excitement, surprises, and ministry!!
We have only two children left 
who are eligible to participate in VBS as students now,
but the older three were very eager to participate as helpers.

One thing that I love about our church family is that there is no age
turned away when it comes to ministering.
It is clearly understood that we were all created to glorify God
and is it routine practice for teenagers to learn to serve in a variety of capacities!

Ashlyn was a helper in the three-year old class.
Grant was a game time assistant, and Abby was a craft time assistant.

Anytime a group of believers comes together for the purpose of reaching the lost
the devil goes into overdrive and the spiritual battles become intense.
Our great enemy tries to distract and discourage us in a fascinating
variety of ways that never cease to amaze me!
I'm not as surprised by his wily ways as I get older
 and see this pattern nearly every time now.
This year was no different.

Usually here in Texas, it stops raining for the summer around the 1st of June.
So imagine our surprise when we had several unexpected strong thunderstorms
come through our area, usually overnight, causing some kind of freak damage.
On Monday evening, that exact thing happened
 and an electric pole on our church property snapped in two
resulting in a loss of electricity to the entire facility.
It took the local utility company the entire morning to repair this damage
which meant there was no other choice but to cancel VBS on Tuesday.
A first for Worth Baptist Church.
Oh, the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth as children {and parents}
from all over the Fort Worth area learned this terrible news.
What a trick!!!

But we saw through Satan's guise and wouldn't let this get us down.
Instead, we rested and refreshed and went gung-ho in the rest of the week!!
23 children came to know Christ as their Savior because of the tireless
efforts of God's people in spite of that set back.

This year, I had the incredible privilege of leading the 5-year old class.
We had an average of 18 kids per day in this class,
and they were adorable fun and wiggly!!

Every year I participate, it seems there is that one child who comes as a visitor
that presents us with very special challenges.
In the past, it was children with language barriers from a local refugee housing
complex who had a difficult time following directions,
or the boy from a broken home who came on the bus and didn't 
really even want to be there.

This year, on the very first day, I was presented with a young boy with autism.
Thankfully, he was very verbal, but he struggled with impulse control
and transitioning from one activity to another.
He also seemed very sensitive to loud noises.
It was a challenge to learn how to best communicate with him
and to re-direct his attention when he got frustrated as an activity ended.
My greatest desire was for him to understand how much Jesus loves him,
and I began saying that to him everyday!!

Imagine the blessing it was for me when, on Thursday,
I happily received a completely unsolicited "I love you!"
from this little boy!!!
I don't know if I will ever see him again,
but what a blessing to get to work with him and experience
the love of God through him!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

My Mom's last day here in Texas just happened to be Memorial Day.
To make it special we went to our local Memorial Day ceremony,
followed by a cookout at home.
During the ten days my Mom was visiting, 
she gave Aryn about 5 or 6 piano lessons.
To highlight that time, Aryn and my Mom 
put together a mini-piano recital for us to enjoy after our cookout!
What a sweet time we had together!