With VBS about to wrap up (one regular night left and the Family Finale left), I find myself really thinking about the week and what it has meant for us. As exhausted as we are, I find myself wishing it was just beginning instead of ending. It has been an amazing week.
I've completely missed seeing all the kids in worship or watching their eyes light up during story time. I had purposely planned to leave our snack area early and watch last night, but well...hmmm....let's just say Bradlee created a little drama that just slightly pulled me in another direction. :) Hopefully tonight I can sneak in and see them.
Despite being a stressful week just trying to keep up with the balance between "real life", making sure all the bases were covered and trying to keep things running smooth, it has been AMAZING. It was an emotional first of the week with Peyton having such a horrible panic attack in the large crowds. I won't lie and say that didn't set me back. Nightmares of another time and place and the realization that we aren't past all of that as much as we had hoped is unnerving. Fortunately, I think it did open a great line of communication with him and hope that we opened the door for more as it's needed. All of "that" in the past was at a time he wasn't old enough to understand and now that he does, hopefully we can help him come up with ways to positively work through those situations. He is still a little on edge about all of it, but he will now be more aware of what to do when he begins to feel that way. As his mom, that wasn't a fun experience to witness and I hate that helplessness. However, I think I learned some huge lessons from it as well.
This whole week has been like salve to a burn, confirmation of being where we KNOW God placed us, and hope for amazing things to come. When we first moved to C-U, it was extremely hard starting over from scratch. With Kev's job, we've had to start over many times and we just never truly got to the point that the location we were living ever became "home". We finally have that feeling here. It's been at least a year now that we all have totally, completely without a doubt felt "home". That's an incredible feeling when you've been searching for that completeness for years.
Even though FCC has been our church home for almost 3 years, it's only been about 1.5 years that we've been actively involved. Having come from the mindset of complete, TOTAL burn-out...we took the approach of sitting on the pews, with little more activity than showing up for worship, soaking it in, and then walking out the door. There WAS a time for that. Our own hearts & souls just needed to be sponges for awhile. Once the time came that we both we're ready, we jumped back in. OH boy----what an amazing decision that has been. IT was from that diving in, that we found HOME!
Last year, VBS was a great time for Kevin and I. We showed up, dropped the kids off, and then had some much needed adult time. We SELDOM ever had that opportunity. Like...NEVER! FIVE whole nights of "dates" was unbelievable. It also was a much needed time of reconnection. At the end of that week, we began to look forward to VBS this year just because we knew that it would be a week to slow down and connect with each other. However, I told him on that last night that I "knew" we just wouldn't get away with it. We were just beginning to become active with children's ministry again and I knew our "guilt" would keep us from having that date week again. I'll admit...part of me was disappointed.
Fast forward a few months. Erin asked if I would co-direct snacks with Kathleen. ZERO hesitation. YES! By that time, I was developing a great friendship with Kathleen and I knew God had directed Erin. I'm so THANKFUL that I wasn't hesitant in saying YES! I could have been selfish and said Kevin and I needed that time alone instead. Yes, it would have been a great week with him, but I know without a doubt I would have missed out on an incredibly huge blessing.
This week has further cemented my feeling of HOME, joy in being back involved in children's ministry, passion for sticking to the beliefs that I have. I have LAUGHED more than in a VERY long time, made some new friends, taken some friendships to an even deeper level, and just completely am overwhelmed with contentment. Contentment in knowing that God KNEW exactly what he was doing in bringing us to this place and at the time he did! YES, we've had some setbacks and continue to deal with broken promises in how things were "supposed" to be. We've had "losses" along the way....ones that still sting and ones that will continue to haunt us for awhile. However, I'm certain God knew all of this before we drove that first mile down the interstate with a four month old already crying because he was teething and hungry. I look back and visually think of that drive and can see how it symbolically told the story of the life we were about to begin. NEVER can go back, because THIS is the path God was sending us on. I have no idea what the next chapter brings, but I'm excited to be turning the pages!
So....Erin, thank you for asking us. I love your statement of "Just ask. Make THEM say NO!" Of course, I'm just learning to say NO, but I'm so glad I didn't learn that skill back then. Thank you for giving me the chance to let my friendship with Kathleen have a jump start! Erin: can't say enough about you! You are priceless! Nothing else describes you! Elaine: Can anyone ever truly have a bad day with you around? It doesn't matter what stress or uncertainty we may all be dealing with, you have a way to just turn it, flip it and make it a laughing session. You are my Maxine from Hallmark! Your take on life is unparalleled! Kathleen: plain and simple.....where we sisters separated at birth? And to all of you that have been our volunteers: YOU HAVE BEEN AMAZING. Thank you!!!! I've enjoyed getting to know you, laugh with you, and even at times pull my hair out with you!!!!!!
Kevin: thank you for being here every step with us. I've loved seeing the involved Dads taking part. I've missed you LIKE crazy this week and have felt so completely out of sorts by not being able to spend enough time with you. I miss my best friend, the one that keeps me grounded when the world is spinning. Two more nights....then there is NO excuse. You have a mandatory meeting with me. Got it?