VBS…three little letters. They bring excitement, fear, stress, joy, fun, dread, and a little bit of every other possible emotion. Last year I directed our VBS. For some reason, something in me has always wanted to be in charge of VBS. I guess I have always just thought, “well, if I were in charge we would do it this way,” or, “I wouldn’t have done it like that,” etc. So, when our children’s minister retired in December, and we hadn’t called a new one yet, I saw that as the perfect opportunity to be in charge of my very own VBS. I volunteered probably sometime in November or December….we found out we were expecting Noah in January. Part of me wanted to back out. I also had the thought, “If I don’t do it, who else will?” I directed “my” VBS while I was 6 months pregnant. I really didn’t expect to end up doing it by myself. I had in the back of my mind that we would have a new children’s minister by then and that person would step into the director position and I would assist. We found our children’s minister before the summer began and sort of thought she would begin work at the church in May or June. She didn’t start until August. I really was on my own. And of course, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to delegate because I want to do it all myself so it’s done “my way.” Overall, it was a fairly successful week. We all survived, and I only had one meltdown (over using staples in the walls for decorations, nonetheless), which is pretty good for an overly-emotional pregnant person. After it was over, I told Brian I would be okay if I never did VBS again.
Fast forward 4-5 months….our new children’s minister (Traci) had been in the church a few months. We are having our Sunday night worship time for our kids, which I was leading. Traci asked me if I was going to do music for VBS. I informed her that someone else from our church has a major passion for leading VBS music and that I didn’t want to take that away from her, but I could probably help her if needed. Then she had the brilliant idea (I guess…) to ask me to help her direct. I kind of agreed because I don’t say no. Next thing I knew, we had plans to go to the LifeWay training event in Fort Worth. It was once again partly “my” VBS. After months of preparation and thoughts of backing out of my role, VBS week was upon us. I had a blast working with Traci and loved getting to know her better. We had a great week and everyone survived. We averaged 233, including faculty and students, and we had over 270 total enrolled for the week. “My” second VBS was a success.
Just a side note (can’t have a post without new photos of Noah!)…Noah had a fabulous time at his first (well…technically his second since he attended in the womb last year) VBS. He was the youngest by at least a year, but he loved being around the 1 and 2 year olds. He napped well at the church every morning, and was just so great all week. We even made him his very own theme t-shirts:
Continuing on…the fun and success of VBS are both of utmost importance. However, I think the most significant thing about this week of VBS has been my change of heart. Even after beginning our week, my heart was still not in it. I was there. I did what I needed to do. I served cheerfully. I had fun. I took pictures and answered questions. Then, Thursday morning came. I had a renewed energy when I woke up. I was excited about being there. I was passionate about reaching kids for Christ. I was already beginning to look forward to next year. Traci has an amazing passion for kids and for VBS, and I’m so thankful that spillied over to me. She was in tears midway through the morning as the thought came to her that so many of us don’t think that there will be children who have to suffer for an eternity in hell. I know that’s an awful thing to think about, but, oh wow, how true that is. We have this ideal image of all the children happily residing in heaven for eternity. How wrong we are…sadly. I just stop and praise God for this scary, yet truthful, reminder. It was exactly what my heart needed to hear. I get so caught up in the details that I tend to miss the big picture. We don’t do VBS to teach fun songs, play games, hear stories, or to eat cookies. We do this in order to “let the little children come to [Him]” (Matthew 19:14).
This past week, it wasn’t important that I was helping direct VBS. What was important was hearing little girl share with me how excited she was that she had already become a Christian and was baptized. Counseling a couple of kids who came to me wanting to know more about how to live as a better follower of Christ. Speaking to a young lady who was just torn up by the fact that she wasn’t able to attend church each week because of a rough family situation and encouraging her by reminding her that Jesus was always with her and she could worship anywhere. Seeing the joy and excitement in kids who just accepted Christ. Praying with one of my sweet piano students after she accepted Christ as her Savior. Watching 3 precious girls proudly share their faith with others through baptism. Amazing what depth and meaning come with those three little letters…
We completed our week of VBS this morning. I’m exhausted but completely invigorated and cannot wait to see what is in store for us next year. Oh, and it won’t be “my” VBS…it will be “His” VBS.