Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm excited about Kidmin 2012 because of Kidmin 2011

Flat Stanley crashing Kidmin 2011
Last October, I attended Kidmin 2011.  It was their first year, so other than the fact it was hosted by Group Publishing, no one knew exactly how it would bless those attending. The planning, prayer and preparation was bathed in prayer and tested every step of the way by actively getting input from Kidmin folks from far and wide, but exactly how would it be received? That was yet to be determined.

Without using a load of trite superlatives, I must say Kidmin 2011 delivered and we who attended received more than we ever imagined.  That's exactly why I'm excited about Kidmin 2012

  • Personally, I think the novel notion of taking your time to refresh and connect with others who "get you" was well received because it was not forced or expected.  I anticipate Kidmin 2012 participants will readily embrace it.  (I know for myself, I plan to balance my gab time and workshop time to make room for both.) 
  • Professionally, as I look at the speakers and workshop leaders list, I'm overwhelmed with choices, but I'm planning to make a bee line to the workshops lead by the speakers I just couldn't fit in last year. (Whew! It's totally going to help me select and prioritize.) 
  • Spiritually, I'm excited to worship with my peers.  Since I stepped out of a Kidmin position, Frank and I have taken a break.  Instead of worrying about finding a church home, I've gotten to worship at my home church with my parents, in a church inside a Township in South Africa, with the Kidmin IT team at Group Publishing headquarters and privately with my toes in the sand thanking God for friends and family. All those experiences were very special to me, but seriously there is NOTHING like worshiping with my Kidmin family... nothing. 
  • Selfishly, I'm kinda excited about the "free stuff".  Thank heavens Southwest doesn't charge for checked bags, cuz my carry on was so stuffed, I decided to check it instead of pulling my arm out of the socket dragging it onto the plane.  
  • Therapeutically, the late night pajama parties, VBS party and other less than serious activities helped me reconnect with a part of my life I had been suppressing.... my carpe' diem.  All who know me would NEVER call me serious, probably more like silly, but all that play spoke deep inside my heart calling me to return home and reorganize my life before it's too late. For now, I'm a carpe' diem novice, but I'm excited to seize every opportunity to play with abandon at Kidmin 2012.  
In 90 days, the second Kidmin 2012 will be.   I'm praying now and until that day,  Kidmin 2012 will be what God wants.

Because I am bold, I dare ask Him to astonish and bless my Kidmin family personally, professionally, spiritually, selfishly and therapeutically. (Me included!)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This week last year....

Testing big fish for Jonah Bible Experience
This week last year and the other 15 before that, I was in the throws of the last week of Vacation Bible School preparation.  This year, I am not.  Funny thing, instead of feeling sad about it, I'm simply looking back with a smile.

This week last year would be the second week of sixty plus hours at church partnering with the VBS directors team in behind the scenes preparation for the most vibrant and effective outreach event of the Children's ministry year.

I do not recall ever feeling tired or anxious during that week.  If I did experience those feelings, they were short lived.  No matter what, someone or something would happen to remind me how much I love watching God's church transform into a child's world of wonder. It's hard to be grumpy or entertain fatigue when you know for five days children will DAILY experience God in the most age-appropriate and effective ways imaginable. The anticipation is intoxicating and energizing - some would say spirit fed, but definitely intense.

  • Yes, my legs ached each night. 
  • Dinner was whatever - take out, eat out or left overs.
  • My inbox overflowed daily no matter how many times I checked it.
  • Housework amounted to making the bed and many days even that didn't happen.
  • My office and bedroom closet were indistinguishable from each other - organized chaos gone wrong.  
  • I woke early no need for an alarm clock and slept like a rock.
  • Daily conferences with parents, directors and other volunteers too many to count. 
The week flowed into the weekend. Father's Day celebration was Jersey Mikes with Frank before VBS set up and if I had a chance a phone call to my dad.  Not alone, other VBS directors, volunteers and their family celebrated Father's Day with us putting up sets and decorating the hallways and rooms.

Yeah, it really makes me smile recounting the fun and frenzy of the week before VBS, but this year, this week, this time makes me smile too.

This year, this week, this time will be vastly different.

  • It will be quiet and manageable.  
  • I will travel to Greensboro to celebrate Father's Day with Dad and Frank. 
  • Sunday evening or early Monday morning, I will toss my suitcase in the car and head to the beach for five days with two of my closest friends. 
  • My major concerns will be making sure I pack enough sunscreen and bathing suits.
And just like this week last year, it will all make me smile.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Getting away

Recently, it dawned on me I've been barreling through my life at a breakneck speed. Even after stepping down from a church ministry position in October, I've been maintaining a busy ministry schedule.  About the time I thought I could take a break, another new opportunity or renewed activity in another ministry project would pop up to monopolize my time and attention.

What can I tell you? I am a self-aware awareness of an obsession is some great step toward wellness.... pa-lease, even I know better! Just the same, I was determined to take this unique time in my life to actually TRY a different life style, specifically focus on my home life lifestyle.  This longing had haunted me for years making me sometimes sad and a few times resentful when ministry obligations kept me away from or distracted during home and family events.

Proof I got away! - Visit with UNC friends
Pine Knolls Shores, NC
For the first time in 14 years, I managed to cobble together a real six week break - at least, I'm hoping it will last that long! I'm determined to use this time to -

1- Slow Down
2-Focus on domestic tasks
3-Travel with family

It's surely a short list, but it's probably going to be the most daunting task I'll undertake.

Go Ahead - Google it!