I've come to a recent conclusion...I was not meant to be in children's ministry -apart from the four that live in this house and there are days I question even those. And yet, here I find myself in kid-central station.
My sweet, wonderful husband says to me, "it would be great if you can find a way to engage with all these children in the afternoons." This is close to the look I gave him only with less joking and more "you must be kidding me!" I thought easy for you to say since you're uh, NOT HERE!
I think he has an unrealistic view of my abilities. The truth is I crash everyday around four o'clock. (you will notice that this is being post just shortly before 4 -I'm on the descent even as I type) After trying to entertain, organize, home school, feed, and discipline four children for seven hours, my body goes into self-preservation mode. I hit the couch and turn on the previously mentioned reruns of Reba. It's my cheap version of a trip to the spa; mind-numbing, deep breathing, relaxation for 30 minutes. I can feel the blood boiling in my veins as child after child knocks on my door asking for water, snacks, potty, and sometimes just to stare at me like only someone who has never paid an electric bill could do. Those attributes of Christ in me :patience, joy, a serving heart are hard to identify at this point in the day.
But after some soul searching and brainstorming I came up with a plan that may work for all of us. Here is where Little Debbie comes in. The kids de-bus and begin gathering around 3:30 pm. Today, I printed off 15 copies of a simple Bible verse: "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice!" (yes, I needed that one as much as they do) I handed out the slips of paper along with an oatmeal cream pie -a freebie BUT not for long. Anyone who wants a snack at Mrs. Amie's house after school must say the pass phrase from memory. Each week the verse will change. Several of the kids got right to work, some won't take it seriously until they are watching their friends down a cream pie without them. Either way, I get to contribute something of value to the crew and in some small way feel justified while I enjoy 30 minutes of selfish zoning. oops, 3:59 -gotta go!