So, I can feel my voice, er, fingers shaking just a little as I get ready to type out all my thoughts from this week at VBS. I get a little nervous whenever I share my thoughts and opinions and just stick them out there for the world to see, but the older I get the more I realize that it's okay and even good to have thoughts and opinions. Right? :)
When asked to volunteer with Vacation Bible School at our church this year, I felt a little check in my spirit but said yes anyway without really praying first. I have always thought VBS was a good thing and wanted to support it in any way. I also wanted to involve my children in VBS this year, and the only way they could all go was if I volunteered. So, I thought to myself, I'm really doing a good thing for them. This will be great.
And it has been a great week, for the most part. I've enjoyed hanging out with the 10 three year olds in my class, especially sweet Solomon, our special needs child who melts my heart. He and I have become buddies this week as I've discovered that he loves to touch, and feel, and for me to carry him around the playground and help him down the slide. :) He is a phenomenal little guy.
The ladies I'm working with are awesome too. I've made two new friends from church that I didn't have before. :)
My children are making cool crafts and eating interesting snacks. Learning a few new songs. Hearing some familiar Bible stories.
But the truth is, VBS is not the place we should have been this week. God gave me a super-important task. A building project, really. I'm to be full-time about the business of building my home.
Building my home requires actually being at home. I can't build up my home when I'm not there. It requires actually being with my children. I can't build them up when they are in someone else's care all morning. Each morning we have run through breakfast as quickly as we could so we could get to the church on time. We have also hurried through lunch so I could get them to their naps and finally sit down and catch my breath for a minute. I've been tired and grumpy with each of my family members because I'm exhausted. And because I know I'm not doing what God asked me to do. Penelope and Rosemary have cried every time I've dropped them off. There's just something WRONG about leaving your own child crying in someone else's arms while you run off to tend to another woman's children. It's just not the original design of things. It doesn't feel right because it isn't right. Several times this week, I have consoled a child who fell while playing on the playground, and I knew they wished their Momma was there. Every time I have wondered if one of my own was falling on the playground at that same moment and wishing I was the one dusting them off.
When the powers that be at VBS told me what room I would be helping in, they said that I would have Penelope's age group but not Penelope, because "we never put mothers and their children in the same room." ?!?!?! I just have to say: There is something inherently wrong with any organization or institution that says it is NOT best for mothers and children to be together.
The older I get and the more real-life experiences I have, the more adamant I become in my belief that the absolute best place for children to be is in their home, with their Momma. Mother, if you are believing the lie that there is anything "out there" that would be better for your children than being home with you, reject that lie and embrace the truth. There are many great programs out there. Really, they are and they all have neat things about them. But all of them pale in comparison to being at home with you. God gave you your children and He will equip you to teach them, train them, discipline them, play with them, do crafts with them, feed them, comfort them, and love them. You already have all that you need to take excellent care of your child. God is good and He doesn't leave you lacking.
I recently found and embraced as my own, a Bible verse that I have shared countless times already with every friend I find myself in conversation with. "The LORD will perfect that which concerns me." -Psalm 138:8. Concerned that your child isn't being socialized? The Lord will perfect it. Concerned that someone else could do a better job of disciplining your child? The Lord will perfect it. Even if you found a teacher who disciplined your child well, at the end of the day it is still YOU that your child looks up to and is commanded to obey. You still have to be the Momma, even if they are good for someone else. The Lord will perfect whatever concerns you, dear Momma. :)
So, next year, we will probably not be doing VBS. I do plan to volunteer again when my own children are grown and out of the house, so that the younger mommas don't get guilted into making the same mistake I made this year. If you are an older momma, please consider doing that. :) But until then, our home really is the very best place we can be.
"The wise woman builds her home, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands." -Proverbs 14:1