Kingdom Rock – Where Kids Stand Strong For God


kingdom rock

Well, Vacation Bible School is over, folks, and the baby grands have gone home. I think I have caught my breath, and I have to say, I really enjoyed the week. The program was awesome, beyond awesome actually. There were glitches, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

This is a picture of us just before leaving for the first day of VBS. The kids were very excited and so was I. Not really. I was nervous. I always am just before something big. Every year I get to be the Station Leader that shows movie clips of Chadder Chipmunk on his journey to live for God. You would think by this time I would be a pro at it. Nope. I always manage to screw something up. God knows this and mercifully sends someone to help me at just the right time. Poor me. It’s so embarrassing. But it does keep me from letting the title of Station Leader go to my head. You know I’m kidding, right?

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We are blessed to have an awesome DRE (Director of Religious Education) at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Bunkie, Louisiana. Her name is Karen McCoy which is a synonym for ‘burning ball of energy’. Neither the adult volunteers, nor the student volunteers can keep up with her. She had so much to do in so little time. She began preparations weeks before the program start date and it just seemed like every day something new was added to the list of things to do. I doubt any of the children that came to VBS, or their parents, know what goes on behind the scenes and how hard it is to put this kind of program together.

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Karen McCoy, DRE at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Bunkie, Louisiana. Can you tell this is after the last day?

But Karen knows very well how hard it is. So do I and all of the volunteers who helped where we could. There was never enough people involved, or so it seemed. Let me just say this: we painted, colored, cut, hammered, pasted, stapled, taped, and zip-tied everything by hand. We had to create the stage props, décor for all the rooms, costumes, and paint, paint, paint. For days we painted cardboard to look like castle walls. It was so hot outside (the only place we could paint), the wax in my ears melted. Whew! I’m glad I wasn’t responsible for everything that goes into the program but at the same time, I feel guilty that I couldn’t do more to take a load off Karen. How she did it I’ll never know. Her responsibilities were endless. It’s mind-boggling to think about. She started weeks before we did. Can you imagine that?

There were some less than ideal moments during the week, the glitches I mentioned earlier. A few crew leaders couldn’t finish the week. One or two were absent altogether, sound systems and lap tops gave up on us, the stage props melted, some kids couldn’t register until the very last minute. But we had good leadership and no one knew there was any behind-the-scenes chaos. Everything fell into place. I know Who to thank for that and I praise Him for the honor to serve Him by serving our children. He is a good God. His mercies are true. He said to bring the children unto Him. So we did, and so it goes every year in the summer time. Karen McCoy has dedicated her life to young people and works hard to Stand Strong For God.

Let me say also that it is a thrill to work with some of the special volunteers who always show up when God says go. Ashley, Rachael, Claire, Agnes, Jill, the Youth Group. There are more, but names allude me at the moment, so I hope they forgive me for not mentioning them. I wish I could post a picture of the 60+ children in the group but I hesitate to do that without parental permission. Suffice it to say, it was a big, loud, rowdy, happy, laughing-out-loud group of kids and adults. Praise God!

I don’t know about anybody else, but it has taken this long for me to rest up. I was simply exhausted! I haven’t had to go anywhere or do anything extra since the last day of VBS. Ha! That reminds me of the post-surgical advice I got from a doctor one time. “Don’t do anything you don’t want to.” Wise man. What a blessing!

If you want to see what the week was like, read my previous post “What Was I Thinking?” https://nantubre.com/2013/06/19/what-was-i-thinking/

All of my grandchildren told me they couldn’t wait till next year for another VBS! If that’s not a testament to hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, what is? Mission complete.

And don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll.

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WHAT WAS I THINKING??


I love Vacation Bible School and the reason I do is because, lucky for me, my older grandchildren get to come spend a week with me. I volunteer to help out and I do it for them, so they can have something fun to do when they come to Nana’s in the summertime. That is my favorite part of the summer!

Ok, so this is how it went this year: Today is day three and it’s not called hump day without good reason. Believe me, we have humped up double time to get this far. We have cut, painted, hammered,taped, tacked, and zip-tied everything you can imagine. We enlisted the church’s youth group to help build elaborate stage sets, only to see them melt and fall apart after being left without air conditioning for a couple of days. After the initial let down, everyone worked frantically and feverishly to get it all returned to pre-melt status, successfully, I might add. The stage looks awesome! It has taken days, nay, weeks to get everything done. If it is, indeed, done. Our DRE (Director of Religious Education) has had her work cut out for her. I couldn’t have done it.

Spoiler alert: Here comes the What Was I Thinking part. There are somewhere around 60 kids enrolled in VBS this year. We are thrilled! Can’t you just see the sweet little things running to VBS breathlessly to share Jesus Christ and love of one another? Uh. No. It’s HUMP DAY. That means the team leaders are exhausted, the whole staff is exhausted, the kids want MORE. They want more fun, more projects, more movies, more snacks. They remember how much fun day one and day two were and they expect to have an equally enthusiastic program for days three, four, and five. I’m not so sure that is possible.

I knew today would be a challenge almost as soon as my lovely feet hit the floor. Because I didn’t wash my hair when I showered last night, I had to it this morning. Let me clarify that – I stood just outside the shower so I could bend over far enough and use the hand-held shower head aimed at my hair so I could wash it. Mistake. Why the hell didn’t I just take another shower instead of having to end up mopping the floor too? Again, lucky for me, Paw Pete asked me if there was anything he could do to help me out. Why, thank you. Please feed the animals, I mean, grandkids. That was a big help. He fed them each two pancakes and one corndog. That effort alone gave me enough time to mop the water out of the bathroom floor and dry my hair, in that order. Somehow I knew it was going to be that kind of day from the moment I pulled my clothes on. I found a string and started to pull it. I pulled and pulled. I’m a little slow so it took a moment for me to realize that the reason it was going around and around my waist was because the little string that I pulled was coming from the waistband of my underwear. The more that I pulled, the more sure I was of the type of day I would have. I had to go to VBS with my underwear barely hanging on, to say nothing of how diligently I had to work to keep it on. But I made it, thanks to the power of prayer. Yes, Virginia, God answers all our prayers, especially when he wants his disciples to set good examples for the youth. Wearing underclothes is not optional, it is mandatory.

I thought I had more than three baby grands to corral to the car from the way it looked as we were leaving. We were like a gaggle of cartoon characters trying to get out of the door at the same time. This is the way it has been all week with very few variances from day to day. Right before the program started on the first day, I realized I left something in my car and I had to go back to get it. It was a good thing I did. My car door was still open. That was a disaster waiting to happen. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of that one too!

My one and only job during the years I have volunteered to help out at VBS has been to man the video station. I like it because I don’t have to be in a big crowd or be surrounded by a lot of noise. That’s another What Was I Thinking episode. Every year, I say I’m not going to do it again, yet every year I still do. I don’t like noise. I don’t do well in crowds. But I do love it when I see precious little hands folded together in prayer. And I love to see a little kid’s face light up when they tell about the ‘God sighting’ they had. I love the fact that VBS is more than just a summertime babysitting gig, it’s a real job. Maybe one of the biggest. There is no cashable paycheck but influencing our children to understand and master the art of worship and the act of loving one another is a heavy responsibility with an eternity worth of dividends. I’m not sure how good of an example I am setting but I’m trying very hard to do the right thing. I’m trying to help my baby grands create great memories of summertime at Nana’s house.

So anyway, tomorrow is day four and I hope we all go back feeling renewed and refreshed so we can present a program that will be something the little ones will enjoy and remember. It will be an exercise in faith to overcome the exhaustion, trust me. I will be certain that my hair gets washed and the waist band of my underwear is good. And somebody please be sure the car doors are closed

It’s a good thing VBS has yummy snacks!

Don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll. The whole world needs your prayers.

A Swinging Summer!


I love summertime!  Except for the heat.  And the mosquitoes.  It would be perfect except for those.  But in order to enjoy what God gives us for the summertime, we have to endure the not so nice things, too.  Believe me, there is more to enjoy than to simply endure.

The smell – I love the smell of summer.  Have you ever noticed that when the heat is on, the scent of flora and fauna is more intense? (try saying that three times)  And the smell of fresh-cut grass, yummy.  Can you remember the smell of the lake?  The sand and surf?  Did your mama take you to the library in the summer?  I can smell that even now as I type.  And need I mention the delicious scent of BBQ?  The smell of tomato plants?

Something else I’ve attributed to summertime is the fact that there seems to be more wildlife activity.   Early in the morning, noisy birds could care less who they wake up with their cackling songs.  In the evenings, crickets and cicadas sing you to sleep with droning lullabies.  Squirrels come out of hiding, opossums and crafty raccoons ransack garbage cans as armadillos root up your garden.  Oh, and don’t forget those cold-blooded snakes slithering onto the hot pavement to warm themselves (run over those suckas!).  In the area where I live, it’s not unusual to see the occasional alligator taking a short cut through the yard on the way to the lake.  Don’t forget butterflies.  They are the best, aren’t they?  As a child, I imagined them to be angels, seeing as how they drift and float and delight in the beauty and sweet nectar of summer flowers.  I love butterflies.  I have a lot of flowers in my gardens and butterflies are everywhere.  Summertime butterflies.  And speaking of summer time sights – look up, see the night sky filled with heavenly diamonds so much more prevalent this time of year.

Summer noise:  kids splashing in the pool, laughing at the playground in the park, calling to each other while they ride their bikes, the tic-tic-tic of an old sprinkler, lawnmowers.  We used to hear screen doors slamming in the summer, but not anymore.  Now we hear air conditioning units constantly groaning under the oppressive heat that global warming has insured.

Vacation Bible School.  Remember that?  For a few years now, I’ve volunteered to help out at our church for summer VBS.  The thing that’s different about it at this time in my life is that I get to bring my grandchildren with me.  Joy!  What joy!  I love it, although I will ask for your prayers because I’ll have three grandchildren here for 6 days.  Lordy, help me.  Luckily for me, our VBS director understands my -shall we say- peculiarities and allows me to man the video room.  When the lights go out for the dvd show, all of the kids get quiet and I stay calm.  LOL!

Summer vacations!  Although I have had very few traveling vacations in my adult life, those that I have had were way over-the-top!  This summer, our vacation took the form of two days, one night in NOLA, that is, New Orleans, Louisiana.  We met up with some very dear friends celebrating their tenth anniversary and, as usual when we get together, we had a great time.  I love NOLA, and though she is a hot city in the summertime, she is the heart of our great state.  What a generous, great lady!

Now for the shameless plug.  If you have followed what I have been doing lately, you know I have learned how to do a little bead weaving.  This is a red and black watch that I put together using the bead weaving technique.

Another bracelet I’ve been working on is a complete five decade, five strand bracelet made out of smokey gray faceted Czech beads, aurora borealis beads, and seed beads.  Very fancy.

 

Finally, let me show you a tribute to my fair Louisiana:  A rosary made with linked jasper the color of earth, with bronze Fluer Di Lis Paters, and a special hand-cast bronze center featuring the chalice and host of the Holy Eucharist.

If you would like to see more of my work, visit my etsy shops:

www.etsy.com/shop/nanaspocket

www.etsy.com/shop/ToLoveAlways

Use this coupon code for a great discount at check out:  BLOGFAN1

Please consider rating this blog, sharing it, or dropping a comment for me.  I’d really appreciate it!