The much-anticipated week of Vacation Bible School has arrived here at Grandview UMC and things seem to be going pretty well. I have to tell you, in the past I never knew how much work the director of VBS did. I now know, being the director, that all these years I have been seriously under-appreciating those fine men and women. It is hard stuff. Keeping kids happy, keeping adults happy, making sure we have all the supplies, that everyone knows their scripts and jobs. Last night was night 3 of 5 and I’m already exhausted.
But honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.On top of being the director, I’m the Celebration leader. What that means is that before and after the kids go visit Ancient Egypt, they come visit me and my partner in mischief, Sarah. Sarah talks to them about what they’ll learn on a particular day, reads them the days Bible verse, and gets them excited. I have the really fun part. I teach the kids dances and songs. I’m sure I look like a fool sometimes, I know the older kids think they’re “too cool” for some of it, but it’s worth it. The younger kids absolutely love it and if I look and sound excited, then they will too. I think even deep down inside, those older kids get excited too.
The internship is almost over. Today is my last day in the office and the close of VBS tomorrow night officially ends my internship. However, I will be at church on Sunday for the VBS recap and on August 15th I will preach for the last time this summer. It’s a little sad, but I’ve learned a lot this summer. Pastor Sue and Alessa have taught me so much about what it takes to keep this place moving. The ladies that come in on Tuesdays and Thursday for excercise class, they have taught me to really enjoy my youth, to get out there and do things I’ve never done before, even if it is a little scary. And most importantly, the kids. They have taught me more than I probably taught them. I’ve learned a lot about patience this summer. It was something that I never had much of before. They also taught me that “perfection” isn’t always what I think it is. Sometimes perfection lies in the messy chaos, sometimes in the mistakes, because those are the times that we really learn about ourselves and about God.
Thanks for all who have read this blog this summer. I’m going to keep it going through school to let the world know how I’m doing with my studies and life in general. Hopefully I’ll even learn more about what God has planned for me.
All’s well that ends well, that’s how the saying goes.
All four teeth were removed Thursday morning at 9 o’clock. It was a fairly mild procedure other than on the lower left side, a fraction of root was left behind for fear of causing further damage if it was searched out. My face is healing nicely all in all. A little pain, lots of worried Mom, and a bit of medication and I’m almost as good as new!
Well, I’m back on the job and not a lot has happened. We have a Vacation Bible School meeting this evening, but other than that, my day has been dull in an unprecedented way. After four days of almost nothing but sleeping and eating, I had hoped for some excitement. It’s probably best that there was none, but it did make it rather difficult to keep my eyes open through the haze of my medication.
One month left. Only about half of which will be spent here at the church. The summer has departed in an uncommonly hurried manner. I’ve gained some great experience, but some questions remain unanswered. In fact, if it’s at all possible, I may have more questions about the future God has in store for me than I did before Pastor Sue contacted me about interning for her.
29 days until I’m back in little Fayette, sleeping head-to-head with my dear friend and roommate, Brenna. I’m excited to “go home,” but there are many here that I don’t wish to leave; siblings, a best friend, and a God-son specifically. I can hope, however, that this semester will bring me that much closer to figuring out what The Man Upstairs’ game plan is. For that is always the goal, is it not?
It’s Wednesday evening now. Grandma Mary’s funeral services were two days ago. Although we will always miss her delicious food and her heart of gold, some of the sadness has passed. Enough anyway that I see what a privileged young woman I am. Grandma fed me every week day from the time I was able to eat “real” food until the I went to middle school and then again in high school when I volunteered to work at the day care. She was a member of Grandview United Methodist Church for 50+ years. She watched me grow and change and become the person I am today. I, one of “her kids”, was asked to help officiate at her memorial services. I tried to hold back the tears, to sit among the three other pastors and be strong, but the tears flowed anyway. Barbra and Mary Beth, two of Grandma’s daughters, said they didn’t mind, that it was good to know how much their mom meant to all of us.
At the graveside, I was asked to sing Amazing Grace. I can’t share with you how much that meant to me. It was the greatest honor of my life. To sing the favorite hymn of a woman that meant so much to me speaks more love to my soul that any other act I have encountered. But that was just like Grandma Mary, showing love to everyone around her in a way that was special to them. She always scoured the newspapers looking for the names of people she knew. When she would come across that name, she clipped the article, whether it was a family member, a church go-er, or a child in the daycare, the article went on her wall. I know that the program from Monday would be up there with the rest of my pictures from all these years; Kayla Kelly-Ministry Intern.
It seems sometimes like life should stop after the passing of a loved one, when my grandparents on my mother’s side died I felt that way. I suppose my ability to press on has developed with age, although it still is odd to continue with life as usual after someone so meaningful has left.
Yesterday, we had a no show again for Caretakers’ Club, but Luke and Bekah’s mom called to let me know the reason. Since I had some extra time, my mom and I went out to my little brother’s campfire. He attended Camp Naish as a Webelo 1 this year with my dad in tow. They went just the two of them, because their troop will be attending Naish later this summer while we are in Indianapolis. The campfire was great. The staff did skits and sang songs, all the things that fill my greatest memories of Girl Scout camping. The staff even sang the repeat-after-me-song, The Princess Pat. This was a childhood favorite for my older sister and I. The Boy Scouts changed it up a little and the motions were different, but it brought back fond memories, nonetheless.
All in all, it has been a good week. Busy and stressful and sad, but good. Tomorrow morning I go in for my wisdom teeth surgery. All four are coming out. My best friend tells me I’ll be fine, that I won’t be in much pain. I think she is overestimating my pain tolerance, God bless her. Either way, I’ll be out of commission for a few days, but I’ll update all of you adoring(who am I kidding?) fans sometime this weekend.
The answer, more unfortunately, is no. Until the very end, there will always be moments of sadness and grief side by side with moments of joy and triumph.
I’m writing to you this morning from my parents’ dining room. It is the morning of Grandma Mary’s funeral. She was an amazing woman, strong in her faith and feisty as anything. In my childhood she was the cook at the daycare I attended and as I grew, so did our friendship. Grandma was not a blood relation, not a member of my legal family. She was, however a member of my church family, those ties sometimes stronger than blood or legality. She was there to comfort me when my grandma and grandpa died, she was there to give me advice when our family moved towns. She watched me grow and change, saw me go through terrible pain and heartache. She never lost faith in me, no matter how far I strayed. She had a special place in my heart and I know she would say the same about me. I’ll miss her very much.
Pastor Sue said she wants me to help officiate the ceremony this afternoon. Grandma’s family said that they think Grandma would have wanted it that way too. It’s a surreal moment and I find myself unwilling,…unable… maybe both, to walk out the door and drive to work like it’s just another day at the office. I pray that I have the strength to do this, even if that means the strength to stand before Grandma’s family and friends and cry like a baby.
If you’re reading this, keep all those that know Grandma Mary Gordon in your prayers.
Oh, my adoring-nonexistent-readers! How I have missed thee!
But seriously, folks, I apologize for my lack of blogging and if anyone is out there reading: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!
Herein lies the issue: I don’t have access to the internet while at church, because my firewalls are too strong for the system and they’re fighting. Not a big, except that the Rev. came by the parsonage yesterday and took the modem I had been using. Again, not a big deal, I’ll live without the web and cable, but it means my posts will be delayed until weekends that I’m at my parents’ house.
In other super-exciting new, I FINALLY HAD KIDS SHOW UP FOR THE CARETAKERS’ CLUB! I was extremely excited. Granted, there were only two children–Luke and Rebekah, plus my best friend’s newborn, Peanut–but we had fun and I felt like the kids had fun as well.
This week we made eco-wise terrariums using recycled two-liter bottles.
Our design: Cut a two littler bottle in half. File the bottom with pea gravel and sand about three inches thick. Then use potting soil and plant a small something such as an ivy or moss. After you’ve watered it, place the top half of the two-liter bottle on the bottom half with the lid securely in place. The sand and pea gravel will trap excess moisture and allow the plant to access water from below, while the two-liter bottle top with trap condensation from above. Just unscrew the cap to add water to the new ecosystem as needed.
We also painted our GREEN footprints on reusable shopping bags to show that we are replacing carbon footprints with GREEN footprints. The kids really liked making “footprints” using the balled up side of their hands. All in all I think they had fun this week and I’m hoping more children will join us, but if not I will still do my best to make it the best two hours of Luke and Rebekah’s week.
I’m quite excited about the upcoming holiday weekend. As per the norm, my parents are throwing a huge 4th of July bash at their place. As I’m still living there part-time I will be helping out. This past Monday I spent my day off mixing up the sauces, rubs and mops for the BBQ. What I didn’t get done, I will finish tomorrow evening. Saturday, when my mom and I aren’t at cantata practice, will be spent making sure the house is spotless and then Monday we’ll have to clean the after-effects of the party. It’s always a huge hassle and some years I wonder if it’s worth it, but a good time is always had by all.
This year will be a new experience for me. My older sister and her husband will be out of town and the majority of my friends are reveling in the college experience. In other words, everyone’s kind of doing their own thing. I suppose this is what it’s like to be an adult, with friends and family all spread out and a sense longing for the way things used to be. In any case, I’m sure Sunday will prove to be full of fun and excitement of all varieties.
May you all stay safe and have a blessed holiday!