These are pics of the VBS at Christ Anglican Church in Mobile.
Well, after my last post I was blown away by the number of replies I got, because I also posted it on my Facebook page. What occurred to me, after reading them all, was that depression appears to be an epidemic in our life, for many different reasons, and the fight for our laughter, our joy, is of utmost importance. So, I began thinking about what makes me laugh, when were the times in my life that I was rolling on the floor laughing with pure joy, or when was I just chuckling to myself at my own clumsiness, fruticakeness, or accidental mess I walked into. As I thought about these an underlying theme began to surface, a lot of those moments had something to do with children.
My true calling from God was to be a teacher. For ten years I taught elementary school, and the laughter and joy I found in the faces of those kids was addicting. There was one little second grade girl, she had tiny freckles across her nose and the most gorgeous red hair. She walked up to me with almost a rage talking 90 to nothing. I got her to calm down and asked what was wrong, and she went into this litany of how Michael had called her the “E” word. I was perplexed, I had no idea what the E word was, but didn’t want my lack of understanding to invalidate her feelings. So, I asked, what is the E word. Without hesitation she said, “Ediot!” I lost it, I just couldn’t help it, she was so upset, and had no clue why I would laugh, so I quietly explained the spelling error, and she said to me, “I guess that makes me one too doesn’t it?” She then turned around and hugged Michael. Now I have no clue how a 2nd grader could have comprehended the meaning so well, but she did, and the laughter made it bearable for all involved, and everyone ended up cracking up in that moment. Kids are instinctively joyful, full of laughter aren’t they?
I have been talking to God a lot lately about my desire to be surrounded by kids, because they are close to my heart. A few weeks ago he placed the VBS at Christ Anglican Church in my mind and said he would give me the physical ability to help if I was willing. So, I volunteered and said simply how can I help? They were in need of someone to help with their decorations and set designs, so I knew that was right up my ally.
As we worked with ideas, drew crazy fish and horses, and termite mounds our days were filled with laughter, and I felt God’s presence in every moment I spent working towards that goal. I realized that even though, for now, it wouldn’t be safe for me to actively work and play around the kids because of my spine issues, the effort I could put into making their world magical would bring smiles on their faces and create memories in their lives, which to me, brings a smile on my face like no other. So for the past two weeks, and on some days thought the pain would really be too much to get through, God provided me with the ability to make it through, with joy.
I do have to share one oh so hilarious day because it simply puts into perspective the laughter part of this adventure.
We had been working and drawing and painting and I had been wearing a pair of hospital scrubs, because well, I kinda have a few if you know me. When I got out of the car in my driveway I bent over to grab my purse and realized my pants had been split in a way too obvious place. Horror filled my eyes because I had no idea how many people I had mooned all morning bending over. I started laughing, and laughing, and though my back was killing me, I just couldn’t help realizing it was one of those crazy, Ardithian moments that just happen in my life. Later that day, after posting it on Facebook my friends promised they didn’t notice so at some point between church and home I ripped my pants. So, for the poor folks at the gas station and Walmart that I may or may not have mooned I am so sorry, but I bet my life a few of them were cracking up, and in that, I brought a smile to their faces, and my rip was well worth it.
In our darkest hours I have found many, many of you tell me that what brings them out of it is to surround yourself with what brings you joy. For me, it’s children, my husband and son, my friends and family, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, (the original one). I prayed for God to have a sense of humor, and he so has, he has also told me that as my emotional and mental spirit heal, I will find the key to a lifelong understanding of pure joy, and then be able to share it with others. I look forward to that journey. Though it may be difficult at first to muddle through, the goal is so worth the effort, and the opportunity to share it with you, is what motivates me to dive right in!
“The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing. . . .” (Psalms 2:4)
(A compilation of actual Church Bulletin and Service bloopers)
* Our next song is “Angels We Have Heard Get High.”
* Don’t let worry kill you–let the church help.
* Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
* For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
* Weight Watchers will meet a 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
* Jean will be leading a weight-management series Wednesday nights. She’s use the program herself and has been growing like crazy!
* The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.
* This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
* Tuesday at 4:00 P.M. there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.