Monday, June 24, 2013

Top Ten List: VBS 2013

This past week I worked in the Preschool Craft room for my church's VBS.  For the last few years I helped prep the crafts for VBS week, but decided this year to take a week's vacation to actually participate, and it was a blast.  In honor of the week of fun and learning, I've compiled the top ten list....straight from the home office of NAOBC at the corner of Breckenridge Lane and Bardstown Road...

10.  The memory verse for the week was Hebrews 13:6 - "God helps me.  I will not be afraid."  Each day we'd review the verse in our Craft time.  We'd get all sorts of responses "God loves me. I will not be afraid."  "God is with me.  I will not be afraid."  "God helps me. Do not be afraid!"  They all communicate the same message...God is there, no fear.  So, I liked calling their versions the "PSV"...the Preschool Standard Version of the Bible.

9.  We also reviewed the story each day in Crafts.  The week was full of stories about the life of Paul. He encountered a lot - being blinded, being dropped in a basket, surviving an earthquake in jail, being shipwrecked.  The first few days every time we'd asked "What did you learn about Paul today?"  They would recount all the details.  Then sweet little Emery would say "And he died."  Poor Paul died everyday.  But, in her defense, when someone goes through everything Paul did, common sense says he's probably close to death.

8.  Day 3 we talked about how Paul was in jail with his friend and they were singing songs to Jesus when an earthquake happened and they told everyone in jail about Jesus.  We'd ask "Who was in jail with Paul?"  Jesus was a popular answer, which isn't really far off since God was there.  But Paul's encouraging friend Barnabas was the one they thought was in jail....not Silas.  Silas just wasn't as memorable as Barnabas, I guess.

7.  When the preschoolers knew their memory verse and could say it, a few of them each day would get some sort of prize.  Day 1, Miss Stephanie had miniature koosh balls.  As soon as the first one was given out, it was amazing how better everyone's memory got in hopes they'd get a koosh ball.  Miss Stephanie told them that they'd have a chance each day.  Day 2 she gave away stickers.  When she gave away the first one, a preschooler said "This is it? A sticker?"  Guess we should have worked up to the koosh balls.

6.  Day 4 the lesson was about Paul preaching about Jesus.  Our craft that day was making a megaphone (which we had to explain what that was to the preschoolers) to proclaim the name of Jesus loud and clear.  We had various colored megaphone patterns cut out and ready to assemble with stickers and glue dots.  Whenever there are multiple color choices, and pink is an option, it never ends well.  At Ms Tessa's table, she had two girls left and only one pink megaphone.  In all her wisdom, Ms. Tessa said, "I only have one pink megaphone left, so I'll need one of you to show grace and let your friend have the pink."  Emery (the sweet one who is sure Paul is dead by now) said "I'll show grace and let my friend have the pink one."  Learning to share may be the hardest lesson to learn sometimes.

5.  Our 4A class was probably our favorite.  With only 8 little sweeties, they were the youngest group.  Most of these dolls were barely 3 (if even 3) and most were VBS worker children.  They were so attentive for their young age and just simply precious.  One of the littlest ones, Mary, would repeat everything Miss Stephanie said "Paul was dropped in a basket"...."Dropped in a basket!!!"  "Paul and Silas was in jail when an earthquake happened."  "An EARTHQUAKE happened!!!"  When this group would leave, Mary never wanted to line up.  I would say to her every day, "Mary, are you going to line up?  If you don't line up you'll get left behind and have to go home with me."  Mary would respond "Go home with you!"  If I thought her Mom and Dad wouldn't miss her, I'd take her home.  

4.  Rice is the new macaroni.  When I was in VBS we always had a craft that involved using macaroni.  But, that is old school.  Now it's rice.  On our last day, our craft was putting colored rice (rice that we dyed with food coloring) in an empty water bottle and dropping in foam ships to re-enact the shipwreck.  We dyed the rice and were ready to go but after one class, we knew we were doomed and didn't have enough rice.  Tessa left and went to the store for 8 more boxes of rice and we dyed the remainder really fast so we'd have enough to finish out the day.  It was truly our only craft faux pas of the week.  This wouldn't have happened with macaroni, folks.

3.  While making the aforementioned rice in a bottle, I was challenged on where to put the preschooler's name. The tape I was using around the bottle cap was dark blue and my Sharpie wouldn't show up the name on the tape.  Stephanie suggested writing it on the bottom but when I did the first one, it didn't work.  I was working on Riley's bottle when she said "Why don't you write it on the cap?"  I looked at her and said, "Riley, that is brilliant.  You are so smart."  She replied, "Yeah, I'm pretty smart most of the time."  She may not be high on humility  but she's high on smarts.  

2.  Kaylee was in our precious 4A class.  She was full of fun this week.  One day she said that Paul was dropped in a basket "because they didn't want him around anymore."  That same day she helped a very sleepy Zach finish his craft.  Kaylee's Mom is one of my best friends, Beth, and is the Preschool Director.  One day when she was at my table she said "You know my Mom is boss of this church."  I looked at her and said "Maybe we should tell Pastor Jeff that and see what he says."  Paster Jeff is Beth's boss, and the real boss of the church.  

1.  The week's lesson can be summed up in one sentence that a preschooler shared on the last day when asked "What did you learn about Paul this week?"  "First his name was Saul, then his heart changed, and his name was Paul."  Amen.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Colossal Coaster - Facing Fear, Trusting God

A week from today my church's Vacation Bible School kicks off.  I'm way excited this year because I took vacation time from work to be able to serve.  I'm working Preschool crafts and can't wait for the exhausting fun ahead.  If you have a child ages 4 - 5th grade, you can go here to enroll...and it's free!  It's June 17-21 at the Ninth & O Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  Here's the promo video for the week ahead...which, once you show your child, will cause you to have to sign up immediately....

Friday, June 07, 2013

Five Minutes: Fall

Each week Gypsy Mama chooses a word to write about for five minutes. No editing, stream of consciousness. Today's word is: Fall.

Ready. Set. Write.

Grace is definitely not my middle name.  The only way I identify with "grace" is through the merciful grace I receive through my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have been known to fall and sometimes in the most silliest of ways or places.  Thankfully because I have a lot of padding (these extra pounds are good for something!) I don't get hurt often, other than a few bruises and my pride tarnished a bit.  

My most recent fall was a few months ago in our restroom at work.  I can't tell you what happened, other than I was twirling around from throwing my hand towel in the garbage and I suppose my pirouette wasn't on point and down I went.  I wasn't hurt, other than some soreness for a few days.  And the stark realization that I landed on a public restroom floor.  Ick.  

I had a fall one morning a few years ago early before the sunrise as I was going to the gym for my swim workout.  I was so diligent and focused...and proud of myself.  I would get up every morning before dawn and head to the gym to swim every morning, five days a week.  For someone who is far from athletic, that was a feat.  But one morning I tripped on the way in, resulting in a head gash and stitches.  And a life lesson.  

Sometimes God allows us to fall to help us become more dependent on Him.  You see, I was becoming too prideful in my own workout that I not only wasn't depending on Him, but spending my morning time focused on my physical well-being with no focus on the spiritual.  Sometimes when we fall, it can be a good thing.  

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A Living Faith

This week marks the one-month passing of my Dad.  Some days it feels like it was months ago, other days it feels like only yesterday.  When people ask how I'm doing, I tell them I have my good and bad moments.  You never truly get over missing someone, but I always find comfort in knowing where he is and that I'll see him again.  

I've reflected a lot on the characteristics I inherited from my Dad.  He was an excellent leader.  I only hope to be a fraction of the leader he was.  Anything I know about leading people, and doing it effectively, I learned from my Dad.  He was an amazing teacher and speaker.  There are times when I wish I had an audio or video of him teaching or speaking as a reminder.  He had a booming voice that required no amplification.  I love to teach, and speak.  The biggest fear of most people (next to death) is public speaking.  Although I do get some butterflies, I love doing it.  I'm the anomaly.  I chalk that one up to my Dad also.  

Every time he would speak at a meeting or event, he always closed with the same poem..."A Living Faith."  It became such a signature for him that my Mom had the poem made into a beautiful print that hangs in my home today.  Dad had meticulously planned his funeral - down to the Scriptures he wanted read (in the King James Version) and a cassette tape (yes, cassette) with the two songs he wanted played.  But I asked Jeff, the pastor who did his service, if he could read this at the end of his sermon.  It's how Dad closed out every time he spoke.  It was a poem that summed up his faith that would speak to churched and non-churched alike.  Now, this poem has become even sweeter...

I've dreamed many dreams that never came true
I've seen them vanish at dawn.
But I've realized enough of my dreams, thank God,
To make me want to dream on.

I've prayed many prayers, when no answers came,
Though I waited so patient and long,
But answers came to enough of my prayers
To make me keep praying on.

I've trusted many a friend who failed
And left me to weep alone,
But I've found enough of my friends to be true
To make me keep trusting on.

I've sown many seeds that fell by the way
For the birds to feed upon,
But I've held enough golden sheaves in my hands
To make me keep sowing on.

I've drained the cup of disappointment and pain
And gone many days without song,
But I've sipped enough nectar from the “Rose of Life.”
To make me want to live on

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

This is Rose, May I Help You?

I answer my work phone with the phrase in this post's title all day long.  Recently, my work phone was posted on our network of sites as the contact number for all sales inquiries.  The beauty of that allows for a prospective client to connect with Sales.  The ugly of that is I'm the only number anyone can find to get a live person.  My days are rife with hilarious stories of my caller experiences.  But, none may ever top one from last week....that went something like this...

Me:  This is Rose, may I help you?
Caller:  Who is this? (very defensive)
Me: This is Rose
Caller: Well your number is showing up on my cell phone bill and I don't know anyone in Louisville, Kentucky, so I want to know why your number is on my cell phone bill. (See: very defensive)
Me:  Ma'am, I'm not sure, but this is a business, QuinStreet Enterprise
Caller:  What is that?  What do you do?  I don't know anyone in Louisville, Kentucky (yes, we've established that Mrs. Caller)
Me:  We are a technology performance marketing company and we reach technology vendors and technology professionals.  
Caller:  So, do you repair computers?
Me:  No, we don't (and here is where I lose everyone).  We provide editorial content to people who make decisions on technology. (that's about as simple as it gets folks)
Caller:  Oh, ok, well....hmmm....I guess my husband called you.
Me:  Is your husband a technology professional, or perhaps works for a technology vendor? (I regret this question now)
Caller:  He has a computer and handles all those problems. I guess he called about that. (I wasn't about to tell her that he wouldn't contact us for problem solving)
Me:  Oh, ok, well, I don't know for sure, but hopefully that helped.  
Caller:  I'll just talk to my husband.  

Methinks she really needs to talk to her husband.  Sounds like she is quite suspicious.  And so suspicious she is looking at her cell phone bill number by number.  That's meticulously tedious.  I've had many a man in my life I couldn't trust...and learned that the hard way.  But I wasn't married.  For whatever reason she has some trust issues going on here.  In times like these, I'm quite thankful I'm single and not combing through my cell phone bill to see if my husband is being faithful.  

Monday, June 03, 2013

The Office....A Stellar Good-Bye

On May 16, one of my all-time favorite shows came to an end...The Office.  I was introduced to this amazing show by my good friend, Liz.  She assured me I'd love it and after a night of laughter watching her selected favorite episodes, I was hooked.  The series began on March 24, 2005, just a week before I started a new job...the job at which I'm still employed....the job which often mirrors the show.  When I heard the show was ending, I felt like I was about to lose a co-worker.

When this final season started, I wasn't sure the direction the show would take. I was a bit concerned when Jim and Pam hit the rocks and was feared their marriage was doomed.  Say it isn't so!  Then a few episodes before the end they had a moment of reconciliation while 1 Corinthians 13 was read (well, done, Office, well done), I knew all things would come to a good end.

I don't think I've ever seen a show have that classy of an ending since the MASH finale that still goes down in history as one of the most memorable series endings.  When shows end, I'm either completely stoked that the pain is finally over because they had jumped the shark two seasons prior, or it ends so unexpectedly wrong that I'm left wanting more....or wanting something.  There was absolutely no part of The Office series finale I didn't love....and the Michael Scott return was priceless.  I could watch the episode a thousand times (much like I do many of the episodes in rerun) and always have that warm, fuzzy feeling.  That's talent, folks.  Not every show can pull that off. 

To sum up this show would be difficult, but the best way I can do it is through three of my favorite quotes from the show...

"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." - Andy
I could use this phrase in so many areas of my life.  We live for the not yet instead of living for the now.  What a complete waste.  What if we lived every day with the perspective that these are the good old days?  Wouldn't life be so much more enjoyable?  

"There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things.  Isn't that the point?" - Pam
Pam is so profound.  The simple things are often times the most beautiful...and the most memorable.  This show was not about anything significant.  It was about a day in the life of a paper company.  Yet, we all identified in some way and found richness through a silly television show.  Sometimes the road trip to the destination is much more memorable than the destination.  Ordinarily beautiful.

"I sold paper at this company for twelve years.  My job was to speak to clients, on the phone, about quantities and types of copier paper.  Even if I didn't love every minute of it, everything I have, I owe to this job.  This stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job." - Jim
This quote was by far the one that brought a tear to my eye.  For the last 8 years, I'd watched this show and identified many times with the characters and the situations.  All the while working a job that came with its ups and downs, but that I truly loved.  Jim summed up my own feelings right now.  On days when my job makes me want to pull my hair out, I remember that I owe a lot to the job...and can say that about many of the jobs of my past.  They all shaped the employee I am today and have had a personal impact on my life.  

It's been a great 8 years, Office.  May you live on forever in reruns.