It's rare that I write about Sunday. There are several reasons for that, the main one being we are so very busy. A typical Sunday is: get up at 7:30 at the latest, everyone has breakfast and then we get dressed for church and out the door by 8:30. It takes about 20 minutes to get to church from our home. Church lasts until a little after twelve. Then, we load the kids up in the van and come home for lunch. We eat and then it is nap time/rest time for the little people and sometimes the big people if we are really lucky. I usually work on preparations for Sunday night activities here. Then, we throw together a quick dinner if there is time and leave for church again at 5:30. I teach Team Kid for Babies through 6th grade on Sunday nights and Patrick teaches 7th through 12th grade students. We usually get out of church around 7:30 and home by 8. Bedtime is 8 during the school year and 8:30 in the summer. We rarely make it to bed on time on Sundays. If we didn't have that quick dinner before we made it to Sunday night activities we throw that in here along with preparing everything for the next days activities like clothes and lunches. Then, it's the bedtime rush and tucking in of my babies.
This Sunday was not typical. Andon wanted to nurse at 7:30, so I didn't get started on breakfast and getting everyone dressed as soon as I normally do. Also, I Always put all of the children's and my clothes out the night before, but I didn't on Saturday night. I had what I was going to wear picked out because I was signing and had to "test" my ability to move in it, but found myself scrambling to get clothes ready for the four monkeys.
We got out the door fifteen minutes late and to be frank with you I was beyond grumpy. I took it out on my children and my husband. Patrick and I fought all the way to church. I was supposed to do special music in church and I didn't get to practice. Patrick was late to teach Sunday School. We team teach the High School Sunday School class, but this week we also had the Middle Schoolers with us. Things were not going as planned. We got the children to their Sunday School classes and Patrick headed to class. Then, I went to the parking lot and sat on the swing in our church playground. I just needed some time to figure out what to do about my attitude. I knew I needed to change it, but I didn't want to. I remember a country song that had the lyrics, "I just want to be mad for a while." That's how I was feeling with no real reason or one thing to be mad about. I knew it wasn't right though and I began praying for God to give me peace and to change my heart. Soon I calmed a bit, went inside and practiced my song. Then, I went upstairs and joined Sunday School. After Sunday School I apologized to my husband for my horrible attitude and the way I treated him. (Later, over lunch, I was able to apologize to my children also.)
As a quick aside to my story, apologies are so important. Admitting that we are wrong is hard, but necessary. I don't want my children to grow up and say, "she never admits she's wrong." Instead, I desire them to see me as imperfect and relying on God's grace. That is the kind of example I want them to have. I don't have to have it "all together" in front of my kids. I want to teach them to admit when they are wrong too. That apology changed the atmosphere of my whole day. I became less burdened and my ability to hear the Holy Spirit increased. I was able to quickly plan for Sunday night, something I had been struggling with because my attitude was in my way.
Sunday nights are one of my all time favorite moments of the week. I love teaching Team Kid. Teaching children about Jesus has always been my passion, but did I mention that all four of my own children are in Team Kid every night? The stakes are higher now. Over the past year I've noticed myself holding back some when I teach.
See, I've always said, "if you teach them about being a missionary, don't be surprised when they become one." As I realized what I was doing I resolved to change it. This summer my theme for Team Kid is missions. Every Sunday night I am introducing a new country, new culture, and a new way to tell others about the love of Jesus.
This Sunday I was laying the foundation. I wanted them to understand that a missionary can have Any job in the world. We talked about what they wanted to become when they grew up. We discussed the different jobs that missionaries have. This particular Sunday I wanted to get across the point that we need more people to tell the world about Jesus and that person could be them. I definitely had an older girl "get it" and it made my night. We were watching a video of the different jobs missionaries could have and as the children watched I found myself watching them. I'm looking into such precious faces, unique personalities, and God given gifts. Four of them have been entrusted to me! How blessed I am! I found myself mesmerized and wondering about them traveling to be a missionary somewhere. I was looking at Aiden and Anthony in particular, because they are older and understand more of the lesson.
Yet, I always try to include Abby in the interaction as well. So, when it came time to ask them what do you want to be when you grow up, I started left to right, purposefully putting Abby as last on the right. Anthony wanted to be "Woody." This is his typical way of saying a cowboy. Aiden wanted to be a "football player, a doctor, and a motorcycle racer." I jokingly told him the motorcycle thing was Not happening while his Mama was alive. The other girls in the class gave their answers. Then, I turned to Abby, not sure what to expect, and asked her the same question. Without hesitation she said, "a baker!" I was shocked by her immediate response. When she turned one we played a game to see what she would grow up to be and she chose the cake decorating tools. My Mom (cake baker extraordinaire) and I have been amazed at her ability for decorating at the age of two.
I sort of have a photographic memory. When my little blonde haired, blue eyed epitome of innocence belted out, "baker," I suddenly had a "flash" to a piece of paper I had looked at sixteen years earlier. It was a job description for a Journeyman (a short term missionary) in Africa. On the description it listed as duties "bring others into the community center through cake decorating classes."
I don't know what the future holds for Abby, but God's already molding her to His plan. I think my two year old understood the lesson more than I thought she would. I think I need to start working my heart towards "if you teach them about being a missionary, don't be surprised when they become one."
Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.