Sunday, July 4, 2010
Volunteering for children's ministry and creative play time
This morning we got ready to go to church where we are helping as volunteers for the children's ministry this summer. J was a bit whiny and difficult as we got ready to go. I thought he might have trouble going to his Sunday school room, but he went OK. I was only two doors away helping with the 3-year-olds. I wasn't sure how this would go but was open for anything. My job was a helper to assist the person teaching and directing the time. I ended up loving it. In the beginning, we had open play time as the children arrived. We ended up with 12 kids in our class. Then we had the children gather for songs and reading a bible story. Our topic is "God is strong" so the story of God helping Moses by parting the Red Sea was told. Then the kids did a craft, had snacks and then more play time. I felt quite at ease helping the kids color, passing out snacks and playing with the kids. All this comes from having a child of my own, as I had helped in the past with kids in Sunday school and never really felt comfortable. I really felt out of my element. I'm going to stay in the same room for the rest of the summer so I can connect with the same kids. I picked up J and he was bouncing with energy. They said that they started the clean up time and J started singing the clean up song which helped get things underway.
J took a really good nap when we got home. We had a late lunch and then I let J watch the Sesame Street counting and alphabet video. I'm glad to see him responding and repeating as they go. J asked me to play with him so I got out his train and set up the track and did that for a bit. Then he wanted to play pretend with his little people. He had my character be the mommy. He had me "preparing food" for them. He asked for hot dogs, pickles, muffins, peanut butter and jelly. They did a lot of pretend eating and then J said the little people wanted to go to the zoo. So I set up a bunch of "exhibits" using his stuffed and plastic animals (penguins, rhino, elephant, bear, tiger, horses). It's been fun to see him enjoy doing more of the imaginary play.
Tonight we went to church and they had the kids join us in the service today. Our friends loaned us a Richard Scarry book that J spent most of his time going through. The only problem is that he likes to "read" out loud and was pretty distracting. We tried giving him his nuk and that worked some of the time but then he'd say "all done with nuk" and go on being loud. He went a couple rows up and sat with our friends from life group for a while and then came back and was restless and somewhat loud. I realize we haven't been in situations very often where he's expected to sit quietly so we need to work on this. I ended up taking him to the lobby and we played in the gym until it was done. The main theme today from Ecclesiastes (the part I got in between all the interruptions) was about the randomness of death, how we don't know the time or place this will occur. Another main idea was how busy we have gotten in our modern culture, so busy we often do not slow down to enjoy the blessings the Lord has given us, often right under our noses. I seem to keep getting reminders of this, and it really is helping to take time to savor those moments of joy.
My husband ran into a friend he met in the men's group and introduced me to his wife. I hadn't known her name but knew her from my Titus mom's group. Ironically, she had been the volunteer helping in J's Sunday school room today. They invited us to Culver's to hang out together. After a while, they needed to leave because their kids were really tired and melting down. By the time we got home, it was already J's bedtime so it was bath and then sleep.