Okay, so at least it hasn't been a week this time!
Most of my spare time this week has been spent working on "encouragrams". We have a group from church that are traveling to a different city to do a program called World Changers. And if you don't know about World Changers, in a nutshell, here are the basics:
1. You pay to go.
2. You take an air mattress and sleep packed into rooms of a church in the area where you are working.
3. You take your oldest clothes, or go to the thrift store and buy someone else's old clothes to wear, because you don't want your clothes to get messed up.
4. You get there, and you are split up into crews with other people from other churches.
5. You get your assignments and go to work. Scraping, painting, sawing, hammering, roofing, sweeping, or whatever it is your crew has been assigned to do. For the most part, you work with whatever tools you bring with you from home.
6. You work all day in the heat - often - rain or shine.
7. You take a break when lunch is delivered to you by another local church who has volunteered to feed your crew. Lunch may or may not be edible.
8. You go back to the church where you are sleeping, grab your shower bag and stand in line for a shower trailer with 5 or 10 of your new best friends.
9. Then you eat dinner (whatever is served - like it or not), and go to the worship service.
10. Then you spend a little while visiting with your friends and head to bed to get up and do it all over again the next day.
11. People who have never been think that you are crazy for going, but they have no idea how much fun it can actually be.
12. People in the neighborhoods where you are serving think that you are crazy, because you actually paid to come and work on someone else's home.
13. Which opens the door for you to share that you love God and love people.
14. Which allows you to share the love of God with said curious person.
15. And if you have any time during the day, when you are waiting for paint to dry for instance, you get to walk around in the neighborhood, pray, and meet people and talk to them about Jesus and how much He loves them.
16. It is an awesome, eye-opening, experience for teens and adults alike.
17. It is definitely not a pleasure trip.
So, we have a group from our church that are going. They have a wall at the church where you are staying, that is covered with envelopes. One envelope for each World Changers participant. And in the evenings, people put "encouragrams" or little notes of encouragement - sometimes with candy or a small treat attached - in the envelopes of their crew members or church group members. It is very encouraging to go to that wall and see that your envelope is falling off of the wall, because it is so full of encouragrams from people who love you and are praying for you. And because I know just how encouraging it is, I try to take great care and put lots of love and thought into the encouragrams that I make and take (or send). Encouragrams are a pretty big project at our house, and they take a lot of time, energy and space (if you could just see my dining room right now!). So, the past few days have been spent, shopping for goodies, making lists and checking them twice, writing notes, praying for participants, cutting things out, tying things, punching holes, organizing things. Big fun! And all to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ not to be weary in well doing. This year a few of our group will be doing manual labor like I mentioned above. But most of the group will be doing something new to us. It is called a P2 project. We will be working with a church planter in the area, and we are going to put on a VBS for them. This church plant is fairly new, and in addition to seeing lives changed, they are hoping to gain contacts for potential church members through our VBS efforts. We are excited that after a week's rest, we get to do VBS all over again. It will be the same curriculum, in a different place. It will take energy and flexibility, but most of all, it will take God's grace. And we are excited to see what God will do in and through our group on this trip. Exciting times!
Aside from that, I took time to pack the Youngest Princess so she could go with Grammy and Poppy to a family wedding this weekend, and stay with them while we are on our Missions Trip. The wedding is out of town, so they left yesterday. Which means we will be away from the Youngest Princess longer than we had originally planned. And that makes me sad. I really miss her when she is not here. She is such a commanding presence, that you know when she is missing. She was a little anxious about being away from us this time. Usually she is fine, but this time she was a little worried and asked questions I didn't want to have to answer. I know she will be fine. But it is hard to let her go knowing that she is not completely comfortable with the situation. Please pray with me for peace for her little heart.
Really other than the normal day to day stuff, like dishes, clothes, shopping, sweeping, keeping up with kids, and doing Bible studies, that catches you up (and let's you know more than you ever wanted to know about World Changers).
And because I'm still having trouble with getting on a schedule, until I blog again...