I love children! I work with children every day! But in the summer time I turn to my other job, wife of a youth pastor. I spend my summers with loud, crazy, enthusiastic teenagers. This summer we did youth VBS, youth camp, SPLASH Bartow (local youth event), and I took a youth to St. Vincent with me. A little more than four weeks of my summer was spent surrounded by teenagers, and it was fun. I enjoyed it. I am exhausted, but it was good.
In St. Vincent, doing children’s VBS, I was excited to be with kids again. I teach third grade (8 and 9 year olds), so teaching the bible study group that I did was my sweet spot. This is an age I get. This is where I am comfortable. This is my life.
I spent the week teaching children songs with motions, bible stories, a memory verse, and a motto. I was able to be animated and goofy, loud and excited! And you know what the best part is? No matter how many adults are in the room, the kids LOVE it when an adult is larger than life and animated, goofy, loud, and excited. They eat it up! They connect instantly, and I connected with them too! Watching their precious faces light up when they would sing and dance. Looking into their eyes when you high five them because they know the memory verse. That hug that squeezes the breath out of you when they are leaving for the day. Ummm…my heart is warming right now just thinking about it! Those are my people, little people, children.
God spent this week teaching me things and giving me many Ouch moments, but this was not one of them. This was a moment when God reassured me (after a very long summer of teenagers) that I am called to work with children. What a blessing to be shown again just what God has for your life!
***Now please allow me to clarify. I love the youth ministry at our church. I truly believe that God has called me to be in ministry with my husband and support his ministry no matter what that is. But, in my career and life, I am supposed to work with children and be around children, and hopefully one day have children of my own.***
At the end of Monday, our group leader looked around the bus. Many of the missionaries with me were asleep, exhausted, and ready for a shower and bed. He looked at me and asked, “Are you tired Danielle?” I smiled and responded, “No sir. Today was what my life looks like. This is what I do. I spend my days with children. It was amazing!” I was so excited about what the rest of the week would look like for us. I couldn’t wait to go back and do it all over again! This was going to be great!