It all started last Sunday morning. I closed out our sermon series Confessions of a Leader. I told the story of how I started at CT and what made me scared and all of that (I will post it if I can't get the audio to rip, but something will happen with that). It was incredible. I talked about running (or more accurately how much I hate running, the physical kind). Just before I went up Ryan told me to knock 'em dead (I didn't cry). I made it through pretty well, apparently I talked a little fast at first, but slowed down and hit a rhythm. I got choked up, but managed to recover (though Chris got up to console me if needed, which would have made the crying absolutely worse!). Every word that I said I meant. I truly, honestly and completely love CrossTimbers with all of my heart. The things that God is doing through CT to further His kingdom truly amazes me every day. The communion song was Chris and Ryan playing my absolute favorite song in the entire world: Run by Collective Soul. I don't think this is the best video, but hopefully you get the idea of how incredible these two are.
I got big hugs afterwards and made a few people cry, which pretty much made me cry, but they were all good tears!
After worship was done it was time to start VBS! We started in on set up, which lasted until youth. Then we had potluck and more VBS set up. It was a really, really long day, but was absolutely INCREDIBLE.
I won't lie, it took me awhile to get geared up for VBS, but in the last few months (and all the realizations I've had during those months) I completely got on board, although I was happy to have a bit more of an administrative role this year than being directly with the kids! Sweet Becky went home and got her camera and took incredible photos throughout the week.
The adults pretty much ran on caffeine and cookies all week (thank you to Nikki for fabulous homemade ones!). The Fort was our sanctuary from the kids (and hiding spot for the cookies). I enjoyed kidnapping my sweet baby boys each night and throwing them around. I loved every moment of interacting with the big kids and the itty bitty kids and the amazing youth that helped us as well.
When I got home the facebooking started! We posted some photos from the evening (including a rather amusing photo of Pastor Chris) and everyone was commenting and posting statuses about how much fun we were having.
Tuesday and Wednesday were just as incredible. There were moments when I saw God's work so crystal clear. We had the kids do "God sightings" and the things that they saw and watching them see these things truly warmed my heart every single day. Watching them sing praise and dance and have fun did too. It was amazing to see that God wasn't just working in the kids' hearts, but in the adults as well. When I was going through the photos from the week the smiles on the adults faces were just as big as the ones plastered on the kids' faces. People's lives were changed this week, I have no doubt.
Thursday was my concern early in the VBS process: my birthday. I am generally a very giving person with my time, but I tend to be pretty darn selfish on my birthday and I didn't really want to share it! I'm SO glad that I did!
I can honestly say I cannot fathom a better birthday! It started out at 12:06 am when Chris and Jennifer called to be the first to wish me happy birthday! (I finished all CT work at 11:59, by the way). I got to sleep in! I had a serious God sighting with that: I put my phone on silent, but forgot to turn my alarm off (the alarm will sound even if the phone is on silent) and it either did not go off or did not wake me up...GO GOD! I got up and was kidnapped by my sweet Katie-friend for yummy sushi at a place I had never been and wrapped up with cheesecake!
She dropped me off at home and I got ready to head to CT after responding to all the incredible messages on facebook. It was nice to have a few moments of quiet at CT before the fun started again!
This was when I realized the AMAZING people I have chosen to surround myself with. As I was getting all the name tags ready my sweet friends flooded me with gifts and sweet cards. Some of the gifts were hilarious, as were the fabulous cards (especially the ones from the kiddos). I love that I have found an amazing church family where I can be exactly who I am without any fear of judgment. These are people who know me and love me for exactly who I am. All of the fears that I've had about church before are completely irrelevant at CT.
After an incredible time at VBS (and the totally awkward feeling of being the first to leave CT) we headed to the Mont for the traditional birthday dinner and drinks. I had incredible friends that came out. It was a wonderful time to relax and chat after such a long week at VBS.
Friday was a relatively slow day (since I was off work again). We had some stuff come up with a CT member or two and I was once again reminded how we come together if one of us is in trouble or has something happen. I was honestly sad that it was Friday and it was the last day of VBS. It was so incredible to see the lasting changes that have been made in the lives of the people of CT.
Saturday was filled with pool cleaning, Tucker Farley-kins' birthday party and then round two of my birthday. It ended up being wonderful, as I had a bunch of friends come over, but they came in shifts it seemed so I was able to focus on everyone and it didn't stress me out!
Today the best week ever came to an end, or so I thought! Pretty much this best week ever has so far carried into the next week. I stole my JJ who saw that I had cake and said "gimme cake" pretty much the cutest thing ever!
After that we tore down VBS, did some other CT stuff and it was time for youth, which was, as usual, amazing. I cried, but this time it was out of tears of laughter! Seriously best group of kids and leaders you can imagine.
I am on such a high of CT (I guess I've really been there for about seven months) and I just can't get enough. I am so in love with all the amazing things that we are able to do to further God's work here. I can't wait to see what He has in store for us next!