Children Everywhere!

Fact: Children are a great blessing from the Lord. (Prov 127:3, Matt 18:1-6)

It is both humbling and exciting to think about the impact we can have on the life of a child and how they experience Jesus and the gospel. I am thrilled that my job includes getting to plan and run the childcare program for our conferences! Since taking over this job in August, the process leading up to our Staff Conference (my first event leading childcare) has been smooth and seamless.

Until this past week…

  • On Monday I realized that we are 2.5 weeks out from the first day of staff conference, and my to-do list would take longer than that to get done.
  • On Monday 3 of my college workers backed out of working.
  • On Monday we got the final numbers for this year’s group :: 119 children. 119!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (In comparison, last year we had 94)
  • On Tuesday I had a conversation with a couple moms that led to changing up the whole weekend schedule for the oldest class.
  • On Wednesday the Lord provided one new student to replace one of the three that can’t do it anymore!!
  • On Thursday I realized that I still haven’t finalized the lessons for the content to send to the classroom leaders, the snack shopping list, the movie choices for the movie night, or the schedule.
  • On Friday I still had two open childcare spots that need filling, and only half of the paperwork that needs to be submitted on Monday to Headquarters.

On Saturday, I realized that I have two choices of how I can respond in light of the past week:

1. Freak out – stress, worry about how it is all going to get done, wonder what just happened and if there is any way to redeem this situation, think that childcare is now ruined, that I have failed and that childcare is going to fail (maybe a bit extreme, but hey, we’ll go with it)

2. Not freak out – to remember that God is still sovereign, that although these events were a surprise to me, He has a plan in all of it (part of that plan is to humble me and remind me that I can’t do this job without Him), and to remember to keep my priorities straight: if these children are loved well during the conference, get a clearer picture of Jesus and who He is in their lives, and leave having had fun and built friendships with the other kids in their class, then it will be a successful weekend.

By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I choose option 2. Believe me, my natural inclination is to choose the first. I love being in control, having things go according to my plan, and then stress out when it doesn’t. But that is because I want to look good, to be praised for my good effort, to be known as the one who ‘does things well’, not because I want God to receive more glory.

Proverbs 16:2-3 says “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord, and you plans will be established.” When I try to do it on my own, I fail, because my motives are impure. When I commit my works, my stresses, my unfulfilled task lists, and my motives to the Lord, then He has freedom to work in and through me, and receive the glory that He deserves.

I am thankful today that the Holy Spirit reveals my sin, and that the depths of my heart are searched by God. I am thankful that He doesn’t leave me to struggle for control, but convicts me of that sin and then throws challenges in my path that humble me and force me to turn from my own strength and effort and look to Him for the help I so desperately need. I am thankful that I don’t have to do it on my own – that there is a sovereign God who is actively at work in my life (and yours too!), sanctifying me and making me more like Jesus. I am thankful that when I fail, His grace is enough to cover it. And I am thankful that there is a way to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (even if it may take a lifetime to learn how).

Wow – this was not the direction I was originally going with this post at all, nor was it going to be so long. But there it is. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! Please pray for me this week – mostly that I will continue to trust Jesus with the details, and rely on Him for strength. Pray also that the Lord will provide 2-3 more college students to work childcare, and for time to get everything done that needs doing, and the wisdom to know what isn’t a priority.

Grace and Peace,

Emily

One thought on “Children Everywhere!

  1. We love you,Darlin’, and will be praying as
    God leads and uses you this week to make the childcare program what He wants it to be. All those years of babysitting have prepared you for this task. God is soooo good…
    Grannie and Grandpa

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