First Session Highlights

Staff conference childcare kicked off tonight with a bang, literally. The toddlers attempted a mass breakout after about an hour of being in their room and broke the baby gate guarding the door in half. In HALF. Haha. I really wish I had been there with a camera, because that is awesome. Complete chaos for the workers, but hilarious nonetheless.

Another fun moment was during our pre-childcare meeting with all the workers. One of the 3 year old boys walked by, saw us, and exclaimed “CHILDCARE!!! I LOVE CHILDCARE!!!”, and then proceeded down the hall singing a little song about childcare. It makes it so fun when the kids love it and are excited.

The 11 & 12 year old group has had a rough history in childcare, as they are right on the cusp of being too old, and finding childcare booooorrrriiinngg. So, in an effort to spice things up, I created a scavenger hunt for them to go on around the hotel. The points system allowed for a wide range of points to earn, as one of the quests was to count every animal they could find in the hotel. Each animal was one point. The funny part is that we are in the Great Wolf Lodge, and there are animals literally everywhere. Literally. The carpet, wallpaper, light sconces, lobby, artwork, even occasionally parading along the ceiling. They did boys against girls, and the winning team gets 30 extra minutes at the water park tomorrow morning. The boys won, accumulating over 1,000 points! I think it was a hit! 🙂

Staff Conference Re-cap

After months of planning and preparation, our Fall Staff Conference has come and gone like a flash! We ended up with 128 children in child care for the weekend – almost 30 more than I was expecting!! It was definitely a great first conference and a learning experience for me….lots of failures (with lots of grace thrown in), some things done well, and TONS of fun. Most importantly, we didn’t lose anyone, no one had to go to the hospital, and there were only a few minor injuries. At the end of the weekend the kids left with smiles, new friends and Lord willing a better picture of Jesus.

Here are a few pictures from the childcare wing:

Jensen - aka "Luke Skywalker"
Snack time in the 3's room!
Half of the 8-10 year olds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facepainting and balloon fun with Dooley and Clowney!
More clown fun!

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