Tag Archives: truth

Lessons from Vacation Bible School

This summer, my kids participated in our church’s “Vacation Bible School” program (aka, VBS). Every day for a week, we left the house early to trek down to the church’s building, where the kids attended the opening and closing assemblies and rotated through crafts, music, Bible, snack, and movement classes each day. I mostly volunteered in the preschool Bible class, performing various roles in Bible skits for over 100 little ones. The whole week was exhausting for me.

Despite being surrounded by Bible verses, memory points, smiling people with what seemed like boundless amounts of energy, and energizing pop songs about God’s love and forgiveness, I felt spent, exhausted, and alone. The transition back to New York City after over three weeks away was a difficult one, and I realized in hindsight that I had not prepared myself or the family well for the adjustment. (I actually made lists of things to do differently next time. I love lists.) And to make things more difficult, it was a hot week in New York, my husband was working out of town, and I was 7-something months pregnant. And my kids weren’t sleeping.

Each day I’d show up, feeling beaten, and run into dozens of people I knew, some fairly well, most acquaintances I hadn’t seen in a year – and everyone was all smiles and “it’s great to see you!” and “how wonderful that you’re expecting!” and hugs. I didn’t feel like smiling, and I didn’t feel like it was great to see anyone, and I didn’t feel like it was wonderful to be expecting. It all felt like hard work.  Continue reading

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Filed under children, faith, god & faith, motherhood, prayer

october trilogy

Part I

hurting hearts
long to hurt more.
they sear and want to sear deeper.
they long to cry out into the darkness:
is anyone there?

hurting hearts
long for comfort.
they seek it in food and drink, listlessness and frenzy, silent tears and screams of pain.

We all have our ways.

One hurting heart,
while hurting for us all,
while abandoned and without hope,
while crying out in the agony of torture,
forgave.

can we, too?

 

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Filed under faith, family, forgiveness, God, god & faith

such a pretty girl

Such a pretty girl. We were sitting on the couch when he said it, tucking a few stray strands of hair behind my ear. It was so tender, so loving. So genuine.

I thought of the many times I had said those same words to my daughter, hoping that if I said it enough, she’d grow up believing it. That if she heard it enough, it would become true for her.

Such a pretty girl, I say, when washing her hair, getting her dressed, brushing her teeth, playing peek-a-boo. Pretty bow for a pretty girl, I say, trying to entice her into letting me clip a cloth-covered barrette into her finally-starting-to-come-in hair. Look at the pretty dress for my pretty girl! I exclaim, when I pull out a sweet jumper from a new bag of hand-me-downs.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing deep in her bones that she is beautiful. I don’t want her ever to doubt it.

I also want her to know why she is beautiful.  Continue reading

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Filed under body image, children, God, god & faith, identity, idolatry