I emptied myself last week at VBS. It was hard work. Stretching work for me, to teach and really lead as much as I did. It was hard for me to move beyond my comfort zone, and really try to connect with the kids as I taught them.
My comfort zone in this area was imposed upon me by a belief in a set lies. Lies that were embedded early on in my life as a believer.... lies that I couldn't teach, that I had no right to be up in front of kids, and worst yet, that my musical skills weren't and never would be strong enough to do anything with in the realm of teaching.
But last week, I pushed those aside, begged God to fill me and be more than enough for me, and I taught. I helped the kids learn music that was based around the themes of the days teachings. I taught them some sign language and such to go along with the songs to help them remember them. I led them in the closing celebration for their parents and friends. Then Sunday morning, the kids who were at church who had been in VBS, came up front and we sang and signed our theme song for the week for the church.
God met me. God filled me. God enabled me.
Instead of holding back when I felt God calling, I stepped out of my normal comfort zone and pushed through and did what He asked me to do.
This Sunday, after church was done, we all headed to Sunday school. Peter in particular was pushing to go to the farm right after the service. Earlier he had wanted to go to Sunday school, but when he realized that he was going to have to wait longer to go to the farm, he got fed up with me and started to melt down because I was making him stay.
We sat in the back of the adult class until I saw his teacher come through, and then I moved with Peter and Marina, and took them into their classroom. Once they were in there, Peter settled in. When they came out, all Peter could talk about was how much fun he had. Marina enjoyed it too.
I was proud of myself for having pushed through on something else that was uncomfortable for me. Taking the kids to church on my own, taking them to Sunday school for the first time, rather than giving into their demands of leaving right away.
But talking about being poured out...
This whole past weekend I could hardly string two thoughts together. I couldn't relax at the coffee shop. I couldn't unwind at the farm. After some sleep Saturday night, I was able to relax some on Sunday, and think a bit more clearly. I took a 2 1/2 hour nap at the farm Sunday afternoon. Came home and slept a full night last night too.
But woke up just drained again today. Drained and crabby!!! Yuck. I hate it when I wake up that way.
And sick. I have a wicked sore throat, that won't seem to go away.
But this usually happens to me when I really stress myself and give all I have got. I found it always happened in collage at the semesters end. I would come home for Christmas break or summer break and immediately get sick. It never failed.
So I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
I remember someone saying that they wanted to be one of the ones who left all they had out on the field.
I think I left it all out on the field last week.
I am tired and done in and toasted... mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually too. I just haven't been able to focus on God much since then. I want to, and I attempt to pray, but a few words come out, (or get journaled) and then I drift off. I can't seem to keep my mind on task.
So, now that I think Marina is finally asleep... (she has been fighting sleep all week.. staying up later each night... even when she doesn't have a nap and has been running all day) ...I am going to try to spend even a few quiet minutes with God here at the end of my day, and go get some sleep too.
Thank you all for your prayers and kind comments. This has been a week to remember, and if I can remember it long enough I will journal about it so that I don't forget what I have learned. Of course, maybe that is what this post, and the last one are about...
A reminder of what it is like to pour myself out, to follow God, to push out the boundaries of my comfort zone, and to expand and grow and find new confidence in God to equip me for what He is calling me to.
That's what it is all about.
He called me, I answered.
He equipped me, I poured myself out.
He did the work through me, I just obeyed and did what He told me. We make a good team that way. Much better than when I try to tell Him what He is supposed to be doing.
(Hmm. I do that way too much!)
That is what God is about. As our theme song for the VBS week said:
"This is the way of the Kingdom of God!"
P.S. If I get the time, I will put up a post with a few pictures from VBS, so you can see a few of the things that happened at our church this past week... I am too tired now to do it, so hopefully tomorrow it will happen as I try to survive the heat!