I’m in the midst of Vacation Bible School this week, and I’m gonna tell you a little about how disastrous the first night was because, trust me, it will make you feel so much better about yourself.
To understand what I’m about to tell you, you may need to know that at the church I attend, small groups of 2 or 3 adults will lead a classroom, called a learning center, and kids travel by grade to each room. So, by the end of the week, each learning center will have taught every grade exactly one time.
The downside is room leaders prepare everything from scratch instead of using a kit or lesson plan. The plus side is each group only teaches 1 lesson several times, so once we’re ready for the first class, we’re ready for all of the classes!
Now that you know how it works, I’ll tell you about my disaster! The overall VBS theme this year is Kings of Israel, and my husband & I chose to teach about King David. We had a script typed up in advance, but setting up the projector and getting into costume took longer than expected so we ran out of time to run through our script before having the first group of students.
In addition to not sounding polished because we hadn’t practiced out loud, about midway through class, I started talking about a key part in the Biblical account, then realized I’d totally blanked out about the details! My notes only said, “Discuss when Nathan the prophet visited David…”
I decided to casually try to get the 7th & 8th graders to help me out, so I asked, “Do you know what happened next?!” and they said no, so I had to fess up, “Hmm, neither do I actually.”
Thankfully, one of the students (bless him!) thought for a minute and said, “Wasn’t it about a ewe lamb?” Then he proceeded to explain what had happened.
I tried to recover and thanked him, then picked up where he left off, but I definitely learned that I need to type up the entire script, just in case I blank out again!
You’d think this was bad enough, but after the learning center ended and we went for snacks, I proceeded to leave half the class behind in the dining area without realizing it (thankfully they were old enough that they were totally fine!).
Then, after I found them and we were back together in the auditorium, the kid next to me made me laugh as I was taking a sip from my water bottle and I accidentally spewed water all over the girl in front of me!
Her response? She shrugged and said, “I have a brother, it’s fine.”
This was just hours after I’d gone to the library with two bags full of books they’d charged us for since it had been so long since I’d checked the books out. To top it all off, I ended up returning the books partially wet because it was pouring rain when I arrived and all the close parking spaces were taken.
Needless to say, yesterday was a Monday of all Mondays!
These are the kinds of things I’d have berated myself for several years ago. I would have been so embarrassed that I’d have wanted to hide, or cry, and I probably would have done both.
But the thing is, we are all imperfect. We all have epic fails.
We all have things we’re working on and opportunities gone wrong.
We can choose to be mortified or we can just laugh it off, learn from it, and move on.
Learning to be okay with myself, learning to accept who I am, mistakes and all, has made me a better mom and a better friend. It’s made me less rigid with my kids, it’s helped me to focus on them and their hearts instead of how things might appear to other people.
The more grace I’m able to offer myself, the more grace I can offer to my friends, too.
It’s like my preacher, Mark Day, has said. “Am I a perfect husband? No. But ask me if I’m a faithful husband – that’s a different question and you’ll get a different answer.”
Are you a perfect Christian, mom, wife, homemaker, etc.? No.
But are you a faithful one?
I bet so.