I intended to come in from Monday's activities and immediately post about what a fantastic day it had been. But by now you probably know that my plan A rarely works out - sometimes neither do plans B-X. But something always works - right now, I'm working yesterday's plan C, or maybe D.
Don't assume that plans only change because of failure. Oh no! Many times plans change because a better plan is discovered mid-route or mid-project or mid-lesson. Yesterday's plans changed mid-I-can't-keep-my-eyes-open-any-longer-nap.
The day had been planned for several weeks. The unplanned and unexpected was the after youth group Sunday night four wheeler ride by the niece and nephews. Laynie, Caleb, and Chan rode until I whined that I was ready to go home. Then I had to wait on them to come back, load Chan's ride on the trailer, take him home, unhook the loaded trailer at his house, and finally crawl into bed sometime around 1 a.m. Only to have Lucy Mercer keep me awake for a few more hours. So I was missing several hours of sleep going in to Monday's busy plan.
Brooke and I took several of the UMY kids to Little Rock to complete our March mission at the Methodist Children's Home which is part of Methodist Family Health. We reached the campus just before 9:30, hauled our supplies into the gym, and went to meet some of the kids we would be seeing. We helped to escort the 1-2 year olds to the gym for our first session - 15 screaming, squealing, laughing, giggling, very cute and cuddly toddlers playing and interacting with 5 smiling, chasing, laughing, praying, very cute and cuddly teenagers. We brought small playground kick balls for each toddler - and they were a hit. About an hour into the morning session, a group of 3-5 year olds joined us. Our plan A went right out the window when we realized the 1-2 year olds weren't leaving, and we were going to have to find a way to do the planned Bible story while the 3-5's wanted to run and play and then do the craft for 3-5's with the 1-2's crawling everywhere and wanting to get in on the action too. Finally, everyone had attempted to decorate an apron and a star clapper. We put on some music and sang and clapped and crawled and chased some more. When lunch came, we were already tired and ready for a much needed break.
It was a short break though because Scott, the guy in charge, had promised that if we got back in time, we could rock some babies. And our kids really wanted to rock some babies. We walked in during nap time for all but one baby, but managed to wake up two more and everyone got a few minutes of baby love.
We then went back to the gym to meet with a very large group of kids from 6-17 years old. Again, plan A had been to see the 6-11 year olds and then the 12-17 year old group, but we adjusted and the afternoon session was quickly underway. The activity was one Brooke and I had done with our kids just a few weeks ago. An adaptation of Ann's post.
A gym bench transformed into a prayer bench. A private moment lead by strangers and supervised by counselors. But God, as always, was forgiving. And He was present.
While small groups came to the prayer bench, the large group was downstairs doing crafts. The glowing cross necklace plan adapted to a beaded bracelet. The extra supplies thrown into the bag "just in case" used up and stretched to fill the need.
And at the end of the day, two adults and five kids used up and stretched to fill the need.
Used up and exhausted but full too. We went to fulfill a monthly mission, but God blessed us too. Watching our kids work to include even those toddlers that wanted to hang back, those that were hard to engage, listening as they asked, Do you want me to pray with you? Do you know that God forgives? Is there someone God can help you to forgive? hearing them answer the same "How do you put this together?" "Can I have one of those?" and watching them dig to the bottom of every bag again and again searching for just one more pinwheel or star to color - I came home tired reminded of what I already knew. I am blessed to be a part of God's plan.