Wax Museum Night

Recently people from our small group at church volunteered to help one of our members, a teacher, at her intermediate school during wax museum night.

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The night consisted of two parts in separate buildings; One part was the ‘museum’ where children dressed up as historical figures and stood like wax figures while telling the story of themselves. The other half of the night was knowledge based games and then pizza.

The game hubby and I were in charge of didn’t appear to have a name but there were 7 descriptions of people in history and what their accomplishments were. Each was labeled with a number 1-7. The answer sheet had numbers 1-7  one side and letters A-G with the names to match them on the other. Each number matched one of the letters/names.

Jackie Robinson arrived at our table as did Betsy Ross, Thomas Jefferson, Sacagawea and many others. Being a title one school filled with children in great need, the majority of the costumes were what bits and pieces they could find put together with incredible creativity. Thomas Jefferson’s mom crocheted his hair (It was impressive really) Betsy Ross had mom’s skirt and blouse, a 7″ flag and a spool of thread.

Many of the children’s parents stood behind them as they read the pages and marked their answers even when they did not understand the language it was written in. Parents would nudge their child and ask a question or just prod them to stay focused and do their best. Those kids were so excited when they got the answers correct! When children got stuck, I was there to guide them. Hubby graded and gave out hand stamps and candy. Everyone got a hand stamp but you had to have 5 out of 7 correct for candy.

Hubby and I had a great time right up to the moment a Dad said in a frustrated, very rude tone; “Just fill in the blanks, I’m hungry.” Truthfully I felt like time stood still. His son was excited, having fun and wanted to read and answer questions correctly. He  paused, looked away then sighed and wrote a number in each blank, never reading a word off the big poster. Hubby check it, gave him a hand stamp and would not look at the Dad. I on the other hand felt like staring at him (I probably was in reality) as if my thoughts would be transferred through osmosis, How could you? What the heck are you doing? Did you just say that? My heart broke for this 5th grade boy.

They moved to the next game. You see, the kids needed to play three games before they could go eat the pizza. A simple way to encourage kids and show them they were smart and could succeed. There were boxes of pizza stacked up just waiting for the families. The wait for Dad to eat would have been about 7-10 minutes or so.

The drive home was full of stories of amazing children, how smart they were, how creative the costumes were but, there was also a small thread of anger towards a parent that had no interest in what this night meant for his son nor any time to invest in his child.

Four weeks have passed and I have not forgotten this man. Maybe 30 years old, Baseball cap, a days’ growth of a beard, white T-shirt and jeans dirty from his day’s work, tired eyes and at his son’s school activity. I am working on grace in my heart. These are the positives I found to celebrate;  Dad actually showed up. There was no mom in site so Dad probably works very hard at many things. The boy has a love for learning and his teachers find fun and inventive ways to encourage not just him, but the other children as well. The teachers gather volunteers that are not attached to the school to put on these events so the kids can include their families. They all went to bed with full bellies that night.

Each of us received a thank you letter from one of the children showing the letter writing skills they are learning and the manners they have been taught. Everyone in our group smiled and passed them around the following week,

I would like to encourage you to take a moment when you are with someone who is excited about something that interests them. Celebrate their passion and joy. Celebrate their desire to learn and celebrate the time you get to share with them. Live in the moment, its beautiful there!

CWR

Pastor Gran

 

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Celebrate what’s right, huh?

For the last 6 months or so, I have wondered what I should do with all this ‘stuff’ in my head that has been put there through years of education, almost 60 years of life experiences and a heart that seeks God in everything. One of our many grandchildren began a face book photo blog of sorts and I was impressed. Then a new friend at work share her blog with me. I was hooked but scared. Well 2017 is a time to be bold and pretend I watch Nike commercials and Just Do It!
Celebrate What’s Right (CWR) is a term I have used for many years and it stems from a very hard time in my life. Hubby and I had 5 teenagers at home, little time together , strained finances and poor communication. I worked for a frustrating boss and all I saw was gloom and doom.  I worked hard and did my best but…
One day I had enough and left the house in a huff and a full tank of gas. I drove north. Pouring out my heart, anger, frustration, confusion and frankly my disappointment in the Almighty God who I taught about every week! Didn’t he hear me cry every night? Didn’t he care? How could I teach families about how powerful His love was when I couldn’t even find Him in my home? Thank goodness for all the education and years of knowing His blessings. When I was finally done with my tirade, I began to pray asking for ears and a heart to hear him, and I did. “Celebrate What’s Right.” What? What does that mean? Hello? “Celebrate What’s Right.” Oh Geez, God I am a mess and I seriously don’t get this. Please be more clear with me. Please! “Celebrate What’s Right.” *sigh*.
So I turned my car around thinking about how to celebrate what was “Right” when everything was wrong. I began by thinking of my hubby. I began to think of what I loved about him and why. The list was hard to start, slow going and yet it was a start! Yay me! Then the kids. Some had very unlovable behaviors but I could easily separate out behavior (what they do) from being (who they are) and the “Right” with them came easier. Which led me back to hubby’s list in my head and his list grew significantly. The boss and work would have to come a different day.
When I got home, I wrote everywhere; CWR – a code to my brain and my heart. When they asked why they had CWR written on their mirror in the bathrooms (EXPO markers work great for this) Notes with CWR taped on the fridge and in my car and office I explained that I was choosing to celebrate what was right in my life instead of what was wrong. Besides the snide remarks and looks of ‘she’s really lost it this time!’, I had to rewrite it frequently because it was erased or thrown out. But, overall, My behavior was changed by my heart and my focus on CWR.
When I folded the loads of laundry with no help, when dishes were slammed around because someone didn’t like that chore or when tears rolled down faces because “life sucks!” when “I hate you!” poured out of children I had birthed and when I wanted to quit, I ask God to open my eyes to what was right. We had money enough to clothe the kids and ourselves, I was blessing them, not slaving by folding the clothes (whatever you do, do for the glory of God). We had eaten a healthy meal (God will provide) and someone was also learning a life lesson that life may suck sometimes but Mom always listens and hugs are always FREE.
I held my tongue more, opened my heart wider and hugged people that I frustrated or that frustrated me. I moved my CWR notes frequently so that they wouldn’t become part of the scenery so to speak.
After a while, CWR just became a part of me and I try to do that in all circumstances, many times unconsciously. My hope is that we can talk freely about life, family, marriage, kids grandkids and even work on this blog and then see how you might be able to celebrate in the circumstances that surround those things in our lives.
I hope you enjoy your time here and learn to CWR in your life too.
Hugs,
Pastor Gran