God-Size Surprises

Do you ever get surprised by God? Have your found yourself expecting one thing, and then receiving so much more than you could ever ask for or imagine? That happened to me last week…in a huge way! Camp Splash was last week. Just like last year, the neighborhood kids and the youth and college age students had a terrific time of parachute games, water games, crafts and daily installments of the redemptive story of God’s creation, sin, the Savior Jesus and His bodily resurrection, and how He wants a relationship with us.

We heard the story of how we are reconciled to God through His son Jesus. But, we also experienced reconciliation with one another as we gathered and created community. God’s big surprise was the group of mama’s, caregivers and grandma’s who came to be with their children. They came the first day, Monday. I thought to myself – OK…they are coming to check this out. Not sure if they should leave their children unattended with a group of strangers. I don’t blame them. They just intently listened, watched and took it all in.

On Tuesday, they returned. And I thought – OK – this must be something. Is this God? At the end of the evening, I approached this loving group of women and asked if they might want to meet together while their kids were cared for and taught. They loudly agreed with a resounding – YES!

On Wednesday and Thursday, we met together and talked about our dreams for the community, our kids, our lives. We shared some of our history, our struggles, too. A time of prayer where we lifted our thanks and petitions to our God. By Friday, God was already answering! One person asked that we pray for joy…for peace.

SLIME!

SLIME!

On Thursday, I saw that some of the moms joined in the parachute games before we met together. By Friday, the moms were joining in the messy slime relay game – delivering non-toxic slime from one bucket to the other. Look at the HUGE smiles in these pictures. You can almost hear the giggles of joy. Thanks God for bringing a few minutes of joy and giggles through slimey games! And we know and love where everlasting joy comes from.

Starting this Thursday, we will continue to gather weekly and will start exploring THAT kind of Joy…joy unspeakable and full of glory…and that kind of Peace…peace that passes all understanding…

God-size surprises aren’t always HUGE and fancy. I am learning that God-size surprises may be small…unexpected…something that I definitely can’t take credit for. Something I never saw coming! God-size surprises are often in the everyday walk of life. He cares about and shows up in the mundane, routine, detailed parts of our lives. I love that.

Where do you see God working in your life in unexpected ways? In the routines of life?


Update: Happy Birthday, Jesus!

This past Saturday, we threw our first annual Birthday Party for Jesus at All Souls Presbyterian in Barton Heights; Richmond, VA!  We had a GREAT time! Jesse the Juggler wowed us all with his juggling expertise, while telling us the story of Creation and the birth of Jesus.  Some of the kids got in on the juggling action as well!  I think at least one of them has a future in juggling…at least we know the Isaiah has quite an arm!

The story of the Birth of Jesus was read to the kids…taken from the Bible… Luke 2:1-20.

Then, Santa showed up to celebrate Jesus’s birthday; and he even brought gifts for kids of all ages!!!  After singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, we had cake, candy canes and cookies with our lemonade.

In addition, we had a chance to color…although I didn’t realize that we had been given “Multicultural” Crayons, which had no bright colors like…blue, red and green!  So…after a quick run to the Family Dollar (Thanks, Lauren and Rush!!!) we were in business.

Another big hit was the guessing game!  Clint was the closest (without going over!!!) with his guess of 87…when there were 89 mint patties in the jar.  I hope it’s all good at home…with all that chocolate in the house!  Congratulations, Clint!

We all had such a terrific time!  Thanks to all who helped!  You guys totally rock!  Special “shout out” to All Souls Pres, Commonwealth Chapel, and WEAG.  Thanks for the support! In addition…major thanks my loving and supportive hubby, Louis, and the rest of my elves…Terence, Abbie, Paul, Lauren, Rush, Bishop, Jesse, Vashti, Gloria and my sweet, sweet Mom!

Last note….

What great news to know that Jesus didn’t stay a little baby.  I have peace, hope and joy in knowing that He grew up, died on the cross, rose from the dead (Easter), and will come again!  THAT is the Good News of Jesus Christ!  Who do you know that needs to hear that part of the story this season?

Joy to the World…and Peace on Earth.