This past week was Kids Week at our Commack Campus and it was seriously a blast. As staff members, it’s pretty much the one week out of the year we get the green light to run around, let loose, and act a third of our age. It’s magical and tiring all at the same time but the perfect switch up from working behind a desk! How many aunts and uncles would join me in saying, “I get to play with all these kids and at the end of the day… they go home!?” I feel ya! 😉
It’s funny, you’re supposed to be teaching the kids but in the end, they’re always teaching YOU something. How does that happen?
You get older. You have more responsibilities and commitments. It comes with the territory. Kids don’t have to worry about mortgages, grocery shopping, staying employed, or being responsible for other people’s lives! But we can sure learn something from them. HAVE FUN! TAKE TIME TO BE GOOFY and if you need some help in this department, read this: Stop Taking Yourself Too Seriously.
2. Keep It Simple
Each day we taught every child a simple principle. Whether they were learning that they are wonderfully complex or reminding themselves that God’s love is never ending, we kept it simple. Each activity, craft, even snack represented that concept. Why do we complicate things as adults? Jay- Z had 99 problems. Can you say, #complicated. I mean, some situations are definitely complicated, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been there myself, but sometimes, the solution is simple. It might not be easy but sometimes, the answer to our messy situations can be clear. Just keep it simple. Whatever you want to communicate, whatever you want to do, whatever you need to teach, however you want to live – boil it down and keep it simple.
3. Don’t Lose Your Wonder
It never ceases to amaze me what kids find entertaining. A snack time dance party, an origami craft (what was that supposed to be anyway?), hopscotching backwards. I mean, our Pastor dressed up as “Professor Purpose” (total throw back to Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future) and half of the kids were trying to figure out if it was really Pastor Todd behind the wig. Of course it’s Pastor Todd, but the mystery still continues for some of them. It’s easy for things to become “normal” or lose it’s “luster.” Work, relationships, hobbies, things we’re blessed with, your neighborhood, and even people! Don’t lose your wonder and awe for life. Hold on to your imagination and curiosity.
4. It’s The Little Things
“Oh my goodness. Your dress is so beautiful!” “Wow, you’re doing such a great job!” “You did that yourself? You are so creative.” “Nice dab, kid!” It’s really those little sentences of encouragement that go such a longggg way. How about this… one kid told one of our Pastors that he was “cool.” Actually, she screamed it. “You are so cool!!!” I think that went a long way for Pastor Jeremy! HAHA! Maybe it was one of those, you-had-to-be-there-moments but we had a great time rehashing it once the day was over. So how about this? Share some kindness today and pull out the gold in someone.
5. Manners Matter
I have to say, these kids were pretty well behaved. But kids are kids. They are still learning and figuring out how to say things and when to say them. Most adults are trying to figure that one out too. Sometimes it’s important to bring correction the right way.
It really reminded me to be mindful of how I treat people. Don’t be rude just to be rude. Don’t exclude that person because they are different than you. Take a moment to listen and think before you blurt something out. Hold back from knee-jerk reactions. Guard your words because once they hit the air, you can’t take them back. Now, I’m not talking about bold because being bold and expressing yourself are great characteristics. But, if I don’t have anything constructive or life-bringing to say, might as well keep that comment to myself. Wow, mama was right all along?!
6. United For a Purpose
This whole week has been amazing working with the staff and volunteers. Nothing like common purpose, uniting people, and bringing everyone together. Camaraderie is contagious! It lifts your spirits, keeps you positive, and gets you doing things you normally wouldn’t do, all in the name of purpose. Bring that energy and enthusiasm everywhere you go, into every situation you find yourself in.
Don’t underestimate the miniature ones in our lives. After all, Yoda was a tiny gent himself. But, smart so was he.