Friday, July 16, 2010

How a child can make a difference!

Me and Abby out on the boat at Sardis (7/2010)

Have you ever thought to yourself, I want my child to make a difference? Or have you ever thought, when I have children, I want them to make a difference in someones life? Well, this is a "story" about one child that made a huge impact in, and on our life, and how, because of her love for her nursery workers, we found some of the best friends we've ever had.

About 4 years ago, my husband and I officially joined Germantown Baptist Church. It was a hard decision for me, and one I've blogged about before, so I'm not going to go into it again. We went to service weekly, but had no real ties to a Sunday School class, and didn't really know where to go to find one. As we were sitting in service one week, a plea was given for nursery workers for the next year. Most everyone knows my love of children runs deep, so I immediately went out and signed up to be a volunteer nursery worker. I was open to whatever age they gave me, and thought it would be a fun way to spend my time before service. About two weeks later I was called and told I would be in the 18 month old room. Around the same time, our church went through a major split, complete with the pastor leaving, and most anyone I already knew high tailing it to another church. My first week in the nursery, we had 4 children. Yes, you read that right. At a big church like GBC we had just 4 kids....and it was sad. Over the course of the next few weeks, more and more children started coming back to church. Myself, along with my co-teacher Karen, would welcome these children with open arms, and teach them what little we could (not because of lack of knowledge but because of lack of attention span....theirs, not ours) about Jesus. There was supposed to be two rooms of this age group, but because of the split and sudden exodus from the church, our room was it. We had lots of little children that would love and hug on us, but one little girl captured my heart from the beginning. Her name was Abby.

Abby was the youngest of three girls in her family. Already feeling the kindred connection because I grew up with two sisters, I would pry her from her parents arms each week,and then sit her in my lap until she was ready to play. When she got tired, or upset, she would always seek me out, and want to sit with me. Seldom did a week go by that I wouldn't get a big smile, and warm hug from my "sweet Abby." By this time Donnie had started working in the class too, and on the occasion I was busy, she would immediately go to him, which was odd since there was another female teacher in the room.

Abby was a faithful attender. Her parents brought her in week after week, seldom missing church, except when sick. She always had on cute little dresses, and big bows in her hair. Of course, her hair was so fine, the bows would slip out, so most of the time we spent trying to get her hair put back up before her parents came to get her. The room began to get too small as another large church in the area was having some issues, and some of their congregation were now coming to GBC. In about six months, they had to open another classroom for the 18 month olds, and they were going to split them up by birth date. Well, a few of the mom's got upset because their kids were used to us, so the way these children got split was, if they were regular attenders they stayed with Karen, Donnie and me, and if they were occasional attenders they were sent to the other class. On any given Sunday our room would average 18 children, while the other room averaged 5. Some days we were overwhelmed, and some days we made it just fine. Now, looking back, I can see God's hand in how we met our friends. If the parents of some children had not said anything, dear Abby would've been put in the other class because of her birth date, which is in April. The cut off was supposed to be March. Isn't God neat?

So as the year went on, we learned more and more about Abby. We often joked with her parents over the "gate" as they handed her off to us, and though we didn't know their names we would always say how much we liked "Abby's parents", and how we could easily "hang out with them." ***Side note....this is always how Donnie and I label new people we meet. They either go in the "we could hang out with them" or "no way would we hang out with them" category.*** Pretty soon Abby's parents started inviting us to bible studies and other things their class did, and pretty soon we met all kinds of friends that were a part of their Sunday school class. We soon learned their names, other than Abby's parents, and found we enjoyed spending time with them learning God's word.

Over the next few months Abby started talking. She would come in, point to me and say what sounded like "sassy." We would ask her if she wanted her "sissy," "paci," anything that rhymed with sassy, and she would say no and point to me. Donnie and I both thought this was funny, and eventually told her parents. I even accused them of saying "that Kim Blair is too sassy." But they denied it, and I realized that this sweet little girl had come up with a nickname for me. Once Abby was able to say Donnie's name, it came out Don-Don. Though she knows us by our real names, she will not call us Donnie and Kim, but yet refers to us simply as Sassy and Don-Don. When that season of our life was over, and we went back to adult Sunday School, we of course went to the Carney class. Why did we go there and not visit any other class? We went because their 18 month old daughter had reached out to us, relative strangers, and made us feel at home.

We had the opportunity to go with our friends, the Carney's, to Sardis lake the weekend of the 4th of July. We had an awesome time, and made many, MANY, laughable memories that weekend. Out of everything we did, and all the laughs we had, do you know what made my heart smile the most? It was every time I heard one of the girls call my name to play with them, rescue them from the current, fix them something to eat or drink, or just watch TV. While some people may think it would be annoying, I smiled each and every time I heard the name.....Sassy.

Because of this sweet girl, and the friendship we developed with her parents, we've been able to meet, and make some of the best friends we've ever had....ever. Their is a group of us that go out to lunch on Sundays, which by the way has been too long since we were all in town, that we affectionately call "the Sunday lunch crew." We've met friends that have stayed at our church for a season, then left to go elsewhere, I guess to be disciples (smile) because let's face it, who wouldn't want to be a part of our class? We have friends that when we've been out several Sunday's send harassing emails like "are you going somewhere else?" or "When are you coming back-the room has been too serious." Or friends that when I send out an email and say "I'm not crazy but...." I get replies back that say "Of course we know you are crazy...." Sometimes I wonder where we would be had we never worked that class 4 years ago? Would we still be lost in the congregation somewhere? Would we even still be at GBC? I don't know, but I wouldn't change how it is now for anything. And it's all because of the love of a child!

So, whenever you feel like your child may never make a difference, remember our "story" and how a little, 18 month old girl named Abby, led us to some of the best friends we've ever had!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I found the one that my soul loves

To quote a line from one of my favorite movies (and yes you can judge me for it later)

"They say to write well is to write what you know...and this is what I know."

(Never Been Kissed 1999 starring Drew Barrymore)

So, this is what I know. I know that my youngest sister will be getting married one week from Saturday. It's kind of a mixed emotion time for me right now. I know that the man she is marrying, Todd, is an awesome guy, and the man that God has been grooming for all these years to meet my sister. I know that Emily is happy, and to see her like that, makes the rest of us happy. I know that embarking on marriage is fun, exciting, and also really, well... scary.

It's the first time in your life that you have to learn to live with someone new. Now I know we all have lived with our family, and college roommates, but to live with the person you love unconditionally takes some getting used to. For example, when Donnie and I dated and I would go to his apartment and his socks would be on the floor, or a wet towel would be thrown on the bed, I thought it was cute, and sweet to pick that stuff up for him. Now that we are married if I find socks on the floor or a wet towel on the bed, I have to check myself before the horns come out, and my ears blow off because that is NOT where they go.

It's the first time that you really realize that the person you love most in this life, you may not like sometimes. This was a hard one for me. See, I thought that married couples got along at least 90% of the time, and before you judge, Donnie and I do get along really well, but I have learned that there are some days that you just aren't the best of friends. For example-When you were dating and fixing his dinner, it was cute that he sat and watched tv and waited for you to get done. When you are married and he is sitting watching tv, and both of you have worked 8 hour days, you have to be careful that your sarcasm doesn't shine through too much when you ask if you can get him anything.

It's the first time you have every shared a bed with someone you were not blood related too. Come on ladies, you remember the times before you were married that you thought how fun it will be to get to go to bed with your husband every night. What you didn't think about was the fact that he would snore, move around a lot, and heck-even fart in his sleep. The prince charming, who in your mind was going to cover your bed with rose petals, is now making you wish you had any type of flower just to get rid of whatever smell is coming out of his body.

But for all the "bad stuff" you encounter, the one thing I know, is that it was the first time in my life that I trusted someone enough to give them my whole heart, and know that he would guard it with everything in his being.
  • My husband is my best friend. He's the last person I want to talk to at night, and the first person (even though it's not his favorite thing that early in the morning) that I want to talk to when I get up. He makes me laugh until my sides hurt, and he holds me close when I cry.
  • We've never gone to bed mad at each other, ever. You see, that's a promise we made when we got married, and here we are 5 years later, and we've never broken that promise.
  • He understands that I'm sentimental and emotional, and I understand that he's not. He knows what buttons to push, and when not to push them.
  • He always makes sure that I'm first, even if it means he has to go without.
  • He knows that any disagreements we have are between us, and he knows that I, just like him, would never take those disagreements to anyone else.
  • He knows that I only have eyes for him. He knows that those same eyes can roll with purpose when he gets under my skin.
  • He knows that when the going gets rough, the place to be is not holding me up, but yet on his knees right beside me.
  • He knows Abba Father in an intimate way, and his goal is to guide our household toward loving Him.
The one thing in this life that I know really well, is how much I love Donald Martin Blair...or, as I call him-Donnie.

I pray that my sister Emily, and her fiancee Todd, get to experience life the way Donnie and I have the past few years. I hope that when they look at us, they see a true example of a couple that love each other with all their heart. I know that life isn't always going to be easy, and I know that while life is about to get really exciting, it's also a little scary. But what I know most of all is that it is definitely worth the wait!