Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21


 One week down, three more to go! December 1st, marked the beginning of the Advent season and of course, our Christmas scavenger hunt!

Week One Highlights 

As I look back at this past week I see two things. One: that God somehow anoints my crazy by showing up for us in the most incredible, unplanned ways and two: the Body of Christ is full of complete and total rock stars without whom this past week would have been kaput. 

We had a ton of fun, but the two moments that stood out to me were our trip to the Planusa office and an unexpected development at bedtime. So first, I’d like to introduce a lovely Kingdom rock star: Corrie Mook!

I know Corrie through the East Coast Conference of Church Planters. She and her husband, Andrew  are planting a phenomenal church in Providence, RI called, Sanctuary. Whoop, whoop, East Coast CP WIVES!!!!! Sorry, had to represent there for a minute. This beauty opened her home to me in September to stay overnight when I had to fly out of Providence at the ungodly hour of 6am. She told me about the organization she works for, Planusa in Warwick RI and the wheels in my head got to turning. So after a short email dialogue about the hunt and the possibility of visiting the office, we had a date, time, and an exciting learning experience for my kids!  Or according to their story, “the first challenge of the quest”.

 The tour was what you’d expect, we saw tons of office-y things, the kids were showered with attention by all the wonderful people we met, and we left with an armful of loot (seriously my “fleece, love, happiness shirt is too cute! See?).

In planning a visit to the Plan office, I hoped the kids would meet other people who talk about global justice and caring for the poor because mama and daddy can start sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher real quick.

 I didn’t (but should have) plan for God to show up for Tyson by encouraging him in his artistic gifts.

At the office we met an artist named, Ryan. When we came to his desk, he showed my kids how his drawings turn into promotional materials for Plan, including the coloring sheet they worked on after our tour.  This connection was really exciting for Tyson, because he loves to draw.  This kid actually says things to me like, “Mom!  The work of Pablo Picasso really inspires me!” Freaky for me since, on my best day I can draw a stick figure with a triangle dress.  Tyson loved it.  He got to meet someone who “gets paid to doodle all day!”  Which make me feel better about all the homework with cartoons and dragons sketched in the margins.  God used this cool guy gave my son a glimpse of this potential.

 There He goes…anointing my crazy with His presence and plan. 

 So that was a great kick-off to our week. My kids are in love with Andrew Mook who struck up an impromptu game of “Red light, green light” on Wickenden St. They wanted the Mooks to be on our launch team, but were mollified when we told them they were planting their own church.  Apparently to my little munchkins, unless you’re planting a church of your own– you have no reason not to join ours.

 Throughout the week the kids received scrolls in a bucket like this:

 that had a scroll with their challenge for the day, whatever tools they needed to be successful, and then a bell. They’d ring the bell after reading the scroll to accept the challenge and activate the magic from Lady Royal Bee, the character in the story that interacts with them in our world.

Which leads me to a cool development. I thought I would need to write out the bedtime stories that coordinate with the challenges. I planned these stories to bring home the week’s big idea in a creative way. For instance, this week’s was “Christmas is about giving to those in need”. After a particurally stressful day at the doctor—I had no interest in typing up pages of a story, so I suggested to the kids what we write the story together. And they loved it.

 So now we do a popcorn bedtime story. It’s chaotic and loud and sometimes someone wants everyone in the story to get blown up and we start over again, but it’s still fun. The kids are learning because they are doing. The way we do it, is I give the parameters of the story, “You’re flying on your dragons and we have to land in the Forest of BitterSweet Trees…T.J. tell us how we have to crash land.”

When they start getting silly, I take over and get us back on track since I have a general idea of where I want to the story to go.  O
verall, it’s this beautiful cooperation between the kids and I.  I’m planning on writing it all up our “popcorn” bedtime stories, laying it out as one continuous story, printing it up and reading it to them on Christmas Eve.

This next week we’re learning that Christmas is about sharing the joy of Christ’s birth and celebrating with those we love. We’re planning a goody bag stuffing party that will provide ten goody bags for kids in a shelter for domestic abuse survivors. Please pray for wisdom and energy for me.

One week down thanks to God whose grace has been sufficient for me and to our community of friends who encouraged me in true 1 Thessalonians 5 style.

It’s been a good week! The kids are still full of wonder and excitement. I’m still totally in love with them. God is still good and best of all… He’s becoming real to them.

Excited for week two,