This past weekend was our churches annual fundraiser. It is the Christmas in July Arts, Crafts and Vendors fair held every year at the Recreation Center here in Greensburg. It is always one of those things you look forward to, but at the same time dread because it can be a lot of work. But we do it because it is for a good cause and it is always fun once you get there and get started. This year our church hosted about 35 vendors, we always try and keep everyone in the spirit of things, by playing Christmas music, and I sit at the door and wish everyone Merry Christmas. I also invite the guest attending to sign up for door prizes that we draw every hour and I serve as the general information person for the vendors as well.
This isn’t my first Rodeo with something like this. I served on the De Soto Days Festival Committee for probably 10yrs, where we previously lived, and I ultimately ended up chairing the Committee for the Annual City-Wide event. This event welcomed some five thousand people to our community for a weekend of fun, from a carnival, to food & craft vendors, a car show, a parade and a live band every night. But beside the committee of volunteers that helped with this annual event, I could of not done any of this without my family.
See one thing, we have tried to instill in our family was the fact we are a team. That means whatever one person is doing the rest support them and by support I mean gets in and helps, shows up, whatever it takes. So because of that, my kids grew up at events like this. I dare say, they even looked forward to it. Something like this required our family to stay at the event almost 24 hours a day for 3 days straight. My last 2 kids who were still at home then, must of been about 8 and 10 or so years old when we started serving our community in that way, back then. So none of this is a strange to them. They are almost 21 and 23 now.
But honestly, with the kids off to college these past 4 or 5 yrs. Things have been shaken up a bit at our house and well, lets just say it isn’t as much fun doing events without our whole gang around all the time. So needless to say, nothing thrilled me more then having my kids at the event this year. I had a proud momma moment this weekend, I had to step away from the information table for a minute and ask my two youngest to watch it for me. Since were at the table while I was sitting there.
As I was away from the table I looked over and out of the corner of my eye I saw both my kids, assisting guests, helping vendors, they looked so grown up and were acting so professional. I just watched for a little bit and I can’t tell you the pride that swelled inside my heart. Oh! Not that I really felt like I have done anything. See, I was happy because my kids had learned how to treat people with respect and handle situations in a professional manner. They have become such great adults. I literally had the thought, well I can die now my children can make it without me. Now, mind you I have never sat my kids down and given them the 5 lessons on how to run a Arts and Crafts Fair, but they learned by watching their father and myself. They have worked along side their father and I at events for years and saw how we have handled different situations at times like this. They have help carry more tables and showed vendors to their booths then most kids their age.
The truth is, there is so much more I hope my kids to have learned from me. Because ultimately, what they have learned in my event planning career is not important, it will not give them anything eternal because teaching our kids to live with an eternal purpose, and introducing them to a real relationship with God, is the ultimately the most important thing we can teach our children. Proverbs says in chapter 22 verse 6 says “ Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Our children are watching us all the time. What we accept they will accept and even take it to the next level. They will push the boundaries of what we have condoned to the edge. So the question is what are we teaching our kids just by our actions? It is the subliminal messages we send to them by doing what we do everyday without even thinking about it. The products we buy, the places we go and the type of people we hang out with. All teaches our children what is acceptable and what they should do. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV says….. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
If we don’t make going to church a priority we should not be surprised if our kids don’t attend when they get older either. If they don’t see us praying and reading our bibles, they aren’t going to. If they don’t see us making God’s word a guide of how we live our lives they won’t either.
So, what are you teaching your kids? Or maybe you are like me and your kids are already grown and out or almost out of the house. Is there something you need to go back an apologize to your kids for? Is there something you need to encourage them to do that you realize now you could’ve done better?
It is never wrong to admit to our kids we messed up. As each of us get older, we often realize we have made some mistakes, we see our kids often reflect the worst habits that we have instead of the best. And if we ever think that we can tell our kids one thing and do another. We are simply fooling ourselves. We need to live what we want our kids to learn, and that also means we need to spend time with our kids, all to often in this day and age, everyone else is raising our kids but us. Teachers, Coaches, have all been left to babysit our children instead of us choosing to raise our children ourselves.
What we have to remember is God gave our children to us, to raise, not someone else and when we stand before Him on that final judgment day- You can be rest assured we will be held accountable for what we taught our children or what we haven’t. So, lets make sure, from now on our actions are speaking as loud as our words because trust me, they are watching. The question is, are we listening to what we are teaching them. Because, this life will soon be passed, but only what’s done for Christ will last!