Some day, I dream of having a really big job announcement: a wonderful teaching position in an MFA program or being the creator of a program that will infuse more creativity into seminary/divinity studies or some community program where I'll bring the joy of creativity or spirituality (or both!) into the lives of regular people. Some day, I'll be telling you about the forthcoming publication of a book with a spine that I wrote.
Today, my announcement is much smaller. Today, I let you know that I'm the Arts and Crafts director for this year's Vacation Bible School. I'm both excited and terrified.
One of my spin class buddies advised me to give them what they don't get at home: glue and glitter. They get crayons, but not glitter.
I joked that if I give them glitter, I'll never be allowed to be arts and crafts director again.
I waited a long time before volunteering for the position. Our pastor kept sending out lists of available positions. I wanted the arts and crafts director position, but I thought that surely someone else would want it, and I didn't want to be too greedy.
Finally, after several weeks I volunteered, but offered to step aside if anyone else really wanted it. We are in one of those VBS years where we barely have enough people to do everything, so my volunteering was greeted with relief.
We buy one of those pre-packaged VBS kits, and this year, we're not using the one from the Lutheran publishing house. It was chosen by the woman who was going to be the VBS director before life intervened and she had to let go of that responsibility. The kit that we bought doesn't come with very much--oh no, they want you to buy more, more, more. What a racket.
We will not be buying the arts and crafts projects and kits from them. I looked at the projects that they offer, and they baffle me. They're more science fair than glue and glitter.
We will be making noisemakers, because my husband will be doing fun things with drums and noisemakers, and we don't already have enough of those. We will decorate t-shirts. We will make butterflies or empty tomb gardens or other things to remind us of Christ's resurrection. We will do things with paper mosaics, perhaps. Maybe we'll collage if I get enough old magazines.
My fear is that I have twenty minutes--what if the projects take too much time? What if they don't take enough time?
And then there's the fear that lurks beneath: what if the kids think the projects are stupid? And by extension, what if they think I'm stupid?
Creative folks everywhere are probably familiar with fears that run along these lines: what if I can't pull off what I'm attempting to do? What if I'm just stupid? What if I never have a good idea? What if I think I'm brilliant but everyone else knows I'm not?
I'm hoping that if I approach each night with joy and enthusiasm, it will all be just fine. I'm sure it will. I'm always amazed at how much the kids love Vacation Bible School, no matter what we do. To me, it feels too much like real school, with classes and a schedule that keeps them moving from activity to activity and food that's rather institutional. But children love it. And so we do it. And each year, we do it again.
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