21 Jul

If you are so inclined, I hope you’ve checked out for some photos and daily happenings. I’ve been too sleepy at night to write in two places!

It’s been great so far. Really, it has. The days are long. We walk miles each day. Sometimes I get a little frustrated with the group’s want to shower three times a day. (No. Suck it up.) And how they don’t follow the dress code. (Please change your shorts.) And how they ask if the mass gatherings every night are required. (Yes. And they’re awesome.)

But really, it’s good. We are exploring a new city, hearing inspirational speakers each night, and bonding thru puddle jumping. (It’s been raining cats and dogs here the last two days. I’m glad I packed that umbrella and keens – shoes that can get wet and it’s all okay.) We’ve been worshipping and singing praise songs that I haven’t had opportunity to sing in years. Most days, I wonder if I’m enjoying myself and loving it all more than the kiddos.

The introvert in me finally got some time alone today. Last night, it got ugly. I was so crabby! A little time alone today and even a small glimpse and chat with friends (Josh, Kate, Karen, and Cassie) goes far with me. I’m feeling much better and much less crabby.

Just one quick story and it’s not even about one of my kids. We did a day of service yesterday. (All 38,000 Lutherans here will do four hours of service in their stay. It’s estimated that will help the city of New Orleans at a value of over $2million.) We boarded a bus with a couple other groups and went to a boys and girls club to lead a literacy camp and field day.

I was with the group assigned to read aloud with the kids. There were five from my group and three from another. Pennsylvania. One of them was this red-headed totally awkward boy. Totally. Everyone else found a little person to read with except him. I went over to him and asked him if he would like to join a group. No, that’s okay, he said. I’m not good with kids. I’d rather be in a library sorting books than reading to kids.

I told him all he had to do was sit down and read. Ask them their name. Engage them and show then that he cared. He had to show up and be present. Yeah, he said like he had heard it all before.

We switched groups and there was a girl in this next one that approached him. They sat on the couch and she took the book from his hand. She read Charlotte’s Web to him for a long time. In fact, she stayed longer than she even should have, wanting to keep reading. He showed up. He took a risk. He cared and he listened and by doing so, he shared love and shared joy. And I think that’s part of what this week is all about.

A few photos:

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