I've been looking forward to this summer since last October when my schedule was finalized. Months of preparation, songwriting, sanity runs, choreography creating, FaceTime planning meetings, trips to Party City for costumes, with plenty of tweets to document it all, is finally becoming a reality today! Today begins a journey I affectionately call "Five weeks of Pigtails." For five weeks this summer, I have the incredible and amazing privilege of leading kids in worship at five different churches, in four different states, assisted by 75 amazing youth worship leaders and dancers. And for five weeks, this 36-yr-old will dance around like a crazy lady with whacky hair, silly choreography, and even more silly costumes, all for the purpose of inviting and encouraging children to passionately praise the name of Jesus. It's my biggest passion in life, to see kids enter into worship. A close second would be training and encouraging the leadership of youth and adults as they learn what it means to lead kids in worship. I'm so grateful for the opportunities I have this summer, and I'm also grateful that my family will be with me for three of these five insane weeks!
My family has been looking forward to this first trip for months. We can hardly wait to hug our Houston friends and catch up as much as possible with the fine folks who run Oasis and Chacho's, but we're most excited about leading worship for Project Home and VBS. Ben and I will be leading worship in the evenings for Project Home, an awesome youth missions-at-home week at Grace Presbyterian. My hunk-of-a-husband is presently sitting next to me on the couch making sure the iPad is loaded with the correct tracks, loops, and other guitar shenanigans. His beautiful voice melts me, but his worship leadership is even more awe-inspiring. What a joy it will be to lead with him each evening next week with some of the most talented musicians I've ever met. Then during the day, I'll join an incredible VBS production team led by the all-star Angela Wade Simpson, and my team and I will rock it like David did in 2 Samuel 6, dancing before the Lord with all of our might. But thankfully we'll be rockin some awesome costumes instead of just an outer tunic. And the most exciting thing about leading for VBS this year? All three of my kids will be there, now that Sam is old enough to be in the Sanctuary with the big kids!
Someday my kids will be super embarrassed to be seen around me looking and acting like this, but for now they don't mind, and they actually want to be up there with me. Ryan helped me lead worship at his school last Fall, and I saw a new and fresh joy in him that morning, a moment I won't soon forget. A few weeks ago, I shared the stage with my daughter Rachel and watched with tears of joy out of the corner of my eye as she joyfully danced and sang with a confidence I wish I had had at age six. Someday soon she'll probably push me off the stage and take over, and I will so so gladly hand her the mic. Then I'll film it and annoy all of you with the twitter videos of said cute daughter.
At the end of the summer, we'll evaluate and hope our family comes out sane and healthy, so please pray for us. It's going to be an amazing journey, y'all. Grace, Mountaintop, Victory Life, 2nd Presbyterian, and St John's, we'll be seeing you soon! I'm already praying for your kids, for my teams at your churches, and for your leaders. I'm praying especially for the kids in your churches who will hear, some of them for the very first time, just how much Jesus loves them. I know we'll have an awesome time praising Jesus together. I'll be the crazy lady up front dancing and singing, and I'll be wearing pigtails...