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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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June 30, 2009

Confessions of a VBS Slacker Mom

Jillian, my youngest daughter, spent last week at Vacation Bible School.

Like many ELCA churches across the country, my congregation used the "Discovery Canyon: Explore the Wonders of the Word" curriculum -- and like many ELCA moms and dads nationwide this summer, I was a VBS volunteer.

Volunteer, though, would be a charitable description for what I actually did.

I helped out on only two of the five days, and I wasn't the most energetic or focused assistant. I tended to take every opportunity I could for coffee breaks and snacks, and I stretched out conversations well beyond their appropriate lengths with friends in the hallway. At one point, I even went out to check the air pressure in my minivan tires.

What's more, I'm also known as "The Anticraft" within my congregation. I'm not the one to call upon for help with anything involving Elmer's glue, yarn or popsicle sticks.

If it weren't a church, I would have been fired for being a slacker.

Other moms in my congregation -- the ones I want to be like when I grow up -- have it more together. They keep VBS clicking on a tight schedule as they cheerfully and seamlessly shepherd kids from one activity to the next.

Me? Not so much. Try as I might, I'm just not that into it.

It makes me all the more thankful that others in my church enjoy working with large groups of kids, whether it's VBS or Sunday School. Their efforts this past week have had such an effect on Jillian that she immediately asked to hear the Discovery Canyon soundtrack as soon as we climbed into the minivan to run errands this morning.

"When are we going back to VBS again, Mommy?" Jillian said. "Next time, you should come every day!"

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