A few weekends ago we had a first in our household. Our 8-year-old son went off for a 3-day, 2-night camp weekend for church. Kaden had stayed the night at people’s houses before, but this was a significant step. He was going to be on his own more than he ever had been before. He came back and had a great experience. As I pondered the experience, several things resonated with me. I think too often we take for granted what should breed gratitude. We need to say out loud what we are grateful for:
- I was proud and thankful for Kaden’s courage to want to go into a strange environment with lots of kids he does not know. We applaud courage at our house, and I am grateful he showed courage to go.
- I am so grateful for every young adult and adult worker who went to camp to serve each of those kids. These are people who took off work, went away from their own families, and sacrificed time to hang out with a bunch of 3rd-6th grade kids. That is incredible. You are all rock stars.
- I am appreciative of Erica Shelton, the Director of Children’s Ministry here at Grace, and all that she does to make an experience like this happen. Her gifts and passion are incredible and are on full display with this type of event.
- I am eternally grateful that the content of a weekend like this drives my kid to think about loving God and loving others. He is learning things that can shape eternity. Our church loves kids and wants to see them impacted in real ways. We do not babysit. We plant the anchor of the gospel in the souls and hearts of kids.
- I am thankful for a wife that has not been a helicopter parent and has released our children early on to go into new environments. She did not hover and she did not live in a constant need to have her child close by her side. It makes Kaden brave and opportunities like this easy to say yes to.
- I am also grateful that moments like this remind me how short my time with my kids really is. These types of events say “holy cow” he is growing up. Time is short and I need to get it right.