Sunday, February 9, 2014

Awana Sparky Drive-In 2014...more than meets the eye.

Build a cardboard car, bring it to church, eat some junk food and watch a movie.
Sounds simple enough, right?

I did some cutting but only after I saw their designs on paper...the rest of what you see here are their creations!

The Tractor (um...we lost a wheel between the car and the gym..oops!)

The Model T:

The VW Bug:

The Dog House.
Don't ask.

Popcorn and friends!
A Robot.
(for reals.  the dude in the white straight coat back there is one of the Awana leaders and he is a robot scientist - so, our Sparky Drive-In came complete with a real robot.)

I'm not whining but I just need a second:
These things, especially solo, are so hard for me. (wah wah! I know.)

I LOVE the memories they provide for my girls. I love that it makes them feel like they belong to a community.  I love that it gets their creative juices flowing.  I love the smiles on their faces while it's all happening!  And I need all of those because, I'm a big baby and it's hard.

It's just another unique thing about having four kids this close in age + having a husband deployed + living far from family + still feeling like we are very new at this church, which means very few people even know us well enough to know Jake is gone.

I watched the other families putting up their one or two cars.  I watched dad's setting up while mom's hung out, I watched whole families sitting together and just relaxing while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I was literally sweating.

It took them like 3 min's and then they just sat back and enjoyed the show. 
(I'm sure that's not what their take was, but it was just my perspective)

I drug four cardboard box cars through the rain on my own, set them up on my own (had to disassemble some of them in order to fit 6 people and 4 cars all in a mini-van!) while five kids were anxiously awaiting (we brought a friend, 'cause why NOT!?).

I endured stupid comments from unhelpful people about how 'They had four kids too and they survived being a parent of young kids' if that made my current situation any easier...I may have egged it on by jokingly saying, 'This isn't a drive-in, this is secret torture for the parents' because that is how it felt.

If I hadn't been so busy putting together so many cars, I would have cared more and said something I regretted to the response, so PHEW...good thing I had four cars to put together ALONE or this would be a totally different post.
Seriously don't want to help me, you just want to point out you're a survivor!?  
Great attitude. (both me and her!)

Moving on.
When they were all taped and painted and patched together and the food line was braved and the cans of soda were popped open and the movie started, I was exhausted.

I sat down against a wall and wanted to just cry.

I didn't.
Didn't seem appropriate during a Wallace and Grommet.
So, I just found a dark corner and literally laid down on a cold gym floor and closed my eyes to just breath and get some perspective.

We were all fine.
Great actually.
So, I had to sweat for a few minutes.
So, my husband is gone for a few days.
So what?
I refocused, prayed for God to remind me of the bigger picture and He did and I felt better.
But really...
it's dumb stuff like Awana Drive-Ins that make that 'hole' of Jake being gone and the hole of being the new family so much deeper.

I'm also extremely thankful for hard nights like that.
Perspective is a gift and maybe even a responsibility.

It makes me want to roll up my sleeves and work.
To remember there are women going through this for MUCH longer periods of time than I am.
To remember there are broken families that leave moms to do this stuff alone on a permanent basis.
To remember how much we've been given as a family.

Luke 12:48b....
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

So yeah.
Those nights are hard.
The hardest actually.
But the gift of perspective is priceless and I'm so thankful for it.
May I never be hard to the perspective I gain at Sparky Drive-Ins......


Missy said...

I think when people (the unhelpful commenter)hear others talking about a similar situation they have gone through (like raising many young kids at a time) they somehow convince themselves that that person speaking is saying they are unique in their suffering or hardship. And instead of being sympathetic, the commentors get defensive, so as to be quick to point out that they too have endured similar struggles. You weren't attacking that other gal by saying what you said. I'm sorry she didn't respond more graciously. I wish people weren't so quick to pinpoint their own hardships when faced with other if it's a contest. It would be so much better if people just offered to help, offered a sweet word of encouragement, gave a hug if no words could be found...ya know. We go through trails so that we might learn how to offer comfort to those around us who are struggling as well...not make them feel worse!

Geesh, come on church!

Sorry you had a rough go at this. Wish I could have been there to do something! The last time Jake deployed you were right around the corner from me, and now I couldn't be further away. =( Wishing I was closer right now to help in those chaotic moments!

Hang in there friend, you're not alone. His grace is sufficient, even when it feels like it's not. You are doing a good job!!

Kim Baker said...

Oh Holly!!! My oldest girl was there helping! She would have loved to help you all!! I don't think you ever met her. God is training you to have eyes for the moms you will meet in the future who will need help. I am going to have my girls read this so their eyes will be opened
We attend a church that is small with big families. It has been a great training ground for my girls. They all love little ones and know what to do with them
How many more days till Jake is home? My son leaves 3/7 for nine months. Not the same as a husband but still hard. I am praying for you!

Courtney Cassada said...

oh, friend. you take as many minutes as you need. it was HARD. and you felt alone. boo. that just stinks.

i love you!

Erika C. said...

Those cars are aaaamazing! Seriously, I wish I could watch a movie in one! :) Wish I was there to carry some cardboard for you and to sit in the dark with you and to hang out. Miss ya!

Cheryl said...

I am so sorry for the insensitive people. They will always be there no matter what. Even better though...our loving Father is there no matter what! Praying for you! I understand.