heart refill

Yesterday was cold and rainy ’round these parts.

I hadn’t gotten enough sleep Tuesday night, and I was dragging.  By the time the afternoon rolled around, I had a headache and all I could think of was going home, putting on sweats, and crawling under a blanket.

The last thing I wanted to do was leave the house again.

No, scratch that.  The last thing I wanted to do was leave the house to do more teaching.

But that is exactly what I had agreed to do way back in August.

In fact, I enthusiastically agreed to help with our church’s Wednesday night Children’s Program.  This year, the theme is God using ordinary people for extraordinary things, and Meredith (the coordinator) reads this little blog and wanted me to come do a few weeks with the kids on writing our stories and sharing our gifts.

I was so honored and thought it was a fabulous idea.

Until last night when I was cold and headachey and grouchy with teaching students who don’t listen.

We don’t go to church nearly as much as we should, and I was already dreading showing up and not knowing anyone.  They serve dinner before the Wednesday night activities, and we were invited to join.

Cort and Eddie and I headed a bit begrudgingly to church  for “salad” night.

Once there we wandered into the large Fellowship room and looked around.  Before we could take it all in, our pastor jumped up and embraced us and warmly welcomed us.

My mood was beginning to lift.

Eddie and I found ourselves and empty table while Cort headed to the food service to grab us some dinner. Before Cort could even get back to our table with food for us, Meredith and a couple other friends had joined our table to chat with us.

My grouchiness and headache and fatigue disappeared.

Everything was warm and inviting and tasty.

After dinner, Eddie and Cort stuck around so Eddie could listen to the Bible story and songs that the kids did.  I watched as about 15 kids in grades Pre-school through fifth grade interacted and got excited.

I got a little nervous.

They would be split in two groups.  One group would be with me for 20 minutes and the other group would be learning about percussion.  After 20 minutes they would switch.

Percussion.

How do you make writing as fun for an 8 year old as beating on drums?

Oh man.

All my doubts faded as soon as the first group rushed into my little room.  Everyone wanted to sit as close to me as possible–something VERY different than teaching high school where everyone chooses the seats as far from the front of the room as they can.

They were all very interested in my life: where did I teach?  What grades?  Did I like it?  What could I say in Spanish?  How old was my son?  Did I know if my baby was a boy or girl?  And on and on and on.

They were all very interested in telling me about their lives:  I’m in 3rd grade.  My teacher is pregnant too.  We did math today.  I have 2 brothers.  One of my brothers is in heaven.  I LOVE to write!  When do we start??

My smile grew and grew.  Everyone was excited.

As I told them about this blog and how I share the gifts that God has blessed me with, they got excited.

We went around and talked about all the things we are good at and the things we have been blessed with.  If someone said they didn’t know, the whole table would chip in and offer suggestions.

On my book I drew Cortney, Eddie, and a little bean in my tummy.  I drew my computer with a bunch of faces in the screen (that would be all of you, by the way).  I drew a pencil writing.  I drew and apple (for teaching) and music notes and me talking and smiling.

Everyone had different things.  One girl had drawn a female stick figure and under it wrote, “I like Katie”.

I got hugs and high fives as they left.

“I can’t wait for next week, Miss Katie!”

After cleaning up, I thanked Meredith for the opportunity.

My heart was filled.

No.  It was RE-filled.

I hadn’t even realized that it had leaked so much joy.

The kids left excited, but I left rejuvenated.

I think we will be in church on Sunday morning.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Touching, very touching. <3

  2. Ah, what a refreshing and encouraging post, “Miss Katie”! Great reminder that serving is sometimes following through with a commitment, yet it refills us as we do it. How sweet that the kids were so interested in your life. Little kids are wonderful like that!

  3. This is great. It really helps remind us that “church” is not about us at all……we need the fellowship with others and other believers, something that is missing so often in our culture! It also reminds us that a church is not about the building or if the sermons are great (or bad) or how the music is…..it is about the PEOPLE that it is made up of. YAY!

  4. Awwww, Katie. What a wonderful gift to share with the littles in our world.

    Sounds like a bad night turned into a really good night!

  5. I just love this. We don’t go to church, and this story is one of the reasons I would like to start. It sounds like such a lovely community for kids to be a part of.

  6. Its so wonderful to read this! We are so glad to have you at Second and sharing what you do with us!

  7. Katie – I LOVE THIS POST!!! We don’t go to church at all – but I love the concept of “Heart Re-Fill” and think we should all spend an evening a week on ways to re-fill our hearts. THANK YOU for the reminder 🙂

  8. What a great feeling and sounds exactly like what you needed. I could use some heart re-filling.

  9. I love this! So glad you went and were able to re-fill your heart tank!