Steven was active with a program called Royal Rangers, which is similar to Boy Scouts only it is ran through churches. Every summer the boys got to go on a 4 day camp out called Pow Wow. Steven was 9 years old and was finally old enough to go on his first one. We really felt comfortable because some of the men going had known Steven since he was born. They left on a Thursday and got back Sunday afternoon. We were so anxious to hear all about Steven’s camp out experience. The van pulled up and all these lively boys and tired looking commanders started piling out. When I saw Steven, I thought what on earth? He had a black ball, between the size of a golf ball and baseball, of something, that had become one with his bangs on his forehead. As I was greeting him and hugging him, I was also feeling this thing, trying to figure out what this black mass was. When I touched it, it wasn’t super hard, but it wasn’t really soft either. I ask Steven “what on earth is that in your hair?” He and several other boys just started laughing. Steven was giggling so hard he couldn’t tell me, so one of the other boys spoke up. He said “on the first night they were there, they were roasting marshmallows and Steven kept putting the stick up close to his eyes to try to see it. The marshmallows kept getting stuck in his hair.” All the boys and commanders were laughing as they all chimed in on this story.
OK, as a mom, a key part of this story was this was Sunday and they all were saying this happen the first night! I totally saw the humor in this, but I was thinking, oh my, this has been there for going on 4 days, attracting everything from the campsite! Are we going to have to cut it out of his hair? As soon as we got home I leaned him over the sink and ran warm water over it and it came right out, so I should have been thrilled, right? OK, I was, but my next thought was obviously Steven never got a shower while he was there, and no one must have attempted at all to rinse it out of his hair… really?! Oh well, Steven had a great time and couldn’t wait to go on his next camp out.
We were and continue to be so thankful for our church family. The church we were attending at this time was the church Rick and I met at and all 3 of our boys were born during our time there. Rick and I have been blessed with good biological families, so to have both, we feel abundantly blessed! Not that church families or biological families are EVER perfect. That would be setting yourself and family up for disappointment, to have any expectation of that. It’s hard over the years watching biological families and church families break apart because they feel the grass is greener someplace else. Not that there aren’t extreme cases that this is true, but many times you watch these families, move from place to place. Once you find a church home, especially if you are raising kids, stick with your church family if at all possible! In the same way most of us, if we can, we avoid moving our kids from school to school. Kids love the stability. Our family in a 40+ year time frame has been a part of two churches. As a parent with a special needs son, having such close relationships with the adults that worked with our kids in classes and having their kids growing up with our kids has been priceless! If you have never had this, it’s not too late to plug into a church and start building those relationships!
If you have a church family, what has that meant to you and your family?