AWANA OLYMPICS: I just got home from taking my kids to the Awana Olympics. Not actually my kids, you understand, but my kids nonetheless. I'd post a link to a website about Awana and/or the Olympics, but all the websites I see are a little cheesy. If you know what it is, then great; if not, you'll get the idea as I explain. We took 32 kids from church (16 boys and 16 girls, 3rd through 6th grade), and they competed against teams from other churches in some fun indoor games. It's pouring rain today, so it's good we were inside. Our boys team came in third on their circle, and our girls came in second -- neither good enough to advance to the finals. The kids had a good time though, and my friends and I had fun watching them.

I love being around kids. Five years ago (or even three) there weren't a lot of kids at my church, but recently there has been a huge influx of young parents and kids from the neighborhood and it's made quite a difference in the atmosphere. There have been a half-dozen new babies born in the last year alone. It's amazing to me. Having children around adds a sense of life and a feeling of vibrancy to the church and our events, and it's hard for me to imagine how dry and dusty things would feel without them.

Sometimes they won't be quiet, sometimes they run around like maniacs or cry or pout or scream, but sometimes one will just smile at me and it makes me forget the dozen times I had to tell her to stop poking me in the head with her umbrella. Two of the little girls couldn't stop giggling over how fast the windshield wipers were swooshing while we were driving on the freeway. When the rain let up a little and we turned the wipers down, it was equally hilarious that they were now moving so ssssssloooowwwwly. It doesn't make any sense to me, but hearing them laugh and laugh over such a small thing makes me thankful for the rain.



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