Saturday, March 7, 2009

rEcess

MM: The first Friday of each month, we get to be a part of a great night put on by 99 Balloons. "rEcess" is a 4 hour respite night for special needs families in Northwest Arkansas. It has become a guaranteed highlight of our month. We have been amazed to meet such great families and kiddo's. Each week offers so much to learn as I look at these kids and at our volunteers who give up 4.5 hours on a Friday night to make a child's week. It is without a doubt something we have not done, but, rather been a part of.













This last Friday was, as always, a great night. One thing that struck me, this week in particular, was the willingness by some stellar leaders to enter the world of the child they were working with. Most times, this meant leaving behind the put-together facade we each have honed with years of practice. And by doing so acting, well- foolish.

It takes both humility and grace to undertake such an adventure. You cannot teach a volunteer to seek connection. There is no training manual with instructions regarding leaving all you have come to understand at the door, and re-learn it all as they see it. But many do just that in order to gain a connection, or possibly a smile, from a child who does not naturally connect with the world around him or her.

Humility & grace. A couple of ideals I usually only grasp for, or strain to see in my typical day. But there it was on display, blazing for all who would see. The manifestation made possible only by ones willing to shed respect and become weak- all the while unaware that I was even watching, much less being challenged to leave my own pride behind.

7 comments:

ViolinMama said...

How cool that you all do this!! That is wonderful!!! And you are right about the magic of connections...

I have a question. If one wanted to start something like this either through their church, etc for special needs families - do all the volunteers need CPR, etc? I'm guessing there is a lot involved. But, still, what an idea!!! I'd love to see sister programs for these kids and their families! Thanks dfor sharing!

HennHouse said...

What a fantastic event! I echo ViolinMama's questions about how to get started in our area.

And I didn't miss your point about humility and grace. Beautiful.

kate said...

GREAT pictures! I so wish I could have been there to play with everyone! Instead, I was helping with my school's cheerleading tryouts. You know I'm the sponsor? Crazy!! You will have to bring Hazel to a game next year. :)

The Walkie Talkie said...

I miss rEcess! Great to see the pictures and have a visual of this month's rEcess. Also, great to be reminded that is what God wants of all of us- to let go and be foolish! So glad y'all are back on the blog scene. Apparently I missed the memo and missed out on the 7 in 7. Will make for good late night reading I am sure!

Amber@theRunaMuck said...

I love every person I know in these pictures. Just seeing them here convicts me and makes me love Jesus. That I know them is part of the proof that He's so good.

mykidsmomx4 said...

I would like to know too... What did it take to get this started?

Amy L said...

I think I told one of you this...but I just to say it again- I have heard many of the kids talk about coming to rEcess (while I am at work) and they LOVE it and look forward to it every month..so we know they are having a good time! :)

As for the volunteers, they are all amazing. I know that sometimes I am one of the volunteers :), but I mean the other ones. The ones who don't know the kids as well and see them every day, the ones who really have to step out of their comfort zone and seek a connection with someone who doesn't communicate with the world in a typical way....the way they (and you) serve these kids and their families is wonderful.