Dear Nursery Volunteer…

An open email from a thankful mom.

Dear Nursery Volunteer,

If I were a better woman, I would send you a hand-written letter sealed in a floral-print envelope with a gift card to the local coffee shop.  But, truthfully, I’m not certain I can find a piece of paper in my house that doesn’t have a to-do list, an appointment reminder or a grocery list on it right now.  And the idea of trying to load the baby in the car, have her fall asleep while driving to the coffee shop, then unload her again, is more than I can manage.  Life has little sleep and much laundry these days.  I haven’t had a moment to myself, much less time to linger at the coffee shop and honestly, today I would be happy to just be able to shower for longer than 3 minutes.

So, forgive me for just sending this to you by email but as I’m looking forward to church this Sunday, I wanted you to know I’m thankful:

Thank you for letting me worship without worry for my child.  Thank you for letting me have both of my hands to clap, or to praise, or to take notes.  Thank you for letting me give my mind and attention fully to the worship of God or the study of the Word, trusting that my child is being cared for in the best way possible.  Thank you for letting me not feel the need to sneak out and peek in to see if she’s okay.  I know she’s okay.  She’s with you.

Thank you for being there every week for my child.  She can’t say it yet, but I know that she recognizes you.  I know that she feels safe with you and can sense that you love her as you rock her and talk with her.  Thanks for taking the time to get to know her, to know that she likes to rock on your shoulder, not cradled in your arms. It’s little things like that that make such a difference to me. It gives me such peace of mind to know that you know her, that you are there for her and that you love her.

You may be on the list of those who volunteer to serve our babies, but truly, you are serving us moms just as much.  Please don’t misunderstand; I love my baby.  She is a gift from God and I love her more than life itself.  But having a 6-month-old can be exhausting.  You give me an opportunity to catch my breath.

Thank you!

Barbara Graves November 6th, 2014 0 comments

Purposeful First Words

A baby’s first word is a milestone that many parents will remember their entire life!  According to Circle of Moms survey, these are the 10 most common “Baby’s First Words”:

Dad ( or Dada, Daddy, etc)
Mom ( or Mama, Mommy)
Hi
Bubba
Dog
Ball
No
Cat
Nana
Bye

Why these words? Partly because the hard consonant sound is the easiest to make, so words

Barbara Graves October 20th, 2014 1 comment

The New Kid on the Block… Or in the Circle

Being the new kid in a class can be hard.  A new room, new leaders, new schedules,  and all at one time can be quite overwhelming to a preschooler’s young life! Fall will often bring new preschoolers to your group who have moved to a new home over the summer or been promoted to a new room. It’s time to start new relationships.

Sometimes the

Barbara Graves September 18th, 2014 0 comments

Moving UP

One of the hardest parts of leading small is moving our few up to the next class.  After all, they are our few!  But we knew coming into this that they wouldn’t stay ours forever, so now that summer is here, the time has come to promote them, the next question is how to make this easy for everyone. 

Step 1!  We want to make it

Barbara Graves August 5th, 2014 0 comments

Summer: A Blast Not a Bump

Between vacations, sports camps, and visiting relatives, many churches see a drop in attendance during the summer months.  This makes the time you may spend with your few even less than usual.  So what can you do to make this summer special?

Make vacations and camps a part of your summer décor!  You can make an “Our Summer Map” of places your few will be

Barbara Graves July 29th, 2014 0 comments

Three Tips to a VERY Successful Sunday

When service is over and the last child has been dismissed to his parents, small group leaders breathe a sigh of relief and mentally recount the day.  There are just certain accomplishments that make some days feel like more of a success than others.  It’s always a great day when there is no name-calling and everyone participates in the memory verse game.  It’s a very

Barbara Graves July 8th, 2014

Not The Plan

One of the most amazing benefits of leading small, is when you get to lead your few with friends!  Recently, friends I lead small group with had taken a brief break as they welcomed their first baby.   I was so excited their first Sunday back. I wanted everything to go just right, because having a new baby is stressful, so I didn’t want our few

Gay Tucciarone June 13th, 2014 0 comments

Fully Present

You can’t see the forest for the trees. Keep the main thing the main thing. Stay on track. Keep your eye on the ball. 

All these are great idioms that remind us that life can be busy; we get distracted. It happens at home, at work, when we drive (yikes- better not do that in Atlanta where I live!). We even get distracted when we are leading

Gay Tucciarone May 13th, 2014 2 Comments

Parents on a Pedestal

One of the foundational roles of a small group leader is to partner with parents.  Often we think of this as only what we do outside of class time.  We text a parent to say we’re praying for them and their child that day.  Or we send a card to let parents know we care about them.  We chat with the parents as they pick

Barbara Graves May 6th, 2014 2 Comments

The Handoff

Most Sunday mornings find me leading my few preschoolers in some amazing adventures of life change – on their part and mine! Recently, I ended up on the other side of the lead small equation - as a family interfacing with small group leaders. On this particular day, three of my grandchildren, who are 18 months, 3 ½ years and 5 years olds were at

Gay Tucciarone March 24th, 2014 4 Comments