The Joy of Being Volunteered

About five years ago, my niece Alizabeth came to Springfield with her church on a mission trip. While this blew my mind–Springfield has probably 700+ churches, rivaling our count of Chinese restaurants–it also meant that I could spend some time with her. Or, at least, it would have meant that, except I didn’t find out about the trip until about a week after her group returned to Kansas.

Now my niece Alicia, her younger sister, is traveling with their youth group to Springfield for a similar mission trip, and I have been warned in advance. I asked my sister if it would be possible for me to take Alicia out for dinner or something; spend some time with her while she was in town. The next thing I heard, my name had been given to the youth director and she was told to call me for assistance with her mission trip because I had extensive ministry experience.

Not that I mind helping of course, but it was quite a translation Sis made from, “Hey, can I take my niece out to dinner?” to her statement of, “My brother’s awesome and he can help run your trip!” Thankfully, the youth director isn’t expecting much, so when we talked earlier today on the phone, it turned out that my involvement will be fairly minimal.

Though the kids arrive in just a week, the director hasn’t yet planned hardly anything about the trip. We have nailed down that I’m going to lead a devotional some night, and I’ve begun mulling over topics, but nothing is really solid yet. She’s going to call me when they get into Springfield and we’ll go from there.

As for taking Alicia out to dinner, I couldn’t get a committment on that score, but it looks like I might join them an evening or two for their activities. Thankfully, I happen to be on vacation next week, so that will work out well.

In the meantime, I spent all of yesterday in meetings at work to discuss Luminis as we kick this project off, and it looks like similar discussions will fill… oh, about the next six to seven months of my life. Therefore, I’m definitely going to be pressed when it comes to getting stories and the like written… especially when the semester begins and I have to start taking real classes again.

Regardless, I did manage to reframe an old story and get that posted, and I’ve also decided to finally follow through and begin updating some of my poetry so I can post it to the new site. I think my new organization on the site is going to create a lot more motivation for me in the poetry category, so my goal is going to be posting at least two pieces a week. I think two is reasonable.

Speaking of the new site, what do you think? Both the story and the poetry blogs have themes that I think lend themselves better to those mediums, and while I’m fairly happy with the result, I’d be curious about your thoughts. Comments, criticisms, and suggestions are always welcome here.

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