The Red Bike

Onehencollage

We had a great time last week at our second play group One Hen! We read the true story of Kojo and how a microloan led to a hen that changed the lives of a family, community, and country. We were able to take a trunkful of high-need supplies to Community Action House. I’m so thankful for all the families that have taken the time to come out to the park this summer. Above you can see a talented group of egg balancers!

So many sweet world changers.

TheRedBicyclePlayGroup

We really hope to see you this coming Tuesday evening, June 30 at 6:00 pm. (Kollen Park, on the east side of the public bathrooms.)

We will be reading The Red Bicycle about the journey of one red bike!

If you are able please bring $1.00 for World Vision USA to purchase bicycles for girls needing safe transportation to school!

Bring along a scooter, bike, skateboard, stroller! Anything with wheels! We’ll be having a bike parade around the upper sidewalk loop of Kollen Park.

After our Make Difference Bike Parade come over for play stations! Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, sack races, world volleyball, hula hoops, and a bicycle craft.

One Hen

if the world were a village collage

Last Tuesday evening, we held our first summer service play group! We were able to gather about 100 welcome kits for Holland Rescue Mission. We had super intelligent kids during the story If the World Were a Village, great helpers, and sweet families making a difference together. Wetfeet ACTS shared beautiful artwork about the book.

VILLAGE2

I’m so thankful to everyone for taking time from a busy summer evening to give back to our community. It made my heart so happy. Also, I am so thankful to everyone who helped and offered encouragement, projects like this take a village, just like we learned in the book!

OneHenHunger

I’m so excited for this week’s group, around the story One Hen.

Tuesday June 23: One Hen
6:00 PM at Kollen Park! (We are on the east side of the public bathrooms)

One Hen is the story of Kojo and the one hen that changed the future of an entire village. Join in on the egg and spoon relay race, farm animal puppets, sidewalk chalk, sack races, world volleyball, soccer, and bubbles.

We will be supporting Community Action House. Here are the items they shared with us that are high need. Items they continually run low or completely out of. Please bring an item or more if you are able!

Laundry Soap
Dish Soap
Bar Soap
Multipurpose Cleaners
Toilet Paper
Shampoo and Conditioner
Feminine Hygiene Items

We are so excited to see you!

If the World Were a Village

door-rustic-large

Two and a half days of school left for us. After another year, I know how important it is to love- beyond what you feel, others response, the deepest challenges- you don’t let go. You refuse to break. Jesus asks it of us and we have a beautiful life when we can do our best to give that love others. A very beautiful life.

For the next five weeks it’ll be about Summer Serve Play Groups! I’ll share the upcoming play group details, and later in the week share photographs from our evening together. We begin next week, but I’ll start now and leave this one up a little longer.

 

Here is the post with printable PDFs for all the groups.

Join the Facebook Event Page here.

Do you have kids 10 and up that might like to serve by helping with a play station for the younger kids? Sign up here. 

 

We are so excited to meet you all and join together in community to learn and make a difference together! I’ve been waking in the early morning hours, which means a little bit of nervous and also a chance to pray for God to establish our work.

iftheworldwereavillage

Our first group is June 16 at 6:00 pm at Kollen Park in Holland. (Parking in the Kollen Park lots and the streets surrounding.) If rains happens (don’t happen) I’ll let you know on the Facebook Event Page by 5:00 if we’ll go ahead or need to cancel.

We will be reading portions of If the World Were a Village from CitizenKid Books.

Here is a Printable PDF of If the World Were a Village group.

We will be welcoming the kids of ACTs to share art from the book! Our play stations will be a coloring page, bubbles, world volleyball, soccer, sidewalk chalk, and sack races.

 

We would love for families to contribute to our serve project supporting the local ministry of Holland Rescue Mission. The mission’s volunteer director shared these ideas. This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about need in the community and how we can respond, while gathering supplies together. You can work together with another family to bring a donation too! Just bring it along and we will gather them all together for the mission.

Ideas for Kid Kits for the Holland Rescue Mission:

Rescue Mission Welcome Kit:

  • travel size shampoo, soap, and lotion
  • kids size toothpaste and toothbrush
  • small comb
  • small crayon pack and small pad of paper
  • sippy cup, or kid-size cup with top and straw
  • bedtime story book
  • stuffed animal (beanie boo or beanie baby sized)
  • Packaged in a bag
  • Include a welcome card with each kit (hand-drawn picture)

Birthday Kit:

  • Balloons
  • Birthday Candles
  • Cake Mix
  • Frosting
  • Gift Wrap
  • Small Childrens Toy or Book
  • Packaged into a bag

Stepping Stone Daycare and Rock Day Camp:

Snack Kit:

  • Granola Bar
  • Fruit Snack
  • Pre-Packaged Cracker Pack (Goldfish, Cheez-Its)
  • All Packaged together in a large sized Zip-Loc bag

Daycare Kit:

  • Puffs Tissues
  • WetOnes
  • ColorWonder Paper and Marker Supplies

Email me with any questions! aboutproximity@gmail.com

For all those not in Holland, hold tight… my hope is for this to be a full resource for families and groups to use in the future. So thankful for all of you!

Enough

enough

 

perfection:

the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

 

I ran into the lawn mower in our garage this winter and now it is busted. busted.

I wear clinical strength deodorant. clinical.

I never make my bed. never.

Sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed. totally.

I always leave the laundry until Sunday. always.

Awkward. I feel this way always.

Not good enough. I feel this way always.

 

Perfection. Trying always.

Reading that definition. Why do we do that to ourselves?

It is not happening. Ever.

 

His grace is enough. It really is when I slow down long enough to think about it.

It is sufficient. Everything we need.

 

Love to you this Monday.

Summer!

voilet in jar

We are on an eleven and a half day countdown until the end of school! June 10 (pending survival on field day.)

Exciting opportunities are coming this summer…

 

Questions about the Holland Summer Serve Play Groups? Click here! 

summer camp

About Proximity is joining kindness experts and host Sheila of Pennies of Time for Virtual Kindness Summer Camp.

This is a Facebook Group where great conversation will take place and lots of ideas will be shared about serving with our kids. About Proximity is sharing Talk Justice Play Groups.

We’d love to have you join in. Click here and request to be a part of the group.

 

I love that summer changes speed, and the space it makes for friends and family.

I love the bike riding, beach hanging, ice cream, and the kids Nerf squirt gun fights.

(The only thing I don’t love is our neighborhoods love affair with fireworks. All DAY and ALL NIGHT, yet only legal the day before, of, and after the ten federal holidays.)

I love being able to sit at my desk in my office/guest bedroom/kids creation zone and write. I will be working on two big projects this summer. They have been wake up at 4:00 a.m. freak-out projects, but I know that God is bigger then my fears.

  • Finishing up Changed for Life, a curriculum about entering into short-term missions as a long-term partnership, with respect and humility for the work already occurring in the host community. (I’ve been a co-writer on this project for some time, and I am so excited to see it moving to completion.)
  • 88 Playgroups that Make a Difference: Helping Children Engage Justice Issues that Really Matter. You can pray with me that this project might become more than a document on my laptop.

Also, I should clean my house.

Mostly, I share these things because I want to know what you are doing this summer! What are your plans, fun activities, the ways you are going to slow down, projects? What you are most excited about? 

 

 

 

Summer Serve Play Groups

playgroup dates

About Proximity is so excited to host Summer Service Play Groups in Holland, Michigan!

Let’s come out to make a difference as a community with our families.

 

Here is our Facebook Event Page. 

 

Printable PDFs to share with others. Included are the service opportunities for each week and all the activities we have planned! 

Summer Serve Play Group Schedule Summer 2015

June16: If the World Were a Village

iftheworldwereavillage

June 23: One Hen

OneHenHungerJune 30: The Red Bicycle

TheRedBicyclePlayGroup

July 7: Mimi’s Village

Mimi's Village Play Group

July 14: Planet Ark 

PlanetArkPlayGroup

Serve Projects: 

Bringing donations is completely optional! Even if you are unable to participate in the donation part of the service project, still come out to the play group! We’ll learn together and have fun. We want everyone to feel welcome. Click on the printable PDFs to see what we are gathering for each week.

A few ideas:

  • When shopping for donations for Holland Rescue Mission and Community Action House involve your kids. It’s a great opportunity to talk to them about needs families might have and what items can be a support and encouragement.
  • When bringing $1.00 donation for Shot@Life, World Vision, and World Renew encourage your kids to earn the money by doing a small job around the house, helping will feel even more meaningful to them.

 

Want to learn more about the organizations we are supporting? 

Holland Rescue Mission

Community Action House

Shot@Life

World Vision

World Renew 

All our stories are donated by Citizen Kid Books.  

 

We can’t wait to see you this summer! 

Questions? 

Email: Lisa Van Engen at aboutproximity@gmail.com 

 

 

 

Do NOT give up.

Do not give up

One evening this week my whole family had crashed asleep by 8:30. I sat up writing in the dark. I am a quiet girl, but it is funny what happens when we are left to ourselves. The doubt began as a little trickle and by 10:30 I was typing and crying at the same time. It’s the same mix tape that runs through my heart.

Everything I offer is not enough. I am not fully and completely good at anything. I am letting everyone around me down. I keep having dreams about owning multiple houses with countless rooms, so many I can’t keep them all straight. I keep forgetting that I am enough. We are all enough. It is not what we accomplish.

For three years, my one word has been kneel. I keep forgetting to do that. Then it comes quietly, don’t give up. Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. Kneel.

Those things I can do. Again and Again. I know that the tape will play again, it never really ever fully goes away, but it also doesn’t matter.

I won’t give up. I will keep clinging to what I can do, even if imperfectly.

 

Again and Again.