Three days. 300 rubber band balls. Nine workers. Twenty-two shopping hours. Countless meaningful conversations. For a woman who likes to shop and loves to hang out with friends, the annual Homeschool Convention is a highlight of my year. Participating as a vendor at the Homeschool Convention, however, is the cherry on top!
Being a vendor at the Homeschool Convention is like having prized backstage passes to a concert. On Thursday afternoon, the Dayton Christian Homeschool office team backed our loaded vans into the dock at the Duke Energy Center to unload our “wood” floor and comfy “leather” chairs. Each surrounding dock was full of trailers and carts transporting tons (literally) of curriculums to their respective convention booths. Outside the closed exhibit hall doors, eager homeschool families waited patiently for access to purchase their homeschool solutions. Meanwhile, vendors busily worked under dimmed halogen lights arranging each booth display according to its proper place. Although the closed exhibit hall was mostly quiet, the energy and anticipation built as each vendor put their finishing touches on their booth.
In addition to getting a “behind the scenes” perspective to the convention, each booth worker received a laminated lanyard with the acronym “ghc” (Great Homeschool Conventions) boldly printed on the front. This was the workers’ all-access pass to move freely throughout the exhibit and speaker halls. On Friday morning, the DC Homeschool team raced from the hotel to the convention hall with only minutes to spare before the exhibit hall doors opened to the public. Kindly but assertively working through the crowd, we approached the exhibit hall doors confidently wearing our “ghc” lanyards. Guarding the door was a tall man willing to stop any pushy woman from entering before the designated time. But as our Homeschool team approached the door, the suspicious guard simply nodded his head and motioned for us to walk into the exhibit hall. Entering the hall early was a privilege based not on who we were, nor on what we had done, but our early entrance (and avoiding the long Starbucks line J) was the result of wearing a simple lanyard with the right initials posted on the front.
Over the course of the three days, each time I walked in and out of the exhibit hall I was reminded of the all-access pass we have with God our Father through Jesus Christ. Clothed in His blood and robe of righteousness, our access to the Father is not contingent on who we are or what we have done…it’s based on WHOSE we are. For those belonging to Christ, we have the all-access backstage pass to the God in Heaven. Unlike the limited vendor pass, however, Christ provides His all-access pass freely to everyone who believes.
The convention days were filled with meaningful conversations covering mothering to marriage, sprinkled with topics of education and curriculum choices. Even after standing for hours on hard concrete floors causing my feet and calves to scream for a seat, the hours flew as fast as passing children received their rubber band balls. Our third year sharing the mission of Dayton Christian Homeschool at the convention was another success! Although the homeschool convention backstage pass did not result in a famous person’s autograph, I was reminded this year that my name, and your name, is autographed on the palms of Jesus’ hands: Isaiah 49:16, says, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”