Archive for October, 2011


Dear Readers,

Thank you all for your dedicated following during these last few weeks.  I come to you now with two thoughts.  First, please pray for myself and four other wonderful ladies as we head out of Guadalajara and into the southern portion of Mexico.  We leave in a few short hours for a week and a half excursion around this beautiful country.  Pray we will have rest, wisdom in making decisions, and overall safety.  Although I am not bringing my computer with me, I may have access to a computer at a hostel and will try to update maybe once or twice while I’m away, but don’t hold your breath.

Second thing, today I went to some Gymnastic Pan American events.  They were so interesting to watch!  Laura, I thought of you while I watched them.  Such flexibility and control!  Hm… that seems like an object lesson somewhere in there.  Anyways, today concludes my event watching, but I did take pictures that I will post sometime when I get back from this vacation.

Peace, Love, and Happy Fall!



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Sigh of relief….

Today concluded school for the month of October, well…. almost.  I will return to school for October 31st, but in my mind that is essentially November. Any jealous? 🙂  I’m so excited for these next two weeks.  Not only do I have some time to myself these next few days, but on Tuesday I will embark on an adventure with four other lovely ladies around the southern portion of Mexico.  Not only am I excited to be off work and see the beautiful country of Mexico, but to also continue to build relationships with the ladies I live and work with.  Not to mention precious time with Charla before she leaves.  Chiapas, here we come!

A side note, I’ve decided to free our classroom pet.  The little lizard that we’ve kept as a pet for the last few weeks is once again free in my room.  I decide to let him go because no one will be here to feed it for two weeks and I’ve begun to feel bad keeping him in a little jar.  I’ve also decided to let it live with me because of the ant problem I have in here. I figured he could be part of the solution to this problem.  This is a picture of part of my irritation with them.  This mess on my floor is a result of the ants destroying my ceiling. For the last week the ants have swarmed my light fixture and this is the resulting mess.  My fear is that they’ve built a nest in my light fixture and at some point it will come crashing down along with the ant community.  Eww…

Lastly, as promised, here is a picture of the curtains I made all by myself!!  Shelia is a great teacher and I’m already looking for another project so I can continue to hone my skills.

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Page 199

“If you are a servant of the Lord, let me encourage you to please, please, humbly watch that you don’t slip into the same error I did.  The Lord God jealously desires us for himself.  He is the lover of our souls.  If we ever put anything before our relationship with Jesus- even our work for Jesus- then we will be ensnared.  If you are burned out, stop! Rest! Your lamp needs a constant infilling of the Lord’s oil or your light will be snuffed out. Remember that, ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. . . . . Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!’ Isaiah 30:15,18

I read this today while waiting in one of the many lines in order to be a legal resident of Mexico. Although many points in my book, The Heavenly Man, are convicting this one stood out above the rest.  Haven’t I said each week is pure exhausting, and I can’t remember if I posted this or not, but Friday night I just laid on my bed for hours doing nothing out of sheer exhaustion.  For me, teaching is more than just a job I get up and go to. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is what God has given me a passion for.  Children are my ministry and every day I pray with them that they would know their God personally.  Teaching is my ministry, but I’ve allowed teaching to overwhelm and consume my life.  I’ve tried to counter this by being sure to go out and have time to myself.  Monday night dinners, Tuesday volleyball, Wednesday Bible study, weekend hangouts, and the list goes on and on.  Don’t misunderstand, I faithfully do my morning devotions and prayer and enjoy the time getting to know my savior more personally, but I haven’t been running first to him to have renewed energy.  God jealously wants me and you for himself and will have no other idols before him. He brought brother Yun back to prison in order to, “allow me to rest in him behind bars fer a while and learn about inner spiritual life.” I wonder how God is moving in similar ways in my life and yours.

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Week . . . something . . . . .

Here begins another week and another quick update! My following week will look something like this:

Monday- Teach, tutor after school, make guacamole for dinner, meet up with Charla to finalize our Chiapas plans, and then Monday Night dinner at Sheila’s place.

Tuesday- Wake up early in order to decide what colorful fall outfit to wear in celebration of “Fall Day All Day!” (Skip school, in order to head to the Central to sign paperwork to finally be a legal working member of society) then tutor after school,  rush home to make some delicious apple cake muffins (Thank You Laura for finding the recipe for me!) and then a fantastic night of celebrating Fall!

Wednesday- NO SCHOOL: thanks to the Virgin of Zapopan (I’m not sure I spelled that correctly) I will be taking advantage of this day off to have a work party with the lovely Sheila and Chelsea.  Where we will finish our annual plans, swap math games, and finish sowing my lovely new curtains.  It will be a productive day, it must be a productive day.

Thursday- I pray we have school!  If we don’t my kiddos are in some trouble. I need to give a chapter 2 math test and have my student present a lovely biome project.  The reason this is urgent is because on Friday…..

Friday- We have NO SCHOOL! It is the beginning of the Pan-American Games! Let the festivities begin!! Also, did anyone else know that the US participates in the Pan-American Games? We do, so I suggest you all cheer on our athletes!   And thus begins my two-week vacation! Ah, I’m so ready. I’m ready for an extended break, and ready to spend some quality time with some girls I’ve grown to love dearly.

As for this past weekend, well it was fantastic as always.  Friday night consisted of me laying on my bed not moving out of exhaustion, but when Saturday rolled around I was again ready to go.  Early devotions, workout, cleaning, laundry, walk to the post office, Dairy Queen for lunch, quick trip to the grocery story, baked a delicious apple cake all by 3 pm and then off to a Birthday party for a new friend. Sunday began similar to Saturday and I headed off to church by noon.  I think I’ve finally found a church community to be a part of.  The church is similar in style to the one I go to at home, but what I really appreciate is that they have notes that go along with the sermon.  It’s so nice to be able to follow along even if I don’t understand what is being said.  The people I’ve met so far have also been so welcoming and friendly.  They have a group for youth that meets on Friday nights so I think this is a place where I can eventually build some fellowship.  I’m already looking forward to returning.  Lastly, tonight I did a variety of things that mostly did not include school work.  Now, it is off to bed I go.  Sweet Dreams!

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Right now

I’ve had a long day I just wanna relax
Don’t have time for my friends, no time to chit-chat
Problems at my job, wonderin’ what to do
I know I should be working but I’m thinking of You and
Just when I feel this crazy world is gonna bring me down
That’s when Your smile comes around

Oo, I love the way You hold me, by my side You’ll always be
You take each and everyday, make it special in some way

I can’t imagine even loving You less
Lord, I love the way You hold me

Hold Me-Jaime Grace

I just happened to hear this song while simply lying on my bed tonight and couldn’t even think of a better way to express my current mood.

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Is there a better way to spend a Tuesday afternoon and evening than with quality one on one time, learning a new skill, playing a game, devouring tacos and homemade ice cream, and lengthy conversations? I think not!

Thanks to my dear friend Sheila, I am enjoying the first stage of my curtain sowing adventure.  I’ve always wanted to learn how to sow, and one would think that since my mom and aunt are expert sowers, I would have learned before the age of 23.  Sadly though, you’d be mistaken.  Sheila has graciously taken me in under her wings and begun the process of teaching me.  Yesterday, when I finished my first curtain my enthusiasm erupted and I can shamelessly say that I wore my curtain like a cape, a head wrap, dress and so on to demonstrate all the new things I could do with this sown piece of fabric.

The night only proceeded to get better as we were picked up to play volleyball.  Maybe it was the sowing high, but even though I play terribly,  I really enjoy trying to play volleyball.  It’s a challenge and since it is not work related I really enjoy it! Not only is the challenge exciting, but the people I play with couldn’t be more welcoming, considering the language barrier. 🙂  Most of them speak English, but I secretly don’t want them to, so I’m forced to practice my little Spanish.

After volleyball, its off to tacos and ice cream.  Not only are the tacos some of the best I’ve had, but the conversation that comes with is the real treat.  What more needs to be said? Not much really, just thank you God for Tuesday!

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Another Sunday night, another week beginning.

I adventured out to a new city this past weekend with Charla and Chelsea. We were invited to join Charla with the hopes of spending some time at an orphanage in the city of Tepic.  It’s about two and a half hours north-west and although it’s north it is much closer to the ocean and therefore hot and humid.  (Really, the weather wasn’t that bad but I noticed a few things this weekend.)

First,  “hot” is relative.  We passed a sign today that read 96 degrees F and if I’d been in Michigan this degree of temperature would require shorts, a tank-top, and some sort of water activity.  Not to mention constant news coverage monitoring the heat wave. But today, I was sitting in a toasty van with layered shirts and jeans.  I even witnessed a man wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt!  As I pondered this, my thoughts went further to the issue of air conditioning.  Rarely do you find a place here that has air conditioning, and I believe even more rarely do you find it in someone’s home.  Yet, where I’m from, almost everyone has air conditioning. I even heard someone remark this past summer that it should be considered “child abuse” not to have air condition.  How is it that in a climate where 90 degrees and humid is common people survive comfortably without AC, but where we experience 90 degrees only a few days of the year, air conditioning is expected?

I wonder it if has more to do with control and comfort.  Grated, today I was uncomfortable and wished I could control the temperature, but not to the point of exhaustion and frustration. And what’s wrong with a little discomfort anyways?  How does the constant need for control affect our relationships with each other? Or with God?

Second, I guess I was exhausted. I think it was partially the heat, partially the Spanish, and partially I was just exhausted. While driving to Tepic, I slept the entire way there.  Upon arrive, I slept all night. During the day Saturday I was pretty sleepy and upon returning from the orphanage I took an hour and half nap, only to get up for an hour and fall back asleep for the rest of the night.  While driving back from Tepic today I also had a beautiful little siesta. Although I had no intentions of sleeping so much this weekend, it was apparently what I needed.

Third, God is active. In so many ways I am daily being challenged to read God’s word and to actively live what I believe.  I have been rediscovering the intimacy of prayer and the power of the family of Christ.  I have been so blessed in my relationship with Chelsea here at the big house and I’m grateful to have someone to pray with to be challenged by daily. I’m surrounded by my brothers and sister, and often I take that for granted, but I’m beginning to see what a real teat it is to live and work with my family.

It’s now 11pm and there is so much say and describe.  Maybe another day, but now I’m feeling tired again. (How that’s possible I genuinely don’t know.) Here’s a quick run down of the week to come:

Monday: After school record Christmas Play songs, then Monday night dinner at Charla’s.
Tuesday: Tutor for two hours, then volleyball, tacos and ice cream!
Wednesday: Tutor for two hours, workout, Bible study
Thursday: Weekly staff meeting, catch up on lesson planning
Friday: Tutoring, and then ??????

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