Archive for March, 2012

This week leading up to Spring Break is Lincoln’s School Spirit Week! What does it have to do with Lincoln? Nothing. But it is fun! Monday was cartoon day, Tuesday was wild west, and tomorrow is crazy hair. Thursday is track and field day and our walk-a-thon, and Friday is early dismissal and school wide dance competition.  I’ve allowed my 5th graders to plan and decide everything at this point and I’m super eager to see how it comes together on Friday. Here’s a little taste. Our 4 minute presentation begins with 5 energized girls bouncing and bopping to “Back in Time” followed by 5 chill and slightly awkward boys dancing to “Last Summer” to be finished by another enthusiastic and futuristic group of girls dancing to “Year 3000.”  The theme is “Time Machine” and while we have these three groups splitting up the different time periods, there is another 5 students acting as if they are going in a time machine and traveling to each period. They choreographed everything and have begged to practice during recess and after school. I’ve loved what they’ve come up with so far and I’m eager to see the final product. Hopefully someone will share their photos and videos with me and I’ll do my best to post them.

Three days till Spring Break! One week and I’ll be back in the States!


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Two weeks from Today!

Two weeks from today I will be in the wonderful state of Virginia! I can’t believe that this year is passing so quickly.  After a weekend away in the mountains with new and old friends, my spirit and attitude have been renewed. Here is a quick recap of the last week.

Wednesday: My dear friend, Sarah Caley, came all the way from Virginia to visit for a few days. We picked her up from the airport late Wednesday night and headed off to bed before a crazy Thursday could start.

Thursday: Rose early and headed to school in order to prepare for the Primary Pet Show that took place at 8 am.  Ah! What a crazy event. Needless to stay, I was so overwhelmed and everything felt out of control.  For the most part my students did a great job stepping up to the bat and behaving as maturely as possible.  I’m so grateful to have had Sarah here helping where possible and reminding me to smile and take a look at the faces of the students.  I honestly don’t think I could have sanely made it through the event if it weren’t for her encouragement and reminders about what was important.  Thank you Sarah. The remaining part of the day flew by and my student’s enjoyed a tasty treat thanks to Miss Caley’s math lesson.  I hope to have pictures in a few weeks.  That night Sarah, two other teachers, and myself headed downtown for a little sight-seeing.  I hardly go to the centro but was quickly reminded what a fun place it is.  Too bad it takes close to an hour on the bus to get there. 😦

Friday: Staff meeting day.  Sarah stuck around for most of it and then headed back to the house to catch up on some much needed sleep.  Right after school, five other ladies and myself headed south to the beautiful mountain town of Mazamitla. Immediately upon sitting down on the bus the gentleman next to me struck up a conversation.  Although I was glad for the conversation, I was almost immediately motion sick and fought through it most of the trip.  I’m happy to say that I did not get sick, but I was pretty grateful to be off the bus. Someone, named Ruben picked us up from the bus station and took us to our cabin. It was perfect.  Almost on top of a mountain, surrounded by woods.  We went out to dinner that night and then took a taxi back to our quiet cabin.

Saturday: After a long morning of reading and resting, a few of us hiked down the mountain into town to walk around and shop.  Two highlights for Saturday; deep personal time in the Bible throughout the whole morning, and sitting in the zocalo playing dominoes and jinga while enjoying a traditional wooden shoe dance.

Sunday: For the most part we sat around and read all day.  Soooo restful! I went on a small hike and ventured down the mountain again to get food to make dinner. We played games again around our crackling fire.  Renee learned to make a fire and showed off her skills by making a roaring fire using the wood she helped collected from the woods. So proud of her!

Monday: Guess what we did all morning. 🙂 We packed up and headed out at 11 and caught the 11:30 bus out-of-town.  Renee gave me one of her prescription nausea medication and it knocked me out! I was out of it the rest of the day.  Poor Sarah sat and read while I took an hour nap. Finally, I sat at my desk to force myself to stay awake, and accomplished maybe 10 minutes of work before our house gathered together for a family dinner.  Spagetti, garlic bread, strawberry cheese cake with Oreo crust, was enough to satisfy my hungry stomach and put me back into a comatose state. Ashamedly, I say that I was asleep by 9 and still had trouble getting out of bed this morning at 6.

Tuesday: I had energy today that I thought had long left me. I should do some work tonight, but I think I’ll just chill out on skype and see if anyone’s available to skype. Two week’s from today and I’ll be back in the U.S. of A. Crazy!

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Who am I?

What a week.  I don’t know how many weeks I’m going on now but I’m pretty exhausted and overwhelmed. There have been so many moments today, yesterday, Monday, where I’ve had to actually stop and ask myself what am I doing.  Monday and Tuesday was especially difficult.  But it wasn’t till I sat down at a picnic table and started to think about everything that I was in tears.

Tuesday I realized that despite the things going on in my life, there is so much more going on in others.  Here is a brief list of things that put my life into perspective the last few days.

Lupita (my coordinator): Her dad’s pacemaker must be removed and is having other health issues.
Irma (my prayer partner): Mom-tumor, doing really poorly and is headed to D.F. this weekend to be with her.
Cinthia (5th grade Spanish Teacher): Emergency trip to D.F. because of some serious paperwork issues with her husband.
Renee (4th grade teacher): Mom was in the hospital with chest pains.
Nathan: Doctor’s don’t know why his mom can’t move her legs and it’s getting worse.
Shelia (2nd grade teacher): Hasn’t slept in nights.
Several student’s prayers and family lives.
Many friends who are in over their head in work.

There are so many sincere and deep concerns and pains around me. Not only does it helps keep myself in check, but it also in some ways adds to the weight.  I have a wonderful friend coming to visit this weekend and I’m looking forward to getting away for the weekend. It will only be a moment’s breath in the midst of the next few weeks, but it must be all I need.

Please use the above list as things that I would appreciate prayer for.  Thank you.

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Before you think what you’re about to think, stop.

Have you ever had one of those weeks when anything that could go wrong does? Have you ever had one of those weeks when you are given the opportunity to practice what you claim every single hour of the day? Have you every had one of those weeks when you are constantly seeing how God is providing?

I don’t even know where to begin.

About three weeks ago I was trying to decide if I really was able to go to Mexico City with a friend for the weekend. I didn’t exactly have the cash I needed but through various encounters felt that Mexico City was where I needed to go.  Excited, I ventured from the second largest city to the largest city in Mexico. Our only plans included: when our bus left and who we were going to stay with.  The trip was fantastic and I loved the opportunity to see so many different things.  Because we didn’t really plan this trip we discovered Sunday night that there we’re no bus tickets taking us to where and when we wanted to go.  No big problem, we’re flexible, we’ll just go to another city to see the Monarch Butterflies.

Monday morning, after seeing some of the most amazing collection of butterflies, my friend and I started down the mountain where we ran into a couple from MN.  During our friendly conversation we explain we were teachers at a small Christian school, and they eagerly expressed they were atheists but wanted to ask us various questions about what we believed.  I have no doubt that this situation was intended to happen, but I felt that there was more that God wanted to show me as a result of this trip.  It was about this time that everything else started to go wrong.  We returned to Mexico City to discover the next bus for GDL wasn’t leaving till 10:15pm. That put us back home at 5am, to be at work at 7am.  Oops. I can honestly say that I should have been exhausted and grumpy, but it really felt like a typical Tuesday. Ha! I was excited and not tired in the least. I attribute this attitude and energy to God, because I couldn’t have pulled it off on my own.

It was also Tuesday afternoon when my body finally gave way to sickness.  I must have eaten something on Saturday that wasn’t cooked well, because my body began to reject it almost immediately.  I was experiencing stomach pain Sunday and Monday but it wasn’t till Tuesday when it really began.  Without going into unnecessary details, this was probably the most sick I’ve been here in Mexico. Despite this sickness continuing through the remaining week, I was able to continue on.  Despite being dehydrated, eating almost nothing, and retaining no nutrients the week was pretty normal.  Again, I attribute all to God’s grace and constant provision.

It wasn’t just being sick and having little rest, this week was also a combination of all the little things that could go wrong, going wrong. Nothing life and death, but simply small annoyances.  Small annoyances that typically add up to where I snap at someone. You may be thinking, Lisa… it was only four days and then you had the weekend to rest and recover.  This may typically be true, but this weekend I also had eleven 5th grade girls come and spend the night out my house and a student’s birthday party immediately following.  Preparing for the sleepover was simply an addition thing going on all week, but the real drama began an hour before the sleepover was supposed to start.  Long story short, there were crying girls, lies being told, meetings with my coordinator and parents, and ultimately me making the decision that one girl not be invited to the sleepover. All day Friday and well into Friday night, things continually seemed to fail my expectations and plans changed.  Even throughout the weekend, things have continued to go wrong and I am again being shown how God is constantly providing despite the failed plans.

I was thinking about it Friday while I was hugging one of my sobbing 5th graders, and again today, that I have been asked each day this week, many times each day to really demonstrate my faith.  I mean, actively and purposefully act when it is contrary to what I want to do.  When it has meant real self-sacrifice.  Even again tonight things seem to be falling apart and I am reminded of Jesus carrying his cross.  As I’m called to daily pick up my cross and follow Jesus, I’m finding out how difficult that really is.  Not that the things I’m experiencing are physically trying, but mentally. Daily I ask myself how will I respond to this situation? How I should isn’t usually how I feel, but choosing to follow Christ is never easy.  Despite my world seeming to go wrong all around me, God has faithfully provided the patience, endurance, and wisdom for each day. I’m in awe of his provision.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish things were easier, but I know with an easier life that I wouldn’t appreciate or acknowledge God’s remarkable provision.  It further humors me that this week precedes a weekend when I had the opportunity to speak with two different atheist groups.  I was given the opportunity to put my actions where my mouth is. It’s been difficult, but good.

(So I wrote this almost a week ago……. sorry for the long absence from the blogging world.)

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