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Archive for May, 2012

Prelude: So, if you know me at all, you know that I am the type of person that likes to do things myself. Although I hope I’ve come a ways in recent years, I am fully aware that my pride is something I struggle with daily.

A few weeks ago I was skyping with a dear friend who is trying to read through the Bible in chronological order.  She inspired me through her desire to stick with it, even though she is months behind. I figured, why not give it a try. So since then, I’ve begun reading through the Old Testament. Oh the stories!  It’s amazing to me, no matter how many times I read them or hear them, I’m humbled and challenged. The patriarch’s feelings of self-sufficiency, impatience, the desire to know why all resonate with my prideful heart. This week’s theme that has stuck out to me is the Old Testament individuals’ desire to help God. Abraham and Issac both wanted to help God protect themselves by lying to kings about their relationships with their wives. Abraham tried to help God produce offspring by sleeping with another woman. Aaron’s sons took it upon themselves to offer additional sacrifices, something that might appear to be good but was not in obedience to God, and it cost them their lives. Over and over I see examples of people taking matters into their own hands and only making a situation more difficult in the future, if not immediately. How might the Israelite’s journey back into the promised land been different if the descendents of Ishmael weren’t already living there? This isn’t a post of what ifs though.

You see, I’ve had this decision to make about where to live next year; well, it isn’t so much a decision to make as it is a decision I’ve already made. I know I want to learn Spanish; in fact I feel like I’m being commanded to learn Spanish, and I think living with a host family will be the best way to put myself in that Spanish environment.  It’s just a matter of finding a family to live with. I’ve mentioned my desire to live with a family to various people, but nothing has happened yet.  I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t cause me a little anxiety, but here are the truths that I cling to in those moments.
1. God knows my needs and will provide them.  (Philippians 4:19)
2. Taking matters into my own hands, rather than trusting in God’s timing, gets me nowhere but trouble.
3. He promises to give me peace if I commit the issue to Him. (Philippians 4:6-7)
4. Through the process of waiting, He is shaping me into his image and will use this experience for His glory. (Romans 8:28)

Epilogue: Here I am, 42 days away from being back in the States and only 30 days of school. I’m excited to see how this story will unfold, and I ask you to pray with me as seek after God and wait in his timing.

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We are 32 days till the end of the school year! I honestly can’t believe that we are so close.  My first year of teaching has been a whirl wind of lessons, experiments, activities, meltdowns, puentes, volleyball, la via, parents, salsa, and a thousand laughs. I wouldn’t trade any of it for a moment and I’m quite honestly not ready to say good-bye to this class. Just for giggles and hoping that I won’t forget these moments here are two things in the last day that made me laugh out loud.

Last night, I get an email from a student:

HAPPY TEACHERS DAY ¡!¡! LOVE YA MISS. COGSWELL 🙂 U ARE THE BEST 5 TEACHER 🙂

CONGRATS FOR YOUR #1 YEAR TEACHING !

LATER,

PS IN MEX IS TEACHERS DAY TODAY

Not only is her message sweet, but I really appreciated that she clarified what day it was and why she was sending this message. Thanks Dear.

_______________________

Second thing. Today I was grading my class’ friendship journals about their long weekends.  One sweet girl told me all about her cousin and his visit to GDL. At the end of her entry she put in parenthesis that, “He really wants to meet you, he’s 25.”  🙂 What is most surprising is that I never talk relationships in class, let alone about myself, and what was she doing talking about me outside of school! Oh dear.

 

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What to think….

Although it’s was only a three-day week, I feel like I’ve just completed a marathon. I honestly think these long weekends make teaching more difficult. The student’s are out of their routine and I am equally out of my routine. Waking up the last two mornings was torturous. But, once awake I was reminded why I love rolling out of bed. So here are some highlights from this week, well if you can call 3 days a week.

Wednesday: It was so good to be back at school! I love teaching and being with my students after such a long break just felt right. An interesting part of the day was when I filled out paper work for a 5th grade paintball event and listed the reason for the event as an opportunity for us to grow in God’s love for each other. I wasn’t sure the school would let it go through, but they did! Who knew that shooting each other with paintballs equals brotherly love.  I’m looking forward to it though, Miss Cogswell and her eight 5th grade boys. I’m sure I’m going to walk away welted. 🙂

Thursday: Was over all just a really long day. Not bad, but very tiring. After something that happened on Wednesday, I had a sincere heart to heart with my class about their behavior and attitude with another teacher.  It was difficult and I fully believe that it is my responsibility as their teacher to train them up according to scripture. I hope my gentle rebuking was understood, but I’ll get to more about this in a minute. After school I worked diligently for an hour grading before I rushed home for a quick bite.  Ginny and I then hopped on a 632 and headed south to visit an orphanage she had been told about.  What an experience and opportunity.  Everything about our three hours there seemed like home. Housing boys ranging from 7 to 18, the orphanage was busy with activity. The boys eagerly talked, played, and hugged us. One little boy threw up while we were there and although I was in no way comforting him or talking to him, he came up and just laid his head on my lap.  He and several other boys suffer from various mental handicaps and I just felt pure joy while rubbing his back.  We spoke quite a bit with another volunteer and it was so good to hear her story and get her insight into how we could better support this orphanage. My mind is swimming with “what if” or “should I” and “what’s next”. Some of the boys there do not have birth certificates or have never been registered with the government. So they don’t exist in the eyes of the government and therefore can not go to school. These were many of the boys I spent time with yesterday. Please pray that as I begin to explore further into how I can serve this ministry that I see things clearly. I’m honestly quite excited about going back, and only wish I could insert a Spanish language chip into my head.  After our visit, we rushed back in order to attend the first ever performing arts concert at Lincoln. One of my 5th graders played a lovely piano piece and it was so much fun to cheer her on. Sadly, I had to leave by 8:45 in order to take a quick late night run with Renee.

Friday: Project, project, projects! It must be said three times because though out today I’ve assigned or graded three major projects. Did you groan? So did my students and then so did I as I spent a few hours today grading them. Alas, they were fun and I think the students enjoyed working on them. Most did well, so I take that as a good sign.  For the rest of the night I think I will try to spend some time with the lovely ladies of the Casa Grande and then go to bed early.

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