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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Beginning with “Revelations”

It seems to have been ages since I’ve last written, and in that time so much has changed, and yet so much is still the same. Having begun my third year teaching at Lincoln, I am still learning what it means to teach 10 and 11 year olds.  My group this year consists of 12 Mexican, American, and Korean students. Although there are many wonderful things to report on with regards to school, I’m going to jump ahead to yesterday. 

After school, there are 30 minutes (Salida) where students are outside the classroom and I am strictly focused on grading and entering grades.  Typically, every day, I have one spunky, vivacious 3rd grader who stops in to say hi and “talk”. She is funny and lovely and I enjoy her for periods of time; but as I am suppose to be grading, her extended visits can require patience and sensitivity. Yesterday, as she ran in, she immediately asked me if I’ve ever heard the “Revelation Song” and asked if we could listen to it. I gladly pulled it up on YouTube and for several minutes we just sat singing and worshiping God together. After she left I was filled with a sense of priorities. There are been many times I’ve ushered this dear 3rd grader out so I could finish the work always before me, but in doing so how many similar opportunities have I missed?  In given the choice, I often choose my selfishness over ways to serve those around me.  Whether they are fellow teachers or intrusive 3rd graders, I thank you God for speaking so softly and clearing about His priorities in those 15 minutes yesterday.

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God My Rock by Brenton Brown

I have nothing of importance to say, so I leave you with a song I love. Enjoy!

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LOVE- So what is it?

Over the last week my class has been looking at the condition of the human heart. (Tough subject… even for me.)  Today it culminated to the idea of real love.  Here is the passage we looked at.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.    (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

We looked at it, discussed it, I think they understood it, I moved on with my thoughts.

After school I headed to the orphanage, alone.  The word “alone” is significant because I haven’t really been going much this year. I did several times at the beginning of the year and had brought a couple other girls with me.  Tutoring started up, extra Spanish lessons began, and sadly my motivation dwindled. Don’t misunderstand, my care for the boys has always been there, but I had some frustrations and I simply allowed other activities to become more important and therefore consume my time. Without batting too many eyelashes, three months passed.

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with a dear friend and we talked about the orphanage and I was finally forced to be honest about my frustrations and reasons for not going. Concerned with similar things we came up with some ideas and passed them along to others with more authority.  So we began last week, not wholly successfully but at least we started.

Back to this word, “alone.” I ventured there alone today, nervous, for how I would be received. See, last week I completely understood my place with some of the boys. They resent me. Truly and fairly openly, I am not worth a moment of their time. Of course they wouldn’t say any such thing, but knew it and I understand it.  I abandoned them, and why. . . because I’m selfish and insecure. Ah.

So alone, feeling insecure and selfish of my time I went to the orphanage knowing I wasn’t going to be well received. I wish at this point I could tell you that I was wrong and that they were excited to see me, and I was able to pour love into each of their lives. . . but that isn’t how human relationships work. I went. . . it was awkward, challenging, frustrating, exhausting, and I’m not sure I have earned any trust back.

I write all of this to finally come to my point, how blessed am I (we) that God is not like these human relationships. Each time I turn away from Him: abandon reading His word, get sidetrack while talking to him, ignore what he says to me; but find my way back I’ve experienced His warm and welcoming embrace.  I praise God that true love IS His nature, it is in Him where I am welcomed back.  If you read this, it is my prayer that you would experience love in the One who is Himself LOVE. Know that no matter the distance of time, depth of the sin, or any other logical excuse; He is always standing at your door knocking. Just waiting for you to open the door so he can embrace you.

Happy Valentines Day.

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La Baranca

A few weeks ago, I went for a lovely hike with a few other teachers.  Here are a few pictures! ImageImageImageImageImage

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Who is wrong?

Last Thursday I had a parent meeting that went, well, not well.  I walked out of my coordinator office feeling a mix of rage and defeat. A few comments made during this meeting included, “I don’t want to gossip, but…” or “My son is a Christian, and *** is not so they don’t speak the same language.” (Regarding compassion) or “I haven’t slept well in three nights so what are you going to do to fix this problem?”

For a day or so afterwards I kept thinking about what is a teacher to do when a parent is wrong. I mean, really wrong, about a situation. I couldn’t and still can’t get over the audacity of the comments that were made judging the heart of an 11 year old or the sincere lack of love.  But what was I suppose to do? 

Pray.

I fell before God during my first free period and laid out my anger. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t focus, and I certainly didn’t want to look at this student. So I asked for prayer from others and confessed my heart to God. He was so faithful to provide his promises when I asked. The rest of the day went smoothly, and I was able to continue to love this child and treat him with respect despite how disappointed I was in the whole situation. That most certainly was not in my own strength.

The whole situation still comes up in my mind each day. I fight the thoughts that spur anger and resentment.  I continually hear myself thinking, this isn’t what I would have done…. Tonight I read a passage from Luke 5:1-11 where Jesus instructs Simon and Peter to go back out and throw their nets out again despite their fruitless night fishing. The fishermen could have told Jesus to leave the fishing to them and they would leave the carpentry to him, but they didn’t. They obeyed and were shocked by the result. God is Elohim. He is the beginning of all things, beginning and creator of all jobs. He knows how to be a teacher better than I do, because he is the creator, the beginning, of all teaching. So although whats happened isn’t how I would manage the classroom, maybe it is how God would manage the situation.

So who is really wrong? Just something I’ve been thinking about.

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Moment of Reflection

Tonight, I realized will probably be the last night my family of 5  is all together living under one roof.  Even though I live independently in another country, my parent’s house is my home.  And it looks like tonight will be the last time I share a home with my younger brother. Wow, it won’t be the same when I come back in July. 😦

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One flight at a time

It’s been home over a week now and I’ve enjoyed so much of it! I’m so thankful that God continues to be faithful in His provision and care over me. Thursday, December 20th, proved to be an interesting travel day.  One that I will not soon forget.

4am: Rise and shine! Time to get ready and head to the airport.
6:50am: First plane takes off from Guadalajara and Angie (a 2nd grade teacher) and I spend the entire flight talking. I loved the one on one time with her.
9:30am-ish: Rushed through customs, baggage claim, security, ordered Starbucks’ peppermint hot chocolate, dropped Angie off at her gate, and went to assess why my plane was delayed.
9:45am: Called up to the counter and was told that I’d be switched to an earlier departing flight. The woman at the counter INSISTED that the “man upstairs” was telling her that I needed to be on this other flight.
11:05am: I made the last available standby seat.
11:15am: Found out that Chicago grounded all flights for an hour… so we sat on the runway to wait.
12:15pm: Were given the “ok” to take off!
3:30pm: Arrived in Chicago!
3:45pm: Where I found out that my connecting flight from Chicago to Grand Rapids had been cancelled. I rushed over to an earlier departing flight and asked if there were any available seats. (There were not.)
4:00pm: Realized I had been standing for 10 minutes in the wrong line for customer service. (Oops!)
4:30pm: Further realized that the customer service line was going to take hours to move through, and over heard the girl behind me mention that she was heading to Michigan.
4:45pm: Made the decision to rent a car and drive back with two new friends.

Our car ride back was fantastic! I really enjoyed the company and was able to share with these two my testimony in how God brought me to Mexico, plus I was so grateful to be home Thursday night! Looking back through the day I am confident in seeing God’s faithful provision in making sure I was at the right place at the right time. It was a crazy day for many travelers, but I continued to feel a sense of confidence and peace that no matter what happened or where I ended up; God knew before the beginning of the Earth where I would be on December 20, 2012.

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