Monday, May 26, 2008

Buenos Dias

Jose's bus arrives first, I always seem to be walking out to go to the workroom right when he gets there. He always skips into a little jog when he sees me, he gets so excited and runs to give me a hug. God squeezed an absolutely huge heart into that little stick of a body. 3rd grade has been perfect for me...their arms wrap perfectly around my waist without them having to strain to reach up and their heads nestle in the nook of my stomach right below my chest and above my belly button. I feel like I have a little head here most of the day. Because I have mostly boys normally its a sweaty head/cheek face, but I wouldn't have it any other way. William tries to come sit outside and I remind him that he is not allowed in until he has eaten breakfast. Joel shows up after breakfast and always cracks the door open to make sure I am there and there isn't a sub, smiles and then sits and waits outside til it is time for them to come in. Fran is always sleepy on Mondays...normally cause he has stayed up to some crazy hour watching a soccer game with his Dad and Uncles. I love how he loves his family. Brenda F shows up soon thereafter...normally with gum (not allowed at school) and I always am interested to hear what excuse she has dreamed up as to why she doesn't have her homework or anything else she was supposed to have, the girl is creative. Brenda M. comes and brings me either something she has made or one of her little sisters has made me. Carlos shows up with his same cute brown puma zip up, hair gelled perfectly, and enough cologne for a few grown men. These are the regulars that are there long before the bell rings at 7:15 to come in...I like letting them in a little early. I always have my music on my computer playing, especially in the morning. Sometimes I accidently sing and they get so quiet trying to listen. Some of them subconciously sing along from time to time cause they have heard the Worship songs enough to know the words. They sit and do their warm up activity while I am waking up at my desk...asking Him for the strength, wisdom, and patience to serve them as He would. Sergio comes up to my desk and grabs my Bible and has me quiz him on whatever Bible verse he learned at Church the morning before. He is the only one in his family that goes to Church, Sergio LOVES the Word of God. He just can't get enough. Edgardo, who is not technically in my class, but is mine, comes in to hang with me when he gets there until the tardy bell rings. If there was ever a day my flesh didn't want to be there, he was my encouragement. Little one has been waking up and facing each day since September 30th without his Mom or Dad.
Uriel comes running in RIGHT when the bell is ringing. Throwing back his crazy, wet hair, with some dramatic story about how his Kindergarten brother Roel that is his clone made them late. Tony always comes in a little late, his Mom's boyfriend of the week always brings them. He is always so polite...Buenos Dias Miss Holzman. Idaly is always last. She walks from her house around the corner from the school with her sweet Mom Sarah who works in the cafeteria. She always finds me to hug me before she gets her chair and gets setttled into her desk. Big smile, little giggle...the girl is all belly...I always pat it a lot.

This has been my morning every morning for about 10 months...They have made every morning such a good morning. I have 3 more of these left and I want to savor every second.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hello, Goodbye

Only a few days til' I say goodbye to these guys...

Which means its almost time for me to get to hug this piece of work...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scattered Thoughts on Myanmar

Today at about 7:15, the same time that my students wander in my room each day, one of my students arrived with a particular issue on his mind. One that I was more than happy to discuss and dedicate our morning to, because I too, can't seem to push it out of my head. After the morning announcments Joel pipes up with, "Maestra, which is worse, a cyclone or an earthquake?" It is amazing to me how broad his worldview is, concerning he has never left the Houston city limits, and getting on the highway is a rare and exciting occasion. He spends more time thinking about poverty, hunger, and injustice throughout the world more than many of the adults I know that call themselves Christians and claim to live their life by the Bible....the book which leaves no mystery as to our Christian duty to love, serve, pray for, and bear the burdens of people in situations such as these.

Pride is such a disgusting thing. It has been horrible to watch how the pride of the junta's leaders has manifested itself in absolutely ignorant decisions. Decisions resulting in thousands upon thousands of innocent people dying, people that could have possibly survived. The hope rests in the truth that the God that we serve is bigger than all of the red tape, and the restrictions, and shut doors. There are Christian workers that have been in Myanmar working long before the cyclone hit. There are also Christian workers in the surrounding countries that are being allowed in, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand etc. Please pray for them. Pray for God's favor to surround them, for supernatural strength as they work in what I can only imagine would be a very, very, overwhelming environment. Pray for the people of Myanmar...for the children that are now orphans, for the mothers and fathers mourning the loss of their children, and for the people that have been waiting over 2 weeks now for anything that they can put in their mouths, be it food or a glass of water that would provide nutrition to their feeble bodies.

A couple of weeks ago in church we talked about a holy impatience. How normally, humans are impatient in the wrong areas of life, things coming or going that we demand right now. Things that we just HAVE to have. The pastor proposed that we pray that God would give us a holy impatience for things like justice, an intolerance for sin, for the millions upon millions of people that have not heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that He would instill in us a holy impatience concerning the crisis in Myanmar. God has not forgotten them....neither should we.

"I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the afflicted, and executes justice for the needy..." Psalm 140:12

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Hope (verb): to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence.

I think that my personal definition of hope has always been a It never went beyond I hope we go...I hope I end up...I hope they think...I hope I don't...etc. Notice the normal context in which it is used...I, me, my, wants and desires. If Christ is truly our Hope, what does that mean? What does that look like when it is played out in our day to day lives? God sustains us by revealing Himself to us. In trusting Him, He leads us to a quiet hope. A security that is irreplaceable by any promise or guarantee that the world has to offer us. Hope means going beyond our daily experiences, both unpleasant and enjoyable, to the joy of knowing God. One cannot trust Him, unless they know Him. And one cannot place their hope in Him, if they do not have faith. We live by trusting in Him, not the benefits, happiness, or success we may experience in this life. Our hope comes from God. Does this mean that as Christ followers we have a guarantee that there is no dissapointment? Or that life is going to go exactly as we would choose for it to? Of course not. The beautiful part is that in the midst of the hardships, the trials, and the sufferings, all of which are promised to come our way, HE is our hope! He is trustworthy. His promises are true. He was, is, and will be. In the midst of all of the seasons and change, He is the constant. The promise that He has redeemed us and will continue to sanctify us to become more like Himself. The promise that He is working ALL things, the good, the bad, and the ugly, for our good. That He will continue to draw us to Himself. That he can use the most unworthy vessels to glorify Himself. When our hope is in Him, there is an unexplainable joy that comes. I believe that in order to live life with this hope in Him, one must constantly be filling their minds and hearts with His promises. Satan will plant seeds of doubt, confusion, and fear, all lies in order to throw us into a tailspin. Yet in claiming His truth, He enables us to walk with strength on the road that He has for us.

"And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it..." 1 Peter 3:15
May we be ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that are placed before us to share with those who ask why we are "ok" during hard times. How in the midst of such insecurity and uncertainty we can be so full of hope. I pray that we do not shy away, but speak boldy of our confidence that stems solely from our faith in Christ alone...He is our Hope of Glory.

"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." Hebrews 11:1

My most recently overplayed song is "You'll Come", by Brooke Fraser of Hillsong United (do yourself a favor and buy it) of my favorite lines in it is, "as surely as the sun will rise, You'll come to us..." That is a truth we can cling to regardless of our surroundings. You are pursuing us, and You will return for us...that is a hope that nobody can steal from us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Here Goes Nothing

A new blog. Here are a few promises...I will write. There is this thing I do, its kind of an all or nothing thing, with everything. Sometimes a great strength, often times it is not. But I will write. I will use ellipses...WAY to much. I couldn't even tell you when they are appropriate to use in writing, but I use them all the time. I am not sure why I use them, maybe because I feel like it allows me to reserve the right to continue or modify my thought or statement in some form or fashion after it has been made. In case I change my mind. That makes me sound pretty wishy washy...

What good is a title without some explanation...Ok here goes. I feel like the meaning behind my title is a big fat lesson God has been slowly leading me through, especially this past year living in Houston. If you would have told me this time 3 years ago when I was packing up my college life in Shawmpton that I would end up here in Houston I would have laughed...a prideful, I'm too good for that, what a boring destination, I'm getting out of the States asap, type of laugh. That is hard to type. It sounds gross, and it is. Pride is gross but that in itself can be a topic for another day. The beautiful thing is that in the midst of pride, and brokenness, Christ still chooses to orchestrate each intricate detail of our life, aligning everything exactly as He would have it to bring glory to Himself in each situation. Most of you know, I have had a tattoo on my left foot for a while, of Isaiah 6:8 "here am I, send me." I love this verse, for so many reasons. Obviously with a deep passion and calling on my life to GO to the nations, I love the plea placed before Him to be the one chosen to go. I love the willingness and abandonment to surrender and volunteer where there is a need. And I love the fact that there are not send me (as long as it is somewhere comfortable, and I can do something that I am decent at, and somewhere that sounds cool where people will want to visit me, etc.) There are not stipulations. He wants us without reservations. If we are truly at this place of true abandonment, we will not be as concerned as to the location where we are placed, but will be rejoicing that we have been sent out in the first place knowing that He who has called us is always faithful to fufill His promises to equip us.

I have been planted in Houston for about a year now...and He has proven Himself so faithful. While my heart still longs to be sent out...I pray that in the meantime I will not waste a day that I have been given, and will bloom where I am planted.