Friday, December 31, 2010

year in review

What a year it has been! I could write a novel (well maybe a novelette) on all of the wonderful things the Lord has written on my heart and how He has changed me and grown me in so many ways. I am so grateful to be where I am right now, and I cannot wait to see what 2011 holds. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise the Lord that He is faithful even when we are not and that He sees all things and yet still chooses to love us. What more can we ask for out of life when we know that we have the joy and assurance of salvation in our sweet Savior? There is nothing greater.


Here's a little look back at what 2010 looked like for me:

Went on spring break with these lovelies.



Finished student teaching.
 
Celebrated the end of our college education with the lovely ladies of Cluster F.

Had my first ESOL class and loved every minute.
Walked through the Arch for the first time on graduation day!

Watched my little sister graduate.
Spent a few days in the mountains of TN for CAMP 2010.
Watched this beautiful one marry her love.


Went cruisin' to the Bahamas with these crazies.


Watched this beautiful girl get married to the love of her life.
Went to Sanford, FL for NTM training and met these amazing missionaries.














Spent a day with these beautiful ladies in Stone Mountain.


Said goodbye to these sisters of my heart.
Moved to Mexico.
Fell in love with these crazies.
Made new friends.
Resolved to live in the mountains.
Began to find my place in Chihuahua.
Resolved to adopt.
Made more new friends.
Reunited with family.

If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.
-Luke 11:36

Thursday, December 23, 2010

celebrate me home

So things have been a little crazy since I returned home via American Airlines on Saturday afternoon from Chihuahua. My time has been consumed by my friends, family, sleep, and shopping. And it has been good. I have endured a little culture shock and have noticed some new things about myself, one being that my eyes go immediately to the Spanish on signs in the airport, and another being that I feel weird being able to eavesdrop and understand everything people around me are saying. My ears are piqued for Spanish, and my heart skips a beat when I hear someone speaking in the language with which I have been surrounded for these past four months. 

I'm sitting here on my bed with It's A Wonderful Life on in the background just thinking about how much things have changed since I last saw this movie. I watch it every Christmas all by my lonesome because no one else in my family can appreciate this classic display of cinematic genius. 

A little bit ago I read a quote that has stuck with me. I cannot remember where it came from; I think it was in Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, but I am not sure. Anyways, it went something like this: "There's nothing like returning to a familiar place to find that things have stayed the same, yet you yourself have changed." And I have found that to be true. East Cobb is pretty much the same. A few new stores here and there and some changes made to our house, but things at home have kept on going. People have kept on working. And yet I have changed so much in these past four months. The Lord has taught me so many valuable lessons about Himself, myself, and our relationship with one another. And I honestly wouldn't trade it for the world. I love my life and I love my God. And I am truly grateful for the life that I am privileged to lead. 

Merry Christmas. May your time with your family and friends be blessed, and may you immerse yourself in the love of the One who came to live and die for you 2,000 years ago. 


For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given,
   and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 Of the greatness of his government and peace
   there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
   and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
   with justice and righteousness
   from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
   will accomplish this. 
-Isaiah 9:6-7

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WE DID IT!

After several fundraisers, pleas, brainstorming sessions, and lots of prayer, WE DID IT! Our little class of 10 fourth and fifth grade students raised $250.63 to send to Samaritan's Purse to build a school. I could not be more ecstatic to share our grand total with the kids tomorrow. Plus I get to watch one of my colleagues get pied with a pie in the face, because he won the friendly competition we had going between the two of us. :) Praise God from whom all blessings flow! My heart is so full right now; words cannot express how proud I am of my kids and how grateful I am to everyone who believed in the cause and wanted to be a part of something bigger. 

Here's the verse I kept reminding the kids of when we talked about what this project meant for all of us:

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 
- 1 Timothy 4:12


My cup runneth over.

count your blessings

Today at lunch, the student council put on a little Christmas talent show for us, and because it went a little long, the kids missed their normal recess time. After a little bit of begging, I took the kids outside for about 10 minutes, and instead of standing at the door, I played with them. The girls and I had a blast swing set. I have always loved to swing; it makes me feel carefree, young, and light. We swung and had competitions as to who could go the highest. Sometimes I forget I'm an "adult," and I think that's a good thing.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
-Bing Crosby

Sunday, December 12, 2010

be my everything

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. -Psalm 40:3
The Beth Moore study that I have been doing this semester is sadly coming to a close, but the Lord has done so much in my heart through it that I will carry with me forever. A few weeks ago, in the DVD session, Beth referenced Zephaniah 3:17, in which the Word states, 

The LORD your God is with you,
   the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
   in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
   but will rejoice over you with singing.

She went on to say that the image and thought of our omnipotent God singing over us is powerful. How wonderful to think of our Lord singing over us when we feel like we've failed Him once again? What a beautiful thought to cherish; He's singing over us with every baby step we take towards Him. And every praise that we offer up to Him just adds to the chorus. I cannot get over how beautiful that is. Music is such a blessing to me in so many ways, and to know that it is something that is important to the heart of our Father just blesses me all the more.

Revelation Song
Worthy is the,
Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to Him who sits on
Heaven's Mercy Seat

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You!

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King!
Filled with wonder,
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You!

Friday, December 10, 2010

let us not forget

The Lord brought this wonderful hymn to mind as I prayed that I would not forget to remember His goodness and the beauty of His Son wrapped in flesh that would bear my punishment. I long to hold this story in my heart at all times.


Tell Me the Story of Jesus

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth.
"Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth."

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Fasting alone in the desert,
Tell of the days that are past.
How for our sins He was tempted,
Yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore.
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected and poor.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain.
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see.
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
Love paid the ransom for me. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I still got it

So this morning, I was kind of in a funky mood as I got up and was getting ready for school. And then on my two minute journey to Binimea, I encountered a man pushing a cart who was a little rough around the edges. He asked Adonde vas? (Where are you going?) To which I replied, A la escuela. (To school.) He said, En ingles? (In English?) And I said, Si. (Yes.) To which he said, Tu telefono? (Your number?) To which I replied, No, gracias (No, thank you.) and kept walking.

Fast forward to morning meeting in class, and we are talking about how to set up our bake sale later that day. I suggested bringing my laptop with Christmas music, and they all went crazy and said, "Yeah then we can dance!" One student said, "We can have a jar for propinas!" (tips) And yet another girl said, "Yeah Miss Miller, people will pay money to see you dance!"

So according to a man missing a few teeth who wants my number and a few ten to eleven year old kids, I still got it. I just thought I would let you know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

making progress

Here's a little update on our Samaritan's Purse fundraiser. The kids have really taken off with their creativity and are thinking of new ways to raise money and get the word out to the rest of the students at school. Last Friday, we gave manicures to many eager girls, and we ran out of time and had to reschedule some girls for this week! My girls were so excited to pamper their friends.

Tomorrow we will have a bake sale, and then on Friday we will serve hot soup and nachos for lunch. At Binimea, we don't have a hot lunch program (we're too small), so when there is hot lunch, people get pretty excited and are willing to pay. Next week, we will have hot cocoa on Monday, and then on Friday, I or another high school teacher will get a pie in the face. This part of the fundraiser has a bit of competition to it; whoever reaches $50 first wins. And you do not want to be the winner, because you will be eating whipped cream. So begins our challenge to be a part of building a school for some children who really need a place to learn, rest in the Savior's love, and grow in knowledge and wisdom. 

Pray that we will reach our goal and that people will want to be a part of our efforts to bring glory to the Father. It is, after all, all about Him.

Friday, December 3, 2010

He's singing over me

For the Lord your God is living among you.
      He is a mighty savior.
   He will take delight in you with gladness.
      With his love, he will calm all your fears.
      He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Porque el Señor tu Dios está en medio de ti
      como guerrero victorioso.
   Se deleitará en ti con gozo,
      te renovará con su amor,
   se alegrará por ti con cantos.

-Zephaniah/Sofonías 3:17






Thursday, December 2, 2010

where did November go?

So I realized that I gave y'all a "sneak peek" of my mountain weekend, and then I never followed up and told you what we did! I am so sorry I left you hanging; I know you have all been waiting with baited breath. Anyways...I will try not to write a lot and bore you, but I have so much to tell you all!


Tanya invited me to visit her friend Abraham, who is a pastor in the Sierra of a Tarahumara (native Mexican Indian) church. Basically the weekend was amazing. Our adventure began early Saturday morning, and we made our way to the mountains. The drive was incredible, and the further away we ventured from Chihuahua, the more lavish and grand was the scenery before us. Once we arrived to Guachochi, our time consisted of unpacking, cooking, eating, and then visiting with members from Abraham's church. The home which we visited was teeny tiny, and the family had no gas or electricity, but rather a wood-burning stove for heat and two small candles for light. I was completely humbled to be welcomed into their lives, if only for a short time. And I confess I mentally reevaluated my "needs" and "wants." There are plenty of things I think I "need" that I really just want. The time of singing, prayer, and fellowship with these believers was so sweet. They offered us their best; they were cooking dinner, which consisted of meat and potatoes, and they allowed us to eat first.  At one point, I counted how many people were in the small kitchen/den area, and there were twenty-two of us crammed into a very small space. But the funny thing is that it didn't feel tight. It felt just right. And get this: once we walked out of their home, it had gotten dark, and this suburban girl saw the biggest host of stars in the sky to date. It was honestly breathtaking...how great is our God?


On Sunday, we took a little mini-hike to an amazingly beautiful viewpoint of a canyon. It was incredible. I honestly have no words that will do it justice. Once again, we had such a sweet time there talking about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord and admiring His beautiful creation. Once we made it back down, we went to church and were able to see some of the people with whom we had visited the night before. It was wonderful to see all of them again and also to hear about what the Lord is doing in their lives. After cooking and eating again, we took a little walk and then came back to have dinner with the most darling family. After they left, the rest of the night was full of laughter (and on my part, snorting) and games, sweet fellowship, and silliness. 



On Monday, we had the day off from school and work because of a Mexican holiday, so we decided to go where the wind carried us as we took our time heading back to Chihuahua. These activities included taking the long way home through a touristy mountain town named Creel, renting a boat on a lake, and eating deliciously wonderful Mennonite pizza in Cuauhtémoc, a town about an hour or so from home sweet Chihuahua. Honestly, I cannot say I've had such a wonderfully restoring and refreshing weekend in quite some time. The weekend was such a blessing in so many ways. I am so grateful to Tanya for allowing me to be a part of her circle of wonderful friends and get to know her as not only my roommate but my dear friend and sister in Christ. I would not have gone on this trip if the Lord had not brought us together. Praise Him for knowing exactly what we need and giving to us out of His great abundance exactly when we need it. 


Chillin'. On a lake. In a boat. Doesn't get much better.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reaching Beyond Mexico

Making a Difference
About a month ago, I received the Samaritan's Purse Christmas gift catalog in the mail. Samaritan's Purse is a non-profit organization led by Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son. This organization seeks to shine the light of the Gospel in areas where hope is desperately needed. As I pored through the catalog, I wondered what project I would like to be a part of this year. Then the thought came to me that we, as a class, could support a project together. I prayed and pored over the catalog, asking the Lord to show me which one would be "the one." This year, there is a project in which you can be a part of building a school in a war-torn or poverty-stricken country. In these areas, children do not have the opportunity to go to school. They either do not have a school to go to or live too far away. Thus, Samaritan's Purse makes it their goal to build schools in these areas in order for children to have an opportunity to become educated individuals.

Our Goals
Last week, I shared my thoughts with my ten students, and they were excited to be a part of this project. Furthermore, this week they will be reading about the status of education around the world and will also be writing letters to their parents, which will explain the project in detail. We will also be talking with the field office and the Bible institute about joining us on this endeavor. It costs $25,000 to build a school. Our goal is to raise $250, which is about 3125 pesos. We only have three more weeks left until Christmas break, and those weeks are going to fly! Please pray for willing and receptive hearts that want to be a part of international missions and desire to give to those who have a genuine need. James tells us that "Faith without deeds is dead," and we want to demonstrate a living faith. I want my students to know and believe that they are capable of influencing others with their young faith and their willingness to shine. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers concerning this project. I know that I can count on all of you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

thankful

Sometimes I wonder why in the world the Lord has given me this life. It does not seem right or natural to allow someone to be as blessed as I am. I do not say that to make it seem as though my life is perfect and I have everything I want. But I do say that to say that I have everything I need and more. The Lord has truly given me so much to be grateful for that I am at times overwhelmed with gratitude. 

On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up with a heavy heart. This was, after all, the first time I would be without my family on Thanksgiving Day. It was also the first time that I would have to work on a major holiday. Needless to say, I was not really happy about it. So I cried a little, but then I resolved that it was going to be a good day. The Lord reminded me of Psalm 118:24, which says, "This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." So I decided I would rejoice. I pulled out my journal and started thanking Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon me, and once I got started, I could not stop! The day at school was a little harried but good nonetheless. We ate a little feast and watched Charlie Brown. I told my kids all about what I would have been doing if I were with my family. These activities included staying in my pajamas all day, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and whatever Christmas movies were on TV, eating to my heart's content, talking with family, etc. The list could go on forever.

This Thanksgiving has been super special, albeit different from any prior Thanksgiving. Tanya and I went over to another missionary family's house for dinner on Thursday, which was lovely. There was laughter and good food and games. Such a blessing. Then yesterday after school, I went over to one of my student's/pastor's house. (My student's father is the pastor of my church.) When I told my kids about staying in my PJs all day, Quincy (my favorite and only fourth grade girl and hostess last night) told her mom, who said that I was welcome to come in my PJs. So on the way to their house we made a stop by my house and I changed into my comfy sweat pants. It was a great choice.  And once again, there was laughter, good food, and games, not to mention the new Karate Kid with Jaden Smith. ;) And today? Well, today, I've just lounged around in my PJs. And boy has it felt good. On Monday night I have one last feast with friends. Mexicans and Americans coming together to celebrate and eat and be merry. Life is good, friends. Celebrate this holiday season, because He is worth celebrating.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tears in my eyes

This is truly beautiful. Look at this woman's courage and commitment to a cause greater than herself. I admire people like her, and I would love to be just like her when I grow up.

Please pray for peace in Mexico. 
Click on the picture for Guadalupe's story, and definitely watch the video. The three minutes is totally worth your time.


Monday, November 22, 2010

sweet words

In class we have been reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. My kids are super smart and savvy, so they recognize the parallels between Aslan and Jesus. Today their journal entry was to compare Aslan's sacrifice for Edmund with Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for us. Here are a couple that pulled at my heart strings:

This one comes from one of my kids who is ESOL and has only been speaking/reading English for one year!

"Jesus save us because he love us. But Jesus die on the cross. Jesus revived on the therd day. Jesus born and after he die on the cross and after he revived he go to the sky. Jesus it was like a person but he can do asom thinks. But Jesus has disipols.

Aslan and Jesus are the like the same in a lot of things. Aslan die one day and he revived on the same day. Aslan hav a lot of people. Aslan was a king the king of Narnia. Aslan die on a table rock not on a cross. Aslan was a lion a big lion."

And this one was just incredibly cute as well:
 
-->
"Well Jesus dieded for us like Aslan dieded for Edmon. But Aslan is a lion and Jesus is not. And Jesus dieded on a cross and Aslan on a stone table. And Jesus dieded for are sin and Aslan for Edmond. But Aslan represents Jesus and Jesus well hes just Jesus. Aslan is nice and kind. Like Jesus is kind and nice. They both got tortured and Beat. Aslan dieded in Narnia and Jesus here on earth. And they Both came back to life." 

How incredible are they? These kids are going to change the world, folks. Watch out.




Sunday, November 21, 2010

those who sow in tears will reap with joyful shouting

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
 27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
 29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

-Romans 3:23-31

Oceans Will Part-Hillsong

If my heart has grown cold,
There Your love will unfold;
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.
When I'm blind to my way,
There Your Spirit will pray;
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand,
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.

Oceans will part; nations come
At the whisper of Your call.
Hope will rise; glory shown.
In my life, Your will be done.

Present suffering may pass,
Lord, Your mercy will last;
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.
And my heart will find praise,
I'll delight in Your way,
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand,
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

encouragement, affirmation, goodness...

So this week has been quite lovely so far. We had a day off on Monday for Revolution Day, and then today at staff meeting we had a lovely birthday snack of tamales, totopos (think Mexican restaurant style chips), guacamole, salsa, bean dip, and flan. It was quite delicious. And then tomorrow my mentor teacher and I get to take a little trip downtown to pick up our FM3 visas, and we have to miss a couple hours of school. I'm crying. Not really. I love my kids, though. 

Let me tell you why I love my kids. We have fun together. So much fun. This Friday, our school is having a fall festival. I have no idea what they do at these things, but apparently you can pay money to marry people and put people in jail. So the kids brought up the name of a certain high school boy is a junior (a.k.a. way too young for me) and said that they were going to make me marry him! And they would  not let it go. I mean they talked about it for the rest of the day and just giggled and used our names together in example sentences for work and everything. It was actually getting a little ridiculous. Today at lunch they went and bought Ring Pops for the ceremony. I'm telling you, they were serious. And then they found out they couldn't marry a staff member to a student. Go figure. Someone else also agrees that it would be inappropriate.

One of my most darling students wrote me the cutest letter today, though. I changed the names, but here is what it said:

Dear Miss Miller:

Thank you for being my teacher this year. Your the funest teacher I've had in years. Sorry for saying you like John. You know were not going to marry you two any more we have the pefect two people to do it with. Thank you for giving us candy corns in class I love them. I wish you would be my teacher in till coleage.

Your loveing 4th grader,
Sally


With love like that from a 10 year old, what more do I need?

mountain getaway sneak peek

This weekend, I had the sweet privilege of joining Tanya and our friend Judit and Alex on a wonderfully amazing weekend getaway to the Sierra of Chihuahua. It was, in a word, marvelous. The time we spent there together was a complete and total blessing of the Lord to me. Before I get carried away and tell you every detail, here are a few pictures to let you in on some of the fun festivities we enjoyed:







Tuesday, November 9, 2010

my first vlog!

Well, here is my first attempt at a video blog. That's vlog for you non-blog-obsessed out there. :)
 Let me know what you think and enjoy!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

recounting His goodness

Well, friends, six months ago today I turned 22. Crazy! And two days later I graduated from the University of Georgia. It is seriously insane how fast time flies. Seeing as how today is kind of a special day, I thought I would make a little list of the amazing things I have seen God do in these past six months.

He provided a way for me to get to Mexico through the generosity of friends, family, and my family's home church.
He brought me through the first 3 months of teaching without too many battle wounds.
He provided a much-needed new computer.
He allowed me to spend lots of good time with family and friends this summer making memories that will last a lifetime.
He has allowed me to continue to keep in touch with friends literally all over the world through the wonderful invention of skype. :)
He has allowed our family to get even closer than we would be if I were still in Georgia.
He has allowed me to see the work of the Holy Spirit in my sister's life.
He has encouraged my heart by constantly affirming the decision to move down here through encouragement from students' parents and fellow missionaries.
He showed me that I was "prayed here" by allowing me to meet and get to know wonderful people who had been praying for just the right person to come here as an elementary teacher.
He has made me exceedingly grateful for my family in a new way.
He has give men a newfound desire to do my best for my kids.
He has given me an appreciation for my education.
He has constantly reminded me of how blessed I am.
He has given me new friends of all ages from many different backgrounds.
He has allowed me to further develop my Spanish speaking skills.
He gave me a little yellow house to live in with a pedestal sink. (I have always wanted to live in a yellow house and I love pedestal sinks.)
He gave me a new church home.
He gave me wonderful students with whom I can have so much fun and yet also learn from each day.
He provided enough (really exceedingly and abundantly...) for me to purchase a ticket home for Christmas, and I get to fly out of Chihuahua instead of having to drive up to El Paso.
He has given me a new song to sing and a new dance to dance.

Those who plant in tears
      will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
      but they sing as they return with the harvest.
 Psalm 126:5-6

Friday, November 5, 2010

baby steps

Well, yesterday Amanda and I walked to the little tienda that is across from the school to get a couple of snacks. We met the cutest little lady who owns, works, and lives there. Her name is Lorenza, and she is just precious. Today I returned to get some eggs and milk, and she asked about how classes were going. We also talked about her family, and she made sure to tell me that she has a son my age. ;) 

I ask that you pray for Lorenza and her family. She is such a sweet lady, and I want to continue to get to know her and develop a relationship with her. Pray that I would have the boldness to be a friend to her and to tell her about the Good News and the work that Jesus has done in my heart and life. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

on being comfortable

It's an interesting thing, being comfortable. And it is also funny how easily you can become comfortable where you are in so many different ways. When I was at home in the States, I was constantly surrounded by people who needed Jesus. My school and workplaces were often mission fields. I am a product of the public school; my only Christian friends were at church. Thus, I am pretty comfortable around people outside of my faith. Even though we don't relate on many things, we find common ground in other ways, and we love each other in spite of (or perhaps because of) our differences.

But I find myself in a different place as I live life here in Chihuahua. While I am a "missionary" (and all believers should be missionaries anyways, because Jesus told us to go into all the ends of the earth and make disciples), I am constantly surrounded by believers. I teach at a Christian school. I go to church with other believers. My roommate and "property-mate" are other missionary girls. So I find myself in this place where I don't quite understand who I am supposed to reach out to that doesn't know Jesus already. I have this deep desire within me to tell everyone about the Good News of Christ, and yet I am not quite sure where to begin.

On our street, there are no houses on the other side, except for one on the corner. Then on our side, there is a home in which a family lives that I have only been able to talk with a couple times. Then there is another house where some people "live," but they are usually out of town. Their dog follows me to school. The next house is another family from the mission, then there is an empty lot, and next is our house. Next to our house are two others, which completes the street. Our neighbors who are directly next door to us work all day long and usually are only home on the weekends. I haven't met the neighbors next to them yet.

Okay I realized I am rambling a bit here. I say all of this to let you know how you can best pray for me here. I long to be a part of the lives of Mexican people here who need the truth of Christ. And yet I find myself constantly surrounded by people who already know that truth. My job here is to be an example to my students and to disciple them, and I want to take that seriously, because it is, as a fellow teacher puts it, a "high calling." But I also long to build relationships with the national people here and find ways to love and bless them. 

Please pray for boldness, courage, and wisdom in knowing when, where, and how to embrace the life that God has given me here by giving it back to the beautiful people of Mexico.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

all my devotion

This has been on repeat for me this morning:
All My Devotion
Kristene Mueller

Beautiful Man
Beautiful God
You're more than worth my time
You're more than worth these longings of my heart
Left unfulfilled
Just for a time

Beautiful Man
Beautiful God
You're more than worth my time
You're more than worth these longings of my heart
Left unfulfilled
Just for a time

And I know You don't come as easy as some
But I will watch and pray
I will watch and pray

Beautiful Man
Beautiful God
You're more than worth my time
You're more than worth these longings of my heart
Left unfulfilled
Just for a time

And I know You don't come as easy as some
But I will watch and pray
I will watch and pray

Take it all
Take it all
Just give me Jesus
Just give me Jesus

Take it all
Take it all
Just give me Jesus
Just give me Jesus

I don't want any other Lover
I don't want any other Lover

All of my devotion
Belongs to this man

Click on the picture above to listen to the song on youtube
 

Monday, October 25, 2010

an impromptu poem

One month from today
It will be CHRISTMAS DAY
Lord willing I will be with my family
Opening gifts in the light of the tree

My heart will be full
Tears may stream down my face
For my God has made me grateful
And He has covered me with grace


Norman Rockwell A Christmas Homecoming 
I've always loved him.







it's the little things...

This morning, I got to school and was getting ready for the day, when all of sudden, out of nowhere, the bell rang. At 7:50. It rings at this time every day, telling the kids that they can go to their classrooms and the teachers that they better get their game face on. And this morning I was a tad discombobulated, so I didn't really have my game face on. 


But then, one of my sweet fourth grade boys pulled something out from under his shirt. What was that something, you might ask? A bag of Sour Patch Kids. For me. His family went to El Paso this weekend to do some shopping, and he thought of me. How sweet is that? I just love it when the Lord shows me how much He loves me through others. This kind gesture just about melted my heart and put the biggest smile on my face. Pass on a bit of kindness to someone today and just see how it makes you feel and what it does for their heart. 



Sunday, October 24, 2010

song of the moment

We sang this song this morning in church (in Spanish!) and the lyrics have been on my heart and mind all day. What if I really lived this way? Enjoy.


Where You Go I'll Go
Kim Walker-Jesus Culture

Where You go I go
What You say I say
And what You pray I pray
And what You pray I pray

Cause Jesus only did what He saw You do
And He would only say what He heard You speak
And He would only move when He felt You lead
Following Your heart following Your spirit

So How could I expect to walk without You
When every move that Jesus made was in surrender
I will not begin to live without You
For You alone are worthy and You are always good

Where You go I go
What You say I say God
And what You pray I pray
And what You pray I pray

Where You go I go
What You say I say God
And what You pray I pray
And what You pray I pray

So How could I expect to walk without You
When every move that Jesus made was in surrender
I will not begin to live without You
For You alone are worthy and You are always good
You are always good
Oh, the beauty of Your name will be seen upon my face, Oh, God

Though the world sees and soon forgets
We will not forget who You are and what You've done for us
And what You've done for us
And though the world sees and soon forgets
We will not forget what You've done for us

Where You go I go
What You say I say God
And what You pray I pray
And what You pray I pray

I will follow You yeah,
In this desert life, I will follow You
Whatever comes my way
Through every situation, I will follow You
To the unknown, to the unsaved
Give me a heart of no compromise

And to see the amazing video, click on this little linky-poo:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

bad days better

I have come home the past few days feeling frustrated, defeated, tired, overwhelmed...all of those negative and yucky adjectives people usually use to describe teachers. But then I checked my email and received a genuine answer to a prayer that has been on my heart for years. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever.
 
And then I put on some music and started allowing the Lord to remind me of His truth through the words of the amazingly talented duo Shane and Shane. I made a playlist of Shane and Shane on Grooveshark and then put it on shuffle. The first song that "randomly" played, "Bad Days Better" has now been on repeat for the last ten minutes. And the Holy Spirit just reminded me, once again, that my heavenly Father sees everything. He hears my every cry and catches every single tear that falls from my eyes. But get this. It started raining. For the first time in probably 3 weeks. The heavens opened up and brought forth beautiful refreshment. What strikes me is that the sky didn't even appear to be full of rain clouds today. The clouds were strikingly beautiful, actually. But the scent of the rain coming through my window and front door is intoxicatingly (Yes, I just made up a word.) good.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever.

Over and over again, the Lord has whispered to my heart, "Rest in me, for the seasons of refreshment are coming." And this afternoon, He gave me a little taste of just what that refreshment is going to look like. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever.

I don't know what you might be going through or if life is just a cakewalk for you right now, but be reminded of this: The Lord is good, and His love endures forever. 


"Bad Days Better" 
by Shane and Shane

You have made my day
Even in stormy weather
I’m dancing in all the rain
Cause you make bad days…

Great is the way
When you come to mind
I am smiling ear to ear
Sweet thoughts of you
I’m always in the mood
To twirl around with you
While it’s raining
Even if it’s a dream

Great is the way
That I am unafraid
When I see you
All my fear goes away

Bad days are coming
Rainy days are always around
But if I can see you
One glance upon you
The sun comes out

I’m dancing in all the rain
Cause you make bad days better

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

thank you Lord

I really needed a laugh today. And wow, did this deliver:



It just might be the funniest church marquee sign I have seen. Ever. I literally laughed out loud.

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