Tuesday, May 31, 2011

why I'm glad we only have 1/2 day left

A student lost a tooth due to a hard piece of candy.
Two students cracked a trash can while compacting trash.
A student said, "Miss Miller, if we had started on our books during the first week of school, we would have finished last Wednesday."
I'm so tired I could cry.

Monday, May 30, 2011

10 days

In 10 days, I will be here:

Savannah, Georgia

And I will be with this lovely one:

The one and only Kai Jolene Dickson

 To see this one get married:


Miss Katie Snell-soon-to-be-Mrs. Katie Martin.


 I can hardly wait.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

numbers


2.5 days left of my first year of teaching.
11 days until I am back on American soil.
5 more weeks to train for the Peachtree.
1 highly-anticipated wedding to attend. 
1 (at least) weekend at the beach my college roomie and BFFL.
2 church families with whom to reunite.
3 books on my list to read.
2 parents who love me.
1 sister who misses me.
Too many blessings to count.

do you know Him?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

His faithfulness

As I sit and ponder about the meaning of life, I am often reminded of...just kidding, did y'all think I was going to go off on a Twain-inspired tangent?

But seriously, I know I have not been as consistent with blogging this month. The reason behind my inconsistency lies in the complete insanity that is the month of May. The month of May is always busy when you are in school as a teacher or a student. This month has been insanely full of event after event. There are so many special occasions that surround graduation and the end of the school year for students and teachers. Everyone's schedule will be full for the next two weeks. The students will graduate on June 3, and soon after, many families will leave for the summer or even for a year-long furlough. The migratory culture here is somewhat startling to me. People come and go, and the kids are used to seeing dear friends come, go, return, and then come and go again. As I find myself preparing for another year, I think about how different things will be this next year and hope that the Lord will continue to prepare my heart for whatever He brings next. There are so many things about my life that will be changing once again, even though I will be in the same place. 

I have friends who will be moving, and my roommate and I will no longer share our "casita bonita amarilla" (cute little yellow house). One of my best friends here just got married, and another seems to be on a matrimonial path as well. At school, I will be teaching fifth and sixth grades, which means that I will have my same kids. (YAY!) After school next year I hope to help lead the high school girls' Bible study...so many things are on the horizon for the year to come. 

As a person who likes to think and plan for the future, it is so easy for me to get wrapped up and consumed with worries thoughts about the fall, and it is still two and a half months away. How do I allow myself to walk away from the promises of the Lord and forget to rest in Him? He is so good. He has never left me without a need, but simply provides everything in His perfect timing. Always.

Each Monday morning, we have a chapel service to start the day and the week off with what is of utmost importance--time with our Lord. The last few weeks, each speaker has talked about a characteristic of God. This week, Mr. Barbier, our 6th grade teacher, spoke about God's trustworthiness. He is always trustworthy because He loves us and wants the best for us. I think that all "good Christians" know these things in their minds, and yet sometimes our hearts forget. As Jeremiah says, our hearts deceive us, and we somehow come to believe that the Lord is not for us and is somehow against us, just waiting for us to fail again. But this is not the love of the Lord that we know and have as believers! His love is unfailing, and He loves us with an unconditional love that is incomparable to the love of our mother, father, brother, sister, or spouse. He loves us with a love that reaches to the heavens and cannot be measured. His love is indescribable. I think what I love most about the Lord is His faithfulness. You see, I have quite the fickle heart. I bounce and flit from one thing to the next, hoping that I will somehow be fulfilled by whatever I have found this time. But the love of the Lord draws me back to my Father's arms and reminds me that even when I am unfaithful, He still is faithful, and He longs to be loved by me and allow myself to be loved by Him. He is so good to me, and I don't deserve His wonderful love. 

As the old hymn says:

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Monday, May 23, 2011

25 I know that my redeemer lives,
   and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
   yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
   with my own eyes—I, and not another.
   How my heart yearns within me!  (Job 19:25-27, New International Version)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

congrats grads

Last night, I had the privilege of watching some dear friends graduate from two years of study at the New Tribes Mission Bible Institute. Next, these friends will be heading to Rancho Siloe (the ranch) for further missionary training in August. What a privilege to see how the Lord is going to work in their lives in this exciting time of open doors and new possibilities.
 
With our friend Abraham, the graduate.

With our beautiful friend Tanya, the graduate.

Roomies of the casita amarilla and friends for life.    

“Friendship is unnecessary… like art.
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
~ CS Lewis

Friday, May 13, 2011

2 Corinthians 12:9



PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE: EMMANUEL'S STORY from PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE on Vimeo.

 
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mexican birthday celebrations

Hold on, friends, because this one is going to be quite long. 

Well, I had been anticipating what it would be like to celebrate my first birthday in Mexico, and I was not quite sure what to expect, but of course I hoped it would be special. And let me tell you, it was. My birthday was yesterday, May 6. The Lord decided to bless me with twenty three years on His beautiful green earth. Can you believe it? I do not really feel different, but "they say" that is how it is when you get older. :)

The celebrations began on Thursday afternoon. I was "kidnapped" by my dear friends Lisa and Olivia. Side note: Lisa is my Bible study teacher/small group leader, pastor's wife, and the mother of one of my students. We are quite connected. Olivia has been a mentor and friend to me since right after I arrived. Back to the story: I had run the mile with my kids during P.E. and was in my running attire when Olivia said "We're taking you out!" So I changed back into my school clothes, even though I felt like a hot mess, and we went to Denny's. Let me tell you that it was a such a sweet time. My mentor teacher and friend, Peggy, also joined us. We just laughed and talked and ate delicious junk food...mozzarella sticks, cheese fries, and onion rings. I felt like I was at the Varsity! My meal was complete with a "Sweet Georgia Peach" smoothie (had to rep my state) so I felt a little healthier since it was made from "real fruit and nonfat yogurt." I am so blessed to have these women in my life as friends, mentors, and sisters in Christ. 


At Denny's with sweet Lisa

Olivia and I
Moving on to Friday, my actual birthday. I got to school, and during morning meeting I told my kids that I was excited about my birthday and all of the things that I was going to do this weekend. The little rascals all said things like, "It's your birthday today? I thought it was tomorrow..." and "Well the board said it was the 5th when we walked in, and your birthday is on the 6th, right? Oh well..." I'm not gonna lie to y'all, I was kind of disappointed because earlier this week they all acted excited and seemed to know what day my birthday was on. Anyways, I chalked it up to the fact they are kids and they are going to forget things because they are human and quite young. 


After lunch, I went to get the kids from recess and told them to get some things out on their desks for our next activity, a Mother's Day craft. They all followed suit while I went to the bathroom, and when I came out of the teachers' lounge, Barb called me in to her room to give me a gift, which was very sweet. I walked back to my classroom, and the door was closed, which was weird. Then, as I looked through the window, I saw that a sixth-grade girl was hiding, and I thought to myself, "Oh, they'll just jump out and say 'Happy birthday!' or something." 


The next thing I know, I open the door and am bombarded by shouts of HAPPY BIRTHDAY! and confetti and balloons flying all over the classroom. I look to the back table, and it is full of food, and there are gifts on my desk. All of my kids were so proud of themselves. They had been planning the party all week! They said, "Miss Miller, we didn't forget. When we went to the library to study spelling, we were really planning your party." and "Everyone had a job. Someone had to guard the door, someone had to bring the food, etc..." and "Miss Russ was in on it!" I was so overwhelmed; I can only imagine my face when I walked in. We reenacted so that we could take some pictures. :) 

I knew nothing.

Telling me all about their plan
My little fifth-grade administrators took charge and served me, and we lit candles on the cupcakes that my sweet neighbor Wendy made for me. They sang to me, we played games, and I opened gifts on the "birthday throne" that they made with balloons tied to the back. Everything was so sweet. 

David lighting the cupcakes :)

Blowing out my candles

With Kevin on my "birthday throne"
After school, a few of the kids from the class and I all went out to the ranch to celebrate Julian's birthday. He turned 11 on Sunday, and we all celebrated yesterday afternoon. It was so fun to see him interact with his family and watch my kids play together outside of school and speak in Spanish with one another. 


Julian quite content with his face full of cake
Finally, after returning home from the ranch, my friends and I went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Italianisimmo. It was delicious, even though I was quite full from eating all day long. After dinner we tried to go downtown to see the fountains, but they were off because it was too late. So I had to settle for a dance party in the car and an early retire to bed, but I was quite contented. My heart was full. My cup overfloweth.


At Italianisimmo after a delicious dinner 



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