In my journaling the other day, I wrote, “… a very persistent Wormwood character has done a great job of distracting me from the purposeful prayer I desperately need.” Maybe I dive too deeply into the spiritual warfare Frank Peretti so delicately describes in his novels… but I have definitely been feeling the familiar distractions that tear me away from what is most important.
I like to be busy… a stream of appointments, sleepovers, and coffee dates where I can listen and advise and laugh and grieve with people I care about. I also like solitude… long, unbroken and unscheduled hours where the only thing able to find me is a good book.
Both these things sound very good. Yet, little weaselly Wormwood gets into even the good things and takes away from the motive and heart behind them. I can shut myself up in my room and read all day, but feel horribly unproductive and selfish at the end. I can also run a mile/minute meeting with students and friends, doing crazy outreach and feel absolutely depleted.
Sometimes I feel stranded out in the middle of no-man’s-land while the ‘real’ saints go off to battle in prayer… those are the people who aren’t distracted by Wormwoods.
Thankfully, C.S. Lewis has been such an encouragement through his little book of letters to his friend Malcolm (which, of course, he never intended to be published. He actually said he would be embarrassed if his reflections on the matter were published!).
I guess I’m just reminded of my human-ness … and I end up in the same place, needing to rely completely and totally on the Lord. I’m trusting His hand will guide, whether I am feeling distant or attacked or close or encouraged.
Just when you think life is crazy… you know, taking a road trip to El Salvador, trying to work via laptop, attempting to surf, returning to work after a 7 hour bus trip where the border patrol wore masks because of the swine flu scare, dressing up in 80s clothes to laugh a LOT with students I’ve missed, and tonight meeting up with Alexandra for lunch (and random reality video taping) and then more students for a Bible study…
I may not be on top of all the filing and the to-do list might never end, but I can safely say I don’t mind. This is pretty great.
Here are some pictures of recent happenings.
Primmer: roommate, friend, teacher, and wonderful YESman for me. This night it was YES to meeting up with students for sushi. I’m going to miss her next year!
This is the hostel we stayed at in El Salvador at Playa El Tunco. It was a whopping $7/night and was run by this totally chill pro-surfer who went by “minnie mouse.”
80s night! These are some of our girls – we have Honduras, Germany, and Canada all represented… we’re so multi-cultural in our 80s spirit – apparently 80s fashion is worldwide:)
So, afterward we had a sleepover at our apartment and some of the girls wanted to play Truth/Dare (typical high school and I loved it!). So, we dared Kaelynne to dress up in our clothes… and when she came out in all my clothes they told her to act like me. … So she promptly fell on the floor! What a reputation I have!
I started losing it early and the pictures that were taken after 11:30 pm I take no responsibility for – that’s when normal, wise people are in bed!
P.S. Some good books I have been reading/finishing: Letters to Malcom by C.S. Lewis, Two from Galilee (randomly pulled it off our bookshelf a week ago), and The Visitation by Peretti. I recommend them all.
Have a beautiful weekend!
Lately, I’ve taken to calling a “quiz” or “test” in my class a QUEST. The students first used the term because they were completely unwilling to accept a quiz that was more than two pages. They adopted the nickname Quest as a compromise and I picked it up. Now, I assign “QUESTS” all the time… sometimes they are take-home, sometimes projects, sometimes long quizzes.
Anyway, recently I found this Quest – a new program for Compassion. If any of you have kids, and if those kids are helplessly drawn to the computer, then this is a great place for them to hang out.
QUEST FOR COMPASSION
Go ahead and explore… it’s the kind of education that I would love for my kids to dive into. It’s not about feeding a virtual dog (it’s true – kids do it and love it!). It’s not about obsessing over celebrities and Hollywood (what’s the website – Perez Hilton or something like that?). It’s not about gossiping with friends over the latest who did what on facebook (Mark Zuckerberg probably had no idea what monster would come from his creation).
It’s about using technology in a way that connects kids to the world … and the hurt that is there. The opportunities are endless.
And, as long as I’m recommending things, I strongly recommend taking a quest to El Salvador. I am currently sweating buckets, typing this up in a brightly colored cafe with a very sincere cup of salvadorean coffee at my side.
I’ll catch up on some of the musings I’ve had on this excursion soon.
Tonight a window opened.
A couple days ago, I re-connected with some students who have been really precious to me this year. In the shuffle of ever-changing job descriptions, my stress at what to “be” to students in different settings, and a very random schedule, I neglected to give them the heart time they needed and I love so much.
So, tonight I invited them for dinner at my place. You know, of the home-cooked variety? I had a meeting for Hands and Feet after school and then rushed home to make dough from scratch for mini-pizzas (which was its own adventure… had to borrow flour and then borrow again when I realized the first was corn flour). I cut up veggies, minced garlic, and shredded chicken, let the dough rise, formed pizzas, cooked crust… and then waited. and waited. and waited.
I knew Honduran time was different, but I hadn’t planned for 1 1/2 hours! When they finally arrived, it kind of worked like one of those unrealistic cooking shows. You know the kind, right? Oh, just throw on a little of this and put it in the oven… and I actually have here the bread after its risen. A few minutes later, you’re ready to eat. Well, this time it DID work like that.
“Alright, girls lets make our pizzas!”
Two seconds later…
“Well, I actually have a few already finished!”
I highly suggest this tactic for hosting – way less stressful!
We had such a wonderful time of just laughing and chatting and fellowship. I can’t believe what an amazing gift we have in fellowship. Truly. Though I might consider myself a closet introvert, these times of relationship with my girls simply could not get any better.
These past two days have been beautiful. For some reason, my alarm is not working, but the Lord has been waking me up around 4 am to just watch as He awakens the world. What a gift.
I am thankful… so very thankful for hazy light that meets me on the mountain with morning. I drink in the dew of His mercies that are new each and every day. What great love!
With my girls in Bible study tonight, we talked about the power of the Holy Spirit. Even as I spoke it, I felt crumbled in front of such a holy, powerful throne. This Almight, Infinite Creator of Heaven and Earth who conquered death has offered to make the same power alive in my life to draw others to the Kingdom and proclaim glory to His name. What a magnificent offering!
Sometimes I feel foolish for not believing that this same Lord with endless power can conquer the piddly things I fear. God IS INDEED great and can accomplish far beyond what we can even fathom. I am praying that he helps my unbelief.
Along the journey, God is gracious to give new inspiration. Music is one of those beautiful things to me. Here is an artist to whom I thank for a week of inspiration and encouragement. I’m not sure how you say his last name, but Aaron Roche has for sure earned a place on my “favorites” list.
Here’s his myspace page: Aaron Roche
I might specifically suggest the “Psalm for Jon and Erin” … if you wait til the end there is a gorgeous woman’s voice reading scripture from Psalms. It gets me every time – putting me at the feet of a tender, gray-haired woman with authority in her voice. Enjoy!
I know, I know. If I look at the calendar it says APRIL.
This past week (or weeks, I guess), I’ve taken a step away from technology and been so blessed. This has meant that I’ve been a bit behind in … pretty much everything. But, I’ve decided I don’t mind. Here is the March edition and the April, of course, should be coming out in a few weeks 🙂
I will write more on here soon. I think my blog-hiatus is over. Click on the below link to find the newsletter under the March link.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord directs his steps.
That’s exactly how I feel about this little hold up last Saturday morning. This week has been a huge, huge blessing.
Last night, I had several students over for some fellowship, laughter, singing, and more laughter. What a wonderful blessing! I also had time to get a few things done that I haven’t given much attention in the last few weeks.
That’s all. Blessings. In the midst of much hurt, there are blessings.
Even as I read about pain and hurt from my dear friend Chelsea in S. Africa, who just experienced great loss on her team… even then I know that God is faithful and He will not leave or forsake His children.
Oh, how wonderful that God knows the ways He will bless us even when we are completely unaware. I will indeed be on a plane on Thursday, hopefully a bus tomorrow, that will take me to the place where my family will gather, pray, and love with the precious love of Christ as we celebrate His beautiful, redemptive plan.