Sunday, June 10, 2012

Honduras Day -6

Thanks to Joe Stokes for my beautiful journal! I'm not much of a journaler, but I hope to dedicate some time each day to recording my thoughts. I know I'll be glad I did! I'm going to share an edited version of my entries here with you. I hope you enjoy. :)

T-minus six days.

We've been planning for this trip for so long, it's hard to believe the day is almost here.

Christians don't own the market on good works, or even just good people, but I do wonder how people can make it through hard times without looking toward God. I know I need His strength right now. I've been through rough patches in my life, but it does seem like it's all coming at me from every angle these days.

I know I was given the gifts of leadership and teaching. It's just that sometimes, I wish they hadn't been bestowed upon me. That's A LOT of responsibility, and I'm weary. I want someone else to carry those burdens for awhile. Give me the gift of patience! Or compassion! I could stand to sit in the back of the room with my mouth shut for once.

That box I've kept locked up- the Amelia box? Well it burst wide open today. I can barely stand to write about leaving her. What will I do next week? The thought makes me physically ill. I look at our schedule and the words "free time" induce panic. Lord, keep me busy. Don't let me think about my little girl at home, asking for me.

That she's sick right now doesn't help. That I can't stop her from getting hurt; that it's my fault, is unbearable. I want to take her hurt away and make it mine. Let me hurt for my child.

EC's surgery is tomorrow. I know she'll be a trooper and make it through with flying colors. Her poor mom though. I can see the anguish in her eyes. I pray for peace for her. She will not rest, I know, until this ordeal is over.

God giving his son for us is the symbol we need to understand his love. Anyone would give their own life, their own suffering, for someone they love. But to give your child- your ONLY child- is a much greater gesture. Only a parent understands that. How we would do anything so our children never feel pain or hunger or grief.

This is what gives me anxiety about this trip. The mothers and their babies. We are the same, us mothers. We all want the same. To love our children to the fullest.

It is arrogant of me to think my life is better than theirs. This realization, which came to me recently, is what I hope will get me through. We may have cars, lavish houses, a college education; does that mean our lives are better? No. To grow up loved by your parents, community. To know God and live a simple, godly life free of distraction, that may be as God intended it. We should be so lucky!

This is my mission. To learn what love and family truly mean. This is my burden, my cross to bear.

Monday, June 4, 2012


I am so so so far behind on blog posts. If I think about posting, but don't actually do it, does that count? If so, I'm on top of things and you're just days behind in your reading. :)

I'll do some quick posts of what I was up to in the month of May.

Mother's Day Craft

I bought these adorable felt heart ornaments at Target's after-Christmas sale 3 for $0.10! That made it affordable for the whole sixth grade to do and we tied in a symmetry lesson as well. The kids had fun making them and I think most of them even made it home! I know moms love getting handmade gifts from their kids, no matter how old they get!

My favorite moment of the day was when I was setting all the supplies up one of the boys said, "Are we making Mother's Day gifts?"
"Yes, we are."
"Oh good. 'Cause I'm flat broke."

At least he knew he needed to do something for his mom!

Space Bowl

On a whim, I decided to stage a parents versus kids Space Trivia Bowl right before the kids went to Space Camp. I had about a dozen parents show up, which was awesome. Maybe if I do it again with more warning, more can come. Anyway, all the parents and about half the kids got buzzers. We had to do it in Dana's room because the software and hardware wouldn't communicate with each other using my laptop. I finally just gave up. I made about about 30 questions on everything from Sputnik to the Shuttle program. Garrick had the highest score of course, but I was able to throw in a couple trick questions that stumped even him. A fun time was had by all. :)

End-of-Year Gifts

For the last day of school, I made little gift boxes for all my students. It was pretty inexpensive; about $1 per kid, and again, I think most of them made it home. Anytime I do these kind of things I have to accept the fact that about 25% of the kids really won't care at all and will throw it away on the way out the door, 50% will at least keep it for a little while, but 25% of the kids will really appreciate it. I do it for that 25%.

Here's the poem that goes with the items:

A little box of hope 
A star so you can shine in the darkness 
An eraser for life's little mistakes 
A paperclip to help you hold it all together 
A rubber band to remind you to be flexible 
A marker to make your mark on the world

You can be as creative as you want and work within your budget to make pretty much any little items work! My steal was the favor boxes- dollar section at Target, 5 for $0.30! They weren't even marked on sale, so that was a bonus when I got to the register!

So that was the end of another year in sixth grade. What a crazy, whirlwind year! Who knows what next year will bring? Keeping my fingers crossed that someone will realize 32 kids in a class is RIDICULOUS and give us our fifth unit back. Until then, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to focus on my Honduras trip and making the most out of the days I get to spend there! I already have my first blog post in my head. Maybe this week I'll get it down on "paper". :)