A Prayer for Strength


I can do so much. Make a paper turkey. Love my man. Type a story. Design a unit around informational (AKA persuasive or opinion) writing. Love 60 kids like they are my own. Sit in a bus that is as loud as a cannon. Stay awake during the symphony. Stay warm in the cold. Make pasta. Casseroles. Cut vegetables. Bake brownies. Plan a wedding. Keep track of 5 email accounts, 2 bank accounts, 500(ish) passwords. Get along with 2 families, both from a distance and yet in 2 different states. Dress appropriately (again ish). Talk with the most Christian of Christians and discuss alcohol with naysayers for hours. I can type at 125 words per minute, pray as I write, write poems, teach poetry. I’m tired.

Lord, I need rest. Rest from the chaos. But I’m not sure I will get rest away from chaos. I must seek peace in the storm. Seek rest in the chaos. I must try. I must keep going but also allow for much needed mental sabbath as well as physical.

Did I mention consoling the kid almost as tall as me who threw up all over my classroom and needed his mom? Ya, I can do that, too, without batting an eye.

God, give me strength, so that I can seek peace. I would ask you to give me peace, but that’s not yours to give anymore. You always offer it, if only I run to your arms. So give me the strength to get there.

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5th grade dreams

“My dream is to be a soccer futbolista.”

“My dream is to go to college and be a hairstylist.”

“I will start a big farm with my cousin, so I will go to some fields and he will go to the other fields. It will be great! I drive the Bobcat so I am pretty good with it in the yards. Nothing will stop me from farming!”

“My dream is to be a football player or a director of Scooby Doo”

“My dream is to be a cop and save peoples lives. But I also want to be a baseball player and help the poor. But what I really want to be is a doctor and keep people good and safe.”

“I want to be a teacher. I want to go to see the eiffel tower. I want to be a harder reader.”

“My dreams are, you know I don’t really dont know yet. But probly be a doctor, teacher, electrician…or a coach.”

“Another dream I have is to get a hold of J. K. Rowling’s new book on Harry Potter”

“While following your dreams you will discover things you haven’t known before. My career dream is to become a 5th grade teacher.”

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1st Classroom party and day of conferences=success

Realizing that I even made it to the end of the week alive is exciting. The fact that I have a smile on my face may just be a miracle. Here is a recap:

Report cards due
Painting with kids
Can Drive
Extra Recesses
Fall Party

…and that’s just the school stuff! I also managed to make it to the post office, bank, and automative place between 3:30 and 4 today. Now I’m back at school processing the week.

Report cards weren’t too hard to get ready since I enter them into a system online, but all the last minute assignments to grade definitely make for a lot of “home” work. I don’t think I’ll ever be too old for that.

Conferences made for a 13 hour day at school, but I really enjoyed meeting with parents that I’ve only spoken with once before, or even not at all. One sad thing I noticed–only 2 of my 9 conferences last night were with parents who were both still living at home with their 5th grader. One great thing I noticed–I love the diversity in our school, and even enjoy using translators in conferences!

My kids’ weekly highlight (even over our fall party): extra recess with high school boys. Who knew how cool teenage boys were? My students earned it by bringing the most cans in the can drive. One kid emptied his house cabinets with about 50 cans brought in one morning.

Fall party: Wow. I have to admit that I was dreading it, but it turned into a great chance to hang out with my kiddos and see their creativity as they decorated pumpkins provided by awesome parents. I wish I could show you all my pictures, but I’m keeping the pics with students’ faces off the web.

photo 1

photo 2

Some of the finished ones!

Some of the finished ones!

One of my kids' families has a bit of a knack with balloons! Sure does make a party fun!

One of my kids’ families has a bit of a knack with balloons! Sure does make a party fun!

photo 3

photo 4

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I can’t get over you…

I’ve been reading journals I wrote in Greece. This is really hard. All the little things bring me to tears because I miss it. So much. Reading about how I ate cherries. I haven’t had a cherry since. I can’t even remember what they taste like. This shouldn’t be a big deal. In fact, it’s not. But The Lord has placed Athens and more specifically the GrBC in Pikermi on my heart and I can’t get over it. I can’t get over the people, the idea behind why the college exists…I can’t get over the library or the sounds each morning or waking up without an alarm to the sun rising and the dogs barking and the church bells ringing. I can’t get over the morning walks that probably weren’t the smartest idea alone and without a cell phone or any way to protect myself but nonetheless were so life giving. I can’t get over the feeling of words overflowing at the end of each day…words that I wrote in journals and on this blog and sang to made up tunes on an untuned piano in the green chapel.

Greece, I can’t get over you. I try to surrender this to The Lord and yet I don’t think he is taking it from me. He doesn’t want me to get over it. It’s been 15 months and I’ve at least come to realize that much.

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Photo on 9-30-14 at 4.15 PMThis is me, excited about receiving a letter from  Alice, a child I sponsor in Rwanda. I decided to sponsor a child through Compassion along with a friend of mine (to lessen the financial burden) back in college. It was something I wanted to do back in high school, but without an income I knew it wasn’t possible. My income of $150/month in college wasn’t much better than nothing, but I figured if I could afford ridiculous amounts of chocolate then I could afford helping a child. This is one decision that I know the Lord had been pushing me to make for years, and it felt great to finally say “yes, I’ll do it.”

Fast forward 3 years–now it is October, 2014, and my income is more than $150/month but sponsoring a child is still a financial commitment. Still, I have never doubted this decision. In fact, I felt the Lord pushing me to make another bold move through Compassion–take on 3 more children.

Release3…this campaign encourages committed sponsors to take 3 new children’s names and seek sponsors for them. By sharing my story as a sponsor and praying daily for a month for these kids, Compassion believes we can expand our impact as a community of sponsors 3 times over. Dominic, Alwan, Sitlali–I’m rooting for you. I’m praying for you and your future sponsors, that they would step out in courage regardless of their financial situations. No one else is praying daily for Dominic, Alwan, and Sitlali. No one else is actively searching for sponsors–in fact, their names are not available to anyone else except through me this month. I don’t take this responsibility lightly, but I also know that the Lord is the one working in hearts, not me.

Bring them a family, Lord. These 3 kids deserve it more than I do.

To get involved, visit Compassion.com or let me know of your interest. Or just pray.


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918 Westview

You are like home because here I have cried, laughed, loved, smiled, kissed the Sexiest man I know, made dinner, taken baths, and read countless stories.

Yet I do not want to be here. It is clean, but feels empty.
Small but yet perfect for 1.
I am 1, but I look ahead to becoming 2 in 1.

It is my home, but not ours.
It is a glorified hotel room and storage unit.
Not a home.

Home, however, is not elsewhere. It is no place I have or ever will have. Home is with The Lord. By definition, not a place, but a relationship.

18 8th St.

You are like home a little, too.
I tell people I live here, but it is also a place I leave
just when I want to stay.
This is not a quality I associate with home.

Yet you are a place I have loved, laughed, cried, cleaned–
a place where I do laundry and dishes and check mail…home-y things.
You are a place perfect for 2.
I am almost 2, and yet I am still 1.

It is our home,
but not mine.
It is still an empty shell.
Not quite home.

So I dwell between “not a home” and “not quite home”…remembering past homes and dreaming of future ones, always striving to remember that home, by definition, is a place. And yet my home, by nature, is a relationship.

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the prayer in my head today

So…I can’t get this out of my head.

You are glorious.
You are glorious.
Be glorified in me.

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