Friday, June 26, 2009

Officially Done...

Today is the last day of school.


I have officially taught a full school year term - officially, in China. No training, no experience, no degree or certificate. My head and heart are a fluster of thoughts, reflections, and emotions as I look back over the past 10 months: New experiences, sounds, sights, tastes, new relationships, some broken ones, deep discussions, miscommunications, tears, doubt, questions, frustrations, laughter, smiles, joy, my students, some new friends, China.

Alexi Murdoch seems to say it best right now:

Well I have been searching all of my days
All of my days
Many a road, you know
I’ve been walking on
All of my days
And I’ve been trying to find
What’s been in my mind
As the days keep turning into night

Well I have been quietly standing in the shade
All of my days
Watch the sky breaking on the promise that we made
All of this rain
And I’ve been trying to find
What’s been in my mind
As the days keep turning into night

Well many a night I found myself with no friends standing near
All of my days
I cried aloud
I shook my hands
What am I doing here?
All of these days
For I look around me
And my eyes confound me
And it’s just too bright
As the days keep turning into night

Now I see clearly
It’s you I’m looking for
All of my days
Soon I’ll smile
I know I’ll feel this loneliness no more
All of my days
For I look around me
And it seems He found me
And it’s coming into sight
As the days keep turning into night
As the days keep turning into night
And even breathing feels all right
Yes, even breathing feels all right
Now even breathing feels all right
It’s even breathing
Feels all right

I have such a long way to go in this life; in learning, growing, and changing to become more like my Saviour. Some days I feel like I've taken a million steps backwards, other days, leaps forward. But I did it. I have lived and taught here in China on my own for the last 10 months. It seems so short in retrospect...but every step counts. I only have done this with His ever faithful help. One day at a time.

He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me," - 2 Corinthians 12:9

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Little Prince

I just finished reading this lovely book: The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

It was another discovery amongst the mountain of donated books we have received at the school. It is an absolutely lovely story. Such simplicity, but such profundity as well. A worthy, thought-provoking fairy tale.

"A N D H E W E N T back to meet the fox.

"Goodbye," he said.

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have devoted to your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have devoted to my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Week Left...

In one week I have officially taught a full school year term.

I cannot believe it.

Never would I have seen myself here, in a busy city, by myself, teaching, something I'm not confident in, and teaching English, a language I question my own proficiency in sometimes. ha. It's been a long 9-10 months. It's had it's share of mountain tops: new places, new faces, new experiences. But it's had more valleys. It's been a season of being alone, on my own; a true testing my faith and beliefs, my commitments, my character, my passions, and my loves. It has been growing pains like never before.

I'm tired. I'm ready to be done. But I'm ready to be done so I can start afresh. Does that make sense? I've seen my mistakes and my shortcomings and now want to tacking another year with, hopefully, more confidence, assurance, love, and joy for my job and these kids. I want to be a better teacher, a better example of His grace and love, and more confident in who He says I am.

I'm holding on the God who's holding on to me. It's the only way I can live each day - here, there, China, America, wherever.

"3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 89 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." - 1 Peter 1:3-9

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thoughts on a Rainy Sunday...

I built another temple to a stranger
I gave away my heart to the rushing wind
I set my course to run right into danger
Sought the company of fools instead of friends

You know I've been unfaithful
Lovers in lines
While you're turning over tables with the rage of a jealous kind
I chose the gallows to the aisle
Thought that love would never find
Hanging ropes will never keep you
And your love of a jealous kind
Love of a jealous kind

Trying to jump away from rock that keeps on spreading
For solace in the shift of the sinking sand
I'd rather feel the pain all too familiar
Than to be broken by a lover I don't understand
'Cause I don't understand

One hundred other lovers, more, one hundred other altars
If I should slow my pace and finally subject me to grace
And love that shames the wise, betrays the heart's deceit and lies
And breaks the back of foolish pride

"Jealous Kind" - Jars of Clay

Still very much alive. Still very much being broken. Still very much learning to trust. Still very much learning to love...and to be loved in return.

There are 2 weeks left of school. I can hardly believe that I have taught a FULL school year term. Never in my dreams would I have seen myself doing this, not the teaching part. Which is probably why, as a loved one told me, exactly why I am here.

"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall." - Psalm 18:28-29

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Okay... Pressing On!

Thanks for all the comments from my faithful, random, and accidental readers of my blog. Due to them, I was encouraged and the blog will continue (thanks Evan!). So please keep reading! :)

In the meantime, something new for your viewing pleasure: ---> It's a 1 image/day blog site. It forces me to be more selective about the images I post, more intentional about my shooting, and hopefully, a better photographer. Be sure to stop by for a visit! I'd love your feedback!