Friday, July 2, 2010

In honor of the English language.

The school semester officially ended last Friday with games, candy, and breaking the news of my leaving in September to my kiddos. I am now on a 2 week break enjoying sleeping in, exercising, reading, preparing for summer school classes, cooking, cleaning, and of course, hanging out with Evan. :)

The sun has been shining, the sky has been blue, and my A/C is now fully functional with the arrival of summer's heat and humidity. It may sound silly...but I am so very thankful for air-conditioning! Especially having lived in sub-tropical countries!

In honor of finishing school and the sillyness that comes with teaching the English language, a video:

CLICK!!! -----> This hilarious video is what English sounds like to non-native speakers.

***Note: they are not speaking a language at all, just making sounds, so basically gibberish.

fab. and a good laugh.
Happy summer, everyone! 9 weeks left until my adventure to Europe and back to the US begins!

Friday, May 21, 2010


"I only love God as much as I love the person I love the least." - Dorothy Day

Think about that one for a while.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring weather, books, and learning grace.

May is halfway over here in southern China, and the summer warmth is slowly descending. The weather ranges from cloudy and dreary, to bursting sunshine and distant polluted clouds. The sky tries so hard to be blue and on some days, nearly succeeds, amidst the gray haze of pollution.

I do so miss sunshine and blue skies. I have concluded that I need it to survive - and not just for biological reasons (e.i. Vitamin D). It lifts my spirit, my being, my whole soul. A photograph of San Diego's Black's Beach cliffs covers my computer desktop at school, bringing memories of the beauty of home, a beauty I have come to appreciate being away.

I have been reading and have successfully finished several books:
"Soul Cravings"
"The Giver"
and I'm currently half-way through Yancey's "What's So Amazing About Grace?"

I feel so accomplished when turning the final page in a book, closing the back cover, and setting it back on the shelf. I feel accomplished doing some silly things like:
- making and crossing off lists (post-college life has made me a list-maker...)
- finishing glass jars of food. like almond butter. I find some sort of serious commitment when opening a glass jar of goodness and I don't like to see it go to waste.
- successfully completing a pilates workout, or yoga. ouch!

I have 6 weeks left of the school term and, while emotionally/mentally I am winding down, I'm trying to give my best and all these last few classes with my students. I was recently give the ENTIRE responsibility of teaching our summer school program, which began as an unreasonably huge request by my superiors. But with patience, prayer, and several conversations, there has been compromise and it will be doable. At the very least, it will be yet another learning experience for me - I'll be teaching the older grades, which I have never taught before, nor know the extent of their English knowledge,comprehension, or usage. Learn to swim by jumping in, right?

With each passing day I am hopeful for the future.

I am learning so much about grace.
about forgiveness.
about love.
about trust.

"There will be no escape from wars, from hunger, from misery, from racial discrimination, from denial of human rights, and not even from missiles, if our hearts are not changed." - Lance Morrow

Hoping for a changed heart as I leave China, to better show His grace and love to this broken world.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Reasons.

Some simple happy reasons having Evan here is making my life so much richer:

1. I have someone to cook, eat, and clean up dinner with.

2. On his days off (which are usually mid-week days) he can go to the market for me so I don't have to go after a long day of work. woo!

3. He helps me clean my apartment. Note** I clean it weekly, but my roommate doesn't, so cleaning the whole place by myself takes hours and effort (and with only 1 day off a week, I'd rather not spend the whole day cleaning). With 2 people it's much faster! yes!

4. I have someone to ride the bus, taxis, rickshaws, motorbikes, and walk the streets with - not only is that much safer, but much more fun!

5. He can bargain cheaper public transportation prices than I can.

6. I have a co-teacher for the volunteer adult English class I teach at the Bible college once a week. It's so fun to teach together! The students laugh at us every week. :)

7. Hanging out with my male friends is less awkward, and it also opens doors to hang out with more couples, and people in general.

8. I have someone to bake cookies for - who will actually help me eat them. And cook pancakes, french toast, and Mexican food, who actually likes BEANS (sent with love from my parents).

9. I have support, encouragement, affirmation and am being challenged daily to live like Him by someone, in the flesh.

10. I have a friend daily, who I can talk to, laugh with, learn with, grow with, and strive to love this sometimes frustrating and difficult world with.

I am becoming more and more fond of the word "with." I guess that's why God says, "Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and keep you, I will uphold you with my righteous right arm." And why Jesus says, "Never will I leave you."

Life together - it is truly a gift!

Friday, April 9, 2010

5 months left. still naive.

The decision has finally been made, the formal letter given, a simple grunt of "okay" received.
I will leave Shantou this coming September bound for the beauty of central Europe for a small soul retreat before heading back to the US, back home, back to family.

Home is relative these days.
"Home is where you and I belong."
"Home is where I belong with you."
Home is with the people my heart so deeply loves.

I am at peace with my decision. Though it will be difficult to leave the little faces I have so deeply poured my everything into, the often frustrating culture that I have so tried to understand and learn from, the new experiences, the places, the faces, the laughter and tears, the new life I have somehow constructed and lived on my own, my time is coming to a close. I can say goodbye in peace. I feel I'm being called to a season of "normalcy;" a time with family, working, paying bills, being an "adult," sorting through all my heart, mind, and soul have seen and experienced, being. "Normal" now will become my new adventure. yikes....

Chris Rice sings so many of my heart's questions these days well:

How long until You defend Your name and set the record right
And how far will You allow the human race to run and hide
And how much can You tolerate our weaknesses
Before You step into our sky blue and say "That's quite enough!"

Am I naive to want a remedy for every bitter heart?
Can I believe You hold an exclamation point for every question mark?
And can I leave the timing of this universe in bigger hands?
And may I be so bold to ask You to please hurry?

I hear that a God who's good would never let the evil run so long
But I say it's because You're good You're giving us more time, yeah
Cause I believe that You love to show us mercy
But when will You step into our sky blue
And say "That's quite enough, and your time is up!"

Am I naive to want a remedy for every bitter heart
Can I believe You hold an exclamation point for every question mark
And can I leave the timing of this universe in bigger hands
And may I be so bold to ask You to please hurry?

Am I naive...
Can I believe...
And can I bigger hands
And may I be so bold to ask You, to ask You, to ask You

How long?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

News from AGES ago...

Hello world (outside of China)!

Yes, I am still alive and yes, still very much in the PRC.

Due to horrible internet connectivity and a lessening amount of patience, along with Chinese New Year holiday and a fabulous vacation home to the beautiful southern California, I have been M.I.A in the blog world.

SO....what's new?

1. I am currently loving and thankful for - though I can't post pictures or leave comments/interact, I CAN check Facebook, my blog, and other such censored and blocked sites here. woo!

2. My vacation home was absolutely fabulous. It included sleeping, eating Mexican food, visiting family and friends, digging a HUGE hole in our backyard to help my mom plant fruit trees, enjoying the beach, sunshine, blue skies, warm weather, a soft bed, real water pressure, a roadtrip to Modesto with my mom to visit Evan's family, a visit to Old Sacramento, a weekend in Big Bear playing in the snow, and overall just loving being home.

3. I am not alone anymore! Yes, it's true. My boyfriend Evan came back to Shantou with me to teach at another school in the city. He currently has a 6 mo. contract helping adults better their English skills and helping high school students prepare for exams allowing them to study abroad in English speaking countries. The work is easy, the pay decent, and I am MORE than happy to finally have a friend and companion in this often lonely city. Praise God! My dinners are no longer eaten alone in front of my computer screen and my weekends now have a buddy to roam the streets with. yay!

China is still big, busy, and full of people.

I have 6 months left in my contract and am currently praying about extending it or moving onto my next adventure.

I am back at school and busy as ever, doing my best do learn this teaching thing.

HE is still good.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 30:12

Seeking my dreams, still finding my heart, and knowing it all leads to Him in the end.