Tuesday, May 31, 2011


When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up,
we would no longer be vulnerable.
But to grow up is to accept vulnerability...
To be alive is to be vulnerable.
Madeleine L'Engle

So if I could tell the world just one thing it would be living in fear = the light of life fading. This whole experience has been one of resisting faith, and stepping forward. It's been one of holding onto everything I believe, in every moment, not a moment to waste.

There have been a few difficult days in between, but in the midst of all, my God has shown Himself faithful. I have been attempting to tend to the worried hearts of my students, and at times there truly isn't anything that I, myself, can do. At times, all I can do is be spent in prayer for their precious, beautiful hearts, because nothing I can say is good enough. So I have been trying to just be love for them, in the midst of their fragile times. Relationships, abandonment, fear, worries, doubts are troubling these precious children. So I pray, I attempt to speak life into their hearts.

Friday night I spoke in Un Espacio about passion, community, and significance. The three things that God has used to change my very own life. I was stricken with nerves; it had already been a difficult day--and I still had yet to face one of my biggest fears-speaking in public. Although, once I got up there, the nerves and the worries seemed to be erased. As I spoke, I looked out at the hearts that make up NOE, rather than looking down at my crutch, my words. Speaking doesn't come easy for me, even in the smallest, most intimate groups-but the words and promises of my Lord always, always prevail within me.

Saturday one of my students and her sister took me out to watch the Barcelona/Manchester game at Chili's. I loved being able to spend time with them, share in the laughter, the screams and reveling in the conversation of God and His love for us. One of my students, Marco showed up to join us in watching the game...and it was such a blessing. We later got ice cream, and went our separate ways...after a much enjoyable walk home with dear company. Later than night, I accompanied my sister Montse and Keila downtown for coffee and window shopping. It was nice being able to have that time, because Friday Keila will be leaving us for the states on Saturday. The smallest of outings are huge blessings to me, because not much time is left here. Anytime spent in the company with those I love here is such a treasure.

Last night at Bible Study, a prominent theme was mentioned yet again...all of me believes it to be of God. Juan talked about the tomorrow mindset we have; rather than saying what we need to say, for the matter of honesty or healing-we always claim there is tomorrow. We always wait, and often because of fear. We're afraid what might happen or not happen. Sure, maybe that relationship that is failing won't be fixed with one conversation, but healing can begin today. Sure, maybe you will be honest, only to find hurt, but what is this life if you aren't vulnerable? And maybe, just maybe, if you spoke up--God's beautiful plan would unfold, and it would be more than you ever imagined, or dreamed it to be.

You know how I mentioned it to be a prominent theme, look below for yesterday's excerpt from
My Utmost for His Highest:

"Lord, I will follow You, but...

Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, "Yes--but suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about....?" Or we say, "Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn't go against my common sense, but don't ask me to take a step in the dark."

Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ's statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in crisis--only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith into the character of God."

"I may be weak, but Your spirit's strong in me."

I am so thankful for my NOE family. They have taught me more, than I could ever teach them. I have learned the art of vulnerability, living with abandon, holding onto hope, letting go of all fear, believing in myself. With my remaining time here, my heart is going to love with all that I am, my voice is going to speak every word that needs to be said, my soul will remain vulnerable and in tune to this place, God made for me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


1. That He and His love are more than enough.

2. Life without fear, is truly the abundant life, He longs us each to live.

3. That love truly holds everything together.

4. Trust Him to prove faithful, even in the smallest of things, such as speaking this language.

5. That all He needs is a willing heart, and He will do much out of nothing.

6. Laughter is always a welcome source of joy.

7. When walking in faith and into the unknown, one will find life's most beautiful moments.

8. There's always healing, there's always hope.

9. Some dreams, have to be fought for, more than others.

10. You can be at perfect peace, living in the foreign, far from your familiar.

11. Bearing the burdens of others, is one of life's most profound blessings.

12. Time is one of the greatest gifts, you can offer someone.

"Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys."

Monday, May 23, 2011

explanation for my absence...

There are some of you that might have realized the reason for my absence of updates. Those of you that haven't here you are: My Mom was in the hospital most all of last week-which led to most of my time being spent communicating back and forth with those at home.

My NOE family was quick to reach out to me during these moments, and take me into their arms. I am so grateful that God knows all that I need, in every moment. He knew I would need extra shelter this past week, and that is exactly what He graced me with.

In the meantime, there was a trip to the Fair, mini-outings Downtown, a party, and one of my favorite parts-church-which is centered around Missions, this entire month :). LOVE.

Yesterday's message was about maintaining a vision comparable to Nehemiah-a vision that looks to God for guidance, a generational vision, and a vision for your local church. Only then, will you have life of significance, a life of impact.

These remaining days are passing quickly, not much time is left in the classroom and directly following, I will be watching three of my classes graduate. There is not much here, I know, but for now it's all I have to say.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

it's a beautiful thing, to be loved.

"And I think that's what our world is desperately in need of - lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about." Shane Claiborne
43 days, left here.

I am sure I sound like a broken record, because with every mention of NOE-I can't help but recount the gratefulness that rests upon my heart. Although, I think it's necessary, I don't think I have ever felt so much love in one place. And all I can do is sit here in awe, failing to perfectly depict things as they are-unable to place words onto screen to tell of this abundant, this beautiful love.

So, it seems that she's been reawakened,
she's been able to regain that piece of her heart, that was once taken.

and what is this that she's feeling?
it's pure, it's beautiful healing.

Found within the walls, holding utmost hope,
You've steadied her hands, and she is no longer barely clinging to the rope.

Cause these dear people have brought light to her eyes,
Cause these dear people have brought joy, in place of her sighs.

Family has been found here,
love has erased any trace of fear.

And when that day comes, to say the dreaded goodbyes,
she won't be leaving without tears in her eyes.

A part of her heart will rest here, with those dearly loved.
For every thought of them, a prayer will be lifted above.

A heart, once empty and torn,
has been restored.

For the love of these people has graced her with reason,
welcomed her into hope, a new season.

And so when that day arrives, she'll be taking your love with her, and leaving her's behind...
a part of her heart will always be with you, to find.

I have a heart full of gratitude, awakened by the truest of loves, and you are to thank for it. God used you, and is using you. I pray that somehow you might begin to see that truth. Remember your Maker believes in you and made you with a beautiful purpose in mind. Remember that you are loved and prayed for, and you will surely be missed. You are a part of me, you always will be.
"Other people keep our souls alive." Donald Miller

Thursday, May 12, 2011

meet my shelter...

"The Shelter is not a static building or a list of rules. It is a living, breathing spirit inside each of us that gives us the grace to carry each other during the times when we walk through the valleys of our lives. The Shelter is a gift to us in the most desperate times of our lives, and it’s a gift we also have an opportunity to offer to others freely."

In the shelter of each other we truly live.

Unfathomable Love

The whole Earth speaks of Your glory.

"Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."

To think that You love me this much, is unfathomable to this heart of mine.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

You've shown me YOUR glory...

This blog post unfortunately disappeared into the grand abyss of the Internet. Hopefully, I can remember everything and properly recount it for you...So our classes began, only to then, be blessed with more time off for the NOE Staff Retreat on Wednesday. I had classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Three days of catch up and re-explaining concepts, because after two weeks, all is easily forgotten. Yet, God is indeed blessing me in regards to the teaching aspect and opening my eyes to see it from my dear students' perspectives.

After much review and refreshing laughter, we spent Wednesday preparing our things for our trip. We left at midnight and I was thankfully, able to sleep most of the way. We arrived in Tolantongo around six or seven in the morning, I believe. And that is when our day started! Our days were spent exploring God's beautiful creation in las grutas, waterfalls, Paseo del Gloria and el Rio. Time was spent bent over with laughter, birthday serenades, reveling in the beauty of God's handiwork, trading Spanish for English..time was devoted for rest in every sense of the word, and what a blessing, it was.

Following our trip, it's been crazy to ascertain a semblance of routine, but we are managing! I am pretty sure we have just thirteen more MWF classes, wow! Time has been passing so quickly. It's unbelievable.

I have been able to have mini-outings here and there with different students, and each of them has been such a blessing! Crepes, Starbucks, and today- Tortas de Chiles Rellenos. Today after class, I was able to enjoy the company of some of my students for awhile, as usual, there was much laughter. And afterwards, I was able to go have lunch with Nadia, a fellow teacher at NOE. What an incredible blessing, that was. It was indeed one of those instances when I was speaking Spanish and I was taken aback at how far God has brought me.

Sure, I am definitely not there yet! Paul's words would be appropriate, I am not there yet, and I don't believe that I will ever arrive. But still yet, to be able to sit and speak mostly Spanish without too many problems, leaves me awestruck. Last night one of my students complimented my accent, and I tell you all of these things create within me such a grateful heart. It's all Him, Him in me.

We have exactly one month before the final exam...so with that being said, I ask that you would pray for my dear students. Pray for comfort and peace to be abounding within them. Pray for clarity in the classroom. Pray that God's presence would be made known to each and every one.

There's just forty-five days left to this part of my journey, so please be praying that not a moment would be wasted. Goodbyes are being dreaded, but I am more than certain that this will not be the last I see of Morelia, God has intertwined my heart too much for that to be the case.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Moments of: dancing, thankfulness, and laughter...

Many things have come pass since my last entry! Today, we officially said goodbye to vacation!

And, I'm weird in that, this truth excites me. I have missed my students and my classroom. I could say that my students agreed with me, because we actually had three classes this past week :). All due students' requests! We reviewed some concepts that they have struggled with, preparing them all the more for the big test, that is nearing in June. As usual, the classroom was full of laughter! It was a nice change too, because this allowed me to have some students from each of my three classes in the same class!

A small group of us went on a picnic, and yes of course, it rained that day! But thankfully, it stopped once we got to our spot. We laughed. We talked. We ate. A lovely, lovely time, indeed.

We ventured out for paint ball, tacos ahogados (smothered tacos), and gaspacho this past Friday. I didn't participate in paint ball, but I had fun watching the students and their competitive natures. We went to Daniel's house for gaspacho and his mother asked us to each explain why we were thankful for NOE. I was very, very closed to crying-a number of the students said they were thankful for NOE, because that is where they came to know God.

Even though, I knew that was NOE's purpose, and I knew some of their stories; it was so beautiful hearing it. Once again, they blessed me more, than I believe that I can bless them. I am so grateful that God brought me here to experience all of this love. I am so grateful that I can say that heartbreak doesn't define me anymore. Even in the midst of the darkness, there is still an undeniable light.

I just got back from the Ranch last night; we went for Montse's cousins' quincenera. Which was quite an adventure! A group of students came from NOE...and it was such a blessing having their company! We ate and then moved our chairs into a circle and they started to play music-of course that led to being questioned to dance. Two of my students asked me and wouldn't take my "I don't know how to dance," for a sufficient answer.

While they were both asking me to dance the rest of them were saying it was impolite to say no...and then Marco got down on his knees to ask me to dance. So I retreated from the no, and stood up. Just please keep in mind, that all of the other people were looking on and no one else was dancing!!! Haha. It was hilarious, I am sure all the more for everyone that was watching. Once they left, I later turned down five other men.

While there, my students once again, tried to convince me to change my date of departure to July, then August and then to the following year :). Oh, dear students of mine, I am very certain that this won't be my first, and final time, in Morelia.

All in all, I am blessed, below are the reasons why:

Quincenera with Luis Miguel:

Picnic with Marco and Company:

"I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t prepared for what He was calling me to do yet. I needed to struggle. I needed to doubt. I needed to let go of the controls. If God called me to do this, He would open the doors, not me. And at the same time, somewhat paradoxically, I needed to have unwavering resolve to pursue the vision He put in me.

What happens when your dreams don’t happen easily, quickly or how you thought they would? How do you deal with the delay? It’s in those seasons our foundation is laid. Our response determines everything else.

A lot of people give up. They get distracted. They get packed social schedules. They choose an easier path and eventually the dream that once consumed them fades away.

If something comes easily and without sacrifice, it’s rarely significant.

God has put dreams in each of us, something we can contribute to the world that no one else can. What’s yours? And what are you doing today to pursue it?

If your dream is worth doing, it won’t be easy. But rather than give up when obstacles arise, push through. Embrace the process. Embrace how you’ll change. Be teachable, passionate, humble and determined.

Remember, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6, NIV)." Cameron Strang, Relevant.