Monday, January 30, 2012

numbers and dreams...

I tend to get in the habit of counting things, if you know me really well you can probably attribute that to my OCD tendencies.

All that to say, I just thought I would share a few numbers with you:

I teach 90 students a week.
I teach 23 classes a week.
I tutor 4 times a week.

I have 3 classes of the highest level of English on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, along with 2 primary English classes. Meaning my youngest student is 10, my oldest being in their early 20s.

I have 2 official classes on Tuesday and Thursdays. One of those is primary, the youngest being around 10, and the other a beginner class for adults, in which, my oldest student is in their 60s. I just added 2 conversation classes for my most excelled students, with the chance to go to Portland, which takes place on Tuesday and Thursdays, as well. I end my day tutoring 1 girl I met through NOE last year. 
Class with the most students: 21
Class with the least students: 11

Those are the numbers for you, dear reader. These numbers are what my days consist of in this beautiful city. To think that God saw fit to bring me here to return, still astounds me. The friendships and the love that I have found here aren't like any other that I have ever experienced. 

What does this mean for you?

I hope you know that sometimes dreams aren't easily reached. Sometimes you have to fight for them every waking moment. Sometimes you have to let them go, only for them to come back to you in a way, that is unimaginable, incomparable to how you had always pictured it to turn out. Sometimes you have to learn to be right where you are. 

For me that meant, spending my waking hours, straightening clothes and lifting furniture in the Goodwill for two full years before I could finally live in Mexico. Two years where I packed my bag for a couple weeks out of the year to be in Mexico. Two years, in which, I begged God to finally take me home to where I knew that I always belonged. Two years with whys sitting stagnant upon my heart and wounds vulnerable to my own loneliness. But you know what?

I'm living in a city of over a million people, that was so unknown to me before I stumbled upon Max Lucado's words. I'm living and working in a place that I came to love so easily in three months, before I had to leave it with tears standing in my eyes and try to figure out how I could possibly leave the love found, behind. I wrestled with uncertain feelings and had no idea that I would ever come to know and love a city like that of Vicente Guerrero, but you see, dear heart, that's where we always go wrong. 

We plan and we fight for things to come out in the way we see fit, and at times, God let's those things happen-to wake us up. Remind us that He has more than our best in mind, that He is indeed the Maker of our heart's desires and that His plans are not our own. He is the author of our dreams, the perfecter of our faith. He struggled and lived this life, before we even came to be. He knows what makes our hearts come alive. The passion that rests on your heart is not like that of anyone else- your heart matters and you have a story to tell.

We are not our own. We are His. 

We should trust Him with our every dream and realize that sometimes we have to fight for them, fight for an understanding, be right where we are, before He can take us where we were always meant to be. 

And as I finish writing this, I'm praying for the eyes that come upon this mess of words. That you might believe these words to be said for you, because they are meant for beautiful, you.

Hold onto hope, dear. 
Keep on fighting, because sometimes the struggle comes out of nowhere-
and you don't feel anywhere near ready...but love, He doesn't wait for us to be ready. 
We find the readiness in Him. We find the strength and all that we need in Him.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012


"That moment that unaccountably brings tears to your eyes, 
that takes you by crazy surprise, that sends a shiver down your spine, 
that haunts you with what is just possibly a glimpse of something far beyond or deep within itself..." 
Frederick Buechner

Such moments have taken place throughout this entire first week since returning to Morelia. I've been overwhelmed at the sight of all those I came to love so easily in three short months. I am overwhelmed and the joy does runneth over. The giddiness from the first sight of that dear handful of friends waiting for me Monday night, still sits in my heart. 

My soul is trying to stowaway all of these emotions, and my fingers are trying to tell something of what this feels like- this love, this being used, this making love known. Yet, I'm blessed with incapability, to tell you of what it means to know you're right where you need to be.   

I received my teaching schedule Tuesday and ended up teaching my first class that very night. I am a very content teacher with 19 classes per week, two classes Tuesday and Thursdays and five classes Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. So I've attempted to put the jet lag out of sight and out of mind, as I have been preparing and teaching my classes this week. This time around, is a bit more challenging, I have a larger number of classes where I speak mostly Spanish, because they are beginners. At first, I was worried about how I would fare, but now I'm excited about how much more this means I'll be able to practice. 

I've been given the chance to talk with a few of my closest friends and students, from last year and that in itself, has been a reminder that God needs me here. Being in their presence makes it a lot easier to make love known to their precious hearts. 

The fear has worn off and the language seems to come with more ease and for that I'm incredibly grateful. I can't and I won't live in fear. I'll speak up, because that is in part why He brought me here. 

I was able to see Samaritan's Purse in action yesterday. 
NOE held two festivals to be able to give out all of the boxes they received from Samaritan's Purse. 
Cristina, above, was so pleased when she opened her box and found school supplies, 
saying it was everything she didn't have for school. 

So there's a snippet of my first week for you. Just a few words this time, because I still have to rid myself of some jet lag.

My new word, Abrumada = overwhelmed. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

speechless revelries

It’s been six months to the day when I went to the Baja, knowing full well that’s where my heart was called. Six months of a battered and bruised heart, rising up and out towards a reawakening. Six months of testing and refining that my heart doesn’t so often, graciously allow, but in hindsight always exits ever so gratefully.

And I’m here, settling into the quaint cafĂ©-like scene, on-looking the millions of able-bodies, bright-eyed, wearied lovers, faith-driven hearts-that have all come in search of one thing, their home. That place where they are comforted in being known to the spirited gray streaks that spring up overnight in their delicately combed hair, to the emptiness and fresh wounds that still cause the pain to rush up within and take them by surprise, without a care.

I’m in an airport and it feels like home here.

I’m able to sit about and look at these beautiful people walking past dutifully to their gate; I’m able to be reminded of how carefully each and every one of them was chosen to bear the marks of a Maker. I’m reminded that we all, each and every one deserve our indescribable God, our Savior.

I get to compose paragraphs and rhymes, because God me made for this and these times. I get to sit back and look quietly and onward, praying for the souls that are still not heard.

I’m blessed and the blessings overflow, because God made me to love all of these- so that everyone is known.

Love carries me to this place, and it’s what I chase. God has given me a heart that is full to overflowing- and I want everyone to see how loved they are and revel in this knowing.

So whether it’s broken Spanish or my love of the English words falling off my timid tongue, I will live to love, until my time here is done.

I’m returning without trepidation and tears, I’m returning with a perfect love that casts out every last one of my fears. My eyes happened upon that chapter, for a reason, and I’m seeing that now- and that’s what I’m after.

I’m blessed to love and to live. I’m blessed to be spent and freely give. I have words that need to be said, I have paths that need to be tread. So I will love every last one, those that have always known the purest of love and those that have been shunned.

My heart is full and beating steady; I’m awakened, bright-eyed, made for this, I am ready. So take this life of mine, Lord, that You, Yourself created, take this heart of mine and use it to be spent, not a moment lost or wasted.

I was welcomely surprised in the airport by some of my closest friends last night-after such an incredibly swift time through immigration and customs- where to the immigration officer's delight realized I could hold a conversation in Spanish, with ease and wondered what on Earth I needed 180 days for- thinking I need that many days so I can love, the ones He has given me to love. I can't begin to tell you every emotion that was rushing into my heart. It's just that I sat there ever so quietly, just reveling in the sweet voices falling over me, and being embraced in the arms of those I love. Joy left me shaking and speechless and peace washed over me, stilling my soul, knowing this is where I am needed, this is where I am known.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the life she will live:

You take her to the broken places,
Where hearts ache, and tears leave their traces.

She is just a girl,
like all of those lost in the world,
She is just a girl.

But You stir something within her,
You enable her to see the hurt.

The pain that lies behind his eyes,
The girl facing her own, troubling demise.

That woman whose convinced that this life she lives-
Needs something anything, to just give.

That boy, that’s now a man,
Whose just searching everywhere, trying to make sense of how far he has ran.

And there are those childlike souls,
Bright-eyed, tight-fisted, not wanting to let go.

You hold them all.
And You let her see into their darkened halls.

Blessed with a burden for the aching heart,
The broken places, Your works of art.

She writes their stories, for that one day,
When she prays –
That longed for love, will be seen that it’s always been there,
it’s always been enough.

She listens ever so quietly,
And looks on, spending every moment trifling-
through how she might show each and every one the love, they need so desperately.

It’s like, she was made for this knowing,
This love-showing.

Created to see beyond their pretend stance,
Created to love the unloved, to see past their circumstance.

Created to be spent, broken and poured out,
Created to speak up for the voiceless and those plagued with doubt,
Created to do all she can, to love to the tips of her fingers,
Created to make sure that the unwanted, the wearied, the wounded-
feel that kind of love, that still lingers.

So she lives for that broken boy, becoming a man before her eyes,
She lives that she might see that day, when he finally realizes-
Your love is good and true, sees that Someone truly hears his cries.

So she lives for that woman that walked in denying tears,
She lives that she might see that day, when she finally realizes-
Your love is good and true, sees that You are strong enough to bear every last one of her fears.

She lives for that almost love’s desperate heart,
She lives that she might see that day, when he finally realizes-
Your love is good and true, sees that all He’s ever needed is You, that’s where it all starts.  

So she lives for that little girl, lost and alone, left behind,
She lives that she might see that day, when she finally realizes-
Your love is good and true, sees that to this world, she is not confined.

She lives for that day-
When all of their pain will be taken away…

There’s a good chance she won’t see it here on this broken Earth,
But that doesn’t mean anything will stop her, from loving all of them,
letting them see their worth.

No, she will live for every one
Fighting for hope to rise in the early morn.

No, she will live for every one
Fighting for hope that all is not, nor will always remain undone.

No, she will live for every one
Those who loved and lost,
Those dear hearts who have been crossed-
Those tossed out of homes,
Those who have known more pain, than being known.

She will live this life- keep the little light lit,
Open doors to her heart, moving to and fro, to just, just do her part.
This the life she was made for, this is it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

grace for every needy heart

"because He has been in the wilderness with us. 
He has been in the wilderness for us. 
He has been acquainted with our grief. . ."

It's been awhile since you've seen my words here. 

More time has been devoted to being with people, than sitting with my words. More time has been devoted to finding more of Him, to rediscovering the beauty of being fully alive. More time has been spent realizing that fear has no hold on me-that before I tell myself I can't do something, I should let myself first attempt it. 

Just a few months ago, I was in a wilderness. I was lost. I was fighting for hope. I had given up on myself, in so many ways. 

He hadn't. 

I just had to ask for Him. He was there with me all along, but I honestly didn't want to admit that I needed Him to pick me up again. Cause I had fallen so many times. . .

But here lies the beautiful truth. Perfect love casts out all fear. Perfect love keeps no record of wrongs. Perfect love tells the story of a Father that runs out to meet us in the wilderness, taking us up in His arms. Perfect love doesn't leave us where we are, doesn't let us go. 

So all I had to do, was let go, let Him enter into the mess that I had become. 

And He did. I feel His presence with me. I see Him about me. 

He reached out to me, tightened His hold and reminded me gently, that He wasn't leaving me behind. 

Whispering ever so gently in beautiful old friends and strangers alike, that disappointment, fears, hopelessness have no hold on me any longer. That I am loved. 

By His grace, the wilderness isn't home any longer; I know that will not always be the case. He'll bring me back one of these days, when I need a reminder. 

By His grace, I run- I used to think that I could never do anything of the sort. 

By His grace, I know that I am being called to Morelia, for such a time as this. 

By His grace, I can use my voice to speak up, when I used to sit back silently. 

It's all by His grace, sweet friends. I hope that if you are battling the wilderness tonight, that you will keep fighting. it's worth it. You're worth it. All you need to do is just admit where you are, dear heart. Ask Him into what you are facing. Don't let pride have its' way; don't wait for tomorrow. We are more than conquerors, and that goes for TODAY. You don't have to wait until you get things figured out, ask Him. I promise you that He will come. He'll come to your rescue. He'll meet you right where you are. 

Sweet Father, God of the broken, the wounded, the weary. God of the wilderness and God of the mountaintop, thank You for coming to our rescue. Thank You for loving us, even when we are hard to love. Thank You for picking up our pieces, no matter how many times we've fallen. I pray for these precious readers and for whatever they're facing right now-whether it's a sickness of their own or one they love, it's a constant battle to feel You, it's a fight to have hope enough for the day at hand, they are in the wilderness, or the mountaintop- I pray that they would above all know, they are loved. You love us, God. You love us at the parts of our hearts most broken, at the parts of our hearts most wounded. You love all that we are. I pray that tonight Your sweet, beautiful sons and daughters, might be able to finally see the love You have for them. I pray that they would come to know and see You've always been with them, You aren't ever leaving them. Come to their rescue, Father, like only You can.