“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you,
saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21

“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ
loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Each according to his ability

I spent part of the morning at home working, but decided to go in around ten today to see how everybody was doing after a tough day yesterday. Things seemed to be going pretty well and I was able to get some work done at school. I arrived during snack time and when I saw Nila, she was asking me when she got to have gym class with me again. I told her it wouldn't be today, but the next time we have school (Monday), she was really excited and did a little happy scream. It was priceless to see her be super excited about Physical Education, I could tell the kids like the activities a lot, but actually hearing it was priceless! Surprise, it turned out the next time I had gym with Nila and her first grade class was five minutes after it was supposed to start. Apparently I have been missing a gym class for the the Inicial and Primero classes since I got here, but when there was another gym teacher it wasn't a problem. Since it wasn't on my schedule I didn't know about it, but I need to work it in to my schedule now. The Inicial class had a field trip this morning, so I only had the First graders and they did such a good job with the parachute. At first they were distracted by the Coral snake the maestros killed over by the bodega, but once I got their focus they did awesome! I have to admit my fear of snakes is becoming less, I thank God for only having distant encounters, but I know I am learning to not be so scared of them. The second and third grade class were all a bit off task today, they seemed to take turns pouting and nobody wanted to work. I was prepared for this though, since school was cancelled yesterday and there is no school tomorrow because of the holiday. There was volunteer observing this class and initially I was hoping they would cooperate so he can see what they are capable of, but at the same time the behaviors and situations he saw were very real. I don't know what joys  and challenges I am going to face with each set of kids on any given day, but I do know at the end of every day I love what I am doing. I have to opportunity to teach and care for these kiddos and wouldn't trade it for anything right now. Some days the struggles out weigh the joys, but I can always turn to God and see Him in all the situations. I started a new unit with the sixth and seventh graders, they were excited and very well behaved! Then I had a lunch break before my English girls showed up, they were all late for class today. It happens once in a while, but usually it is only one of them, so after two of them arrived 5 minutes late I started class and the others joined a little bit later. They must have been eating slow or doing dished down in the house. They did wonderful in English class, I love their enthusiasm about class and their willingness to participate. We even got to test on the letter of the week since they are picking up on it so quickly! After library I hopped from helping with flashcards and making bracelets with the girls. Caila made Joel and I some fine jewelry, she was proud of her work! This little lady has such a giving heart,
Caila made Joel and I beautiful necklaces and bracelets!
I am excited to see where the Lord leads her. Before leaving school for the day, I filled up a two liter with water to haul home. There is no water filter at my new house, so get to experience what it is like to haul drinking water. It was only two liters and about a mile walk, but it really makes me appreciate the lengths to which some people go in order to have fresh drinking water. Don't take something as seemingly simple as clean water for granted! On the way home Jocelyn and I picked up another set of keys for our house, it is nice to have two sets of keys now. Then we went upstairs to get Johnathan and I walked them to meet up with Jess and Joel. I went out to eat at a pizza place called Hut Cheese, yes I did mean Hut Cheese not Cheese Hut. The name threw me off a little bit, don't be fooled by the name it is the best pizza in Ecuador! I had the chicken, bacon, ham pizza and it was so good, their ice cream dessert was tasty too. Jocelyn and I watched Johnathan for a while tonight while the Martin's were out celebrating their anniversary, so I got to watch some good Disney movies before going to bed! Matthew 25:14-18, "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money." God has called us to be good stewards of what we have been given, not dwell on what others around us have. He has given to us according to our abilities and with what He has given us we are asked to multiply. I was reading thoughts from my friend Dan about this scripture and I thought he did a great job, so I wanted to share it: "Comparison is a powerfully negative attitude, it hampers growth and cuts off dreams. Comparison occurs when one focuses on others, longing to be like or not like them, rather than focusing independently on God. God asks us to steward what we have, not what we don't have. If we only have 1 mina (money in ancient Greece) and feel insignificant compared to the person who has 10, we will never invest to see increase in our own lives. Chances are, the person with 10 minas started with fewer but made different decisions in similar circumstances. It is how we steward the little things that causes God to trust is with big things. People who have been entrusted with big things have just invested what they had when they had it. God isn't overly concerned about quantity but quality. If you don't 'give' when you don't have a lot of money you surely won't 'give' if you have an abundance. God knows this, so He trusts those who have been faithful with little. Be faithful with what you have, not with what you don't have. Focus on what God wants for you now, not what you hope to happen in the future. If you tend to the 1 it will surely grow and multiply; by then your mind will be renewed to align with God's, and the quantity won't matter to you. You recognize that it is a gift to steward to bless others. These principles are true with money, influence, friendships, character, and many more areas of life. What are you doing with what you have? Are you being faithful, or have you become obsolete in your own eyes because you compare yourself with others?" I really appreciated reading this scripture and seeing Dan's blog, because comparison is something that is easy for me and so many others to fall in to. We place expectations on ourselves based on what others might think and trying to impress them, but the only thing that matters is bringing glory to God. I know there have been times in my life I base my decisions and judgements based on what others, but those are ways of the world. Relationships were created to draw one another to God and come in different shapes and sizes. God is the perfect with a great plan far great than I could dream, it is my prayer that I can see past peoples physical appearances, possessions, accomplishments, and look deeper in to their heart to build them up in Christ!

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