Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Student Spotlight: Daniela

I Timothy 4: 12-  Don't let anyone look down on your because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Tiny Christian schools mean lots of shared space which has its pros and cons. During 4th period our athletic director shares a room with me and teaches a leadership class. Don't tell him I said this but its the best! Nathan does a really great job teaching and sparking some great thinking conversations. Seriously don't tell him, we are sworn enemies (sometimes).
I sit in there and act as a fly on the wall/extra student/extra teacher. Whatever the situation calls for. Its been fun to listen to their conversations and I noticed a few of my students were speaking differently than they had been in the past. Namely Daniela Montenegro.

Daniela and I have been wanting to get together since last school year! (Story of my life.) FINALLY Sunday after 1st service we went to the old faithful Clayton Plaza where nothing was open at 11 am. -_-
Good thing Duran coffee was abierto. We both had cookies and creme frappes and sat and talked for about an hour and a half.

I always have an agenda when I sit and talk with my kids. Todays agenda was: What happen in  your life this summer that has made you so drastically different?

Daniela was never a bad kid. There weren't any behavior issues. She's always been well mannered with the exception of a few sassy comments ;-).  She came back this school year boldly proclaiming Jesus. You could tell that her priorities had changed. Turns out Daniela went to visit her grand parents (who are missionaries in the States from Panama <-- Thats cool) and while she was there she went to a retreat and God rocked her world.

SIDE NOTE: I love that God loves us enough to go out of his way to set up encounters with him that change our lives. Our God is good.

This is the cool part, Daniela has lived her faith out loud so much in the last couple of months that it has effected young and old alike! She is literally living I Tim 4:12.

Her mother was sitting with me during parent teacher conferences and was just bragging about how her daughter gets up at 5 in the morning to be with Jesus. She was telling me how that has challenged them as parents. How cool is that!
Daniela talks to her fellow gymnasts about Jesus and her mother was telling me how this other kid's mom was thanking her because Daniela was having a positive influence in her kid's life.
Last and my fave: Daniela was telling me about her new coach from Spain. One day he was upset after practice. Daniela asked him why and he just expressed some frustrations. Daniela's response was: When you don't know what to do you should ask God.
I never had the boldness to approach people so confidently especially not adults! That is awesome!
This man starts to question her about this God and why would He be concerned with his problems. She suggests that he just says a little prayer that night and ask God to show up and see what happens.
Talk about FAITH.
The next day he comes back and thanks her because he found a solution to his problems.

WOW! You're going to get sick of me telling you how wonderful my students are and I am going to keep posting stories that keep proving my point.

I wonder who will be my next victim...

The gorgeous Daniela and I

Monday, November 11, 2013

The men in my life

Leonard (my second oldest brother) came to visit this week. Big brothers should always visit little sisters who live in foreign countries on their own. Its just the right thing to do. Both my brothers have done the right thing this year.
I had the privilege of growing up as the only girl with two older brothers and I highly recommend it. I want the same for my little girl (whoever she is whenever she comes).
I've learned so many things like:
Not putting up with people's crap
Boys should pay for dinner -Leonard
Girls should get kissed on the forehead- Job
and much more
I was always taken care and provided for and I have not noticed this until recent years.

What it has made me notice is that MEN should always protect, provide and lead. It is God's design and what I expect even if I don't say so.
Here are some stories about how I've gotten to see this play out in my life:

My parents just finalized their divorce last month and I found my dad asking me, "Do you think the man who will ask to marry you will judge you based on my divorce." WOAH! I said no and I got to tell my dad how grateful I was that when I was little we went on dates and he taught me that girls walk on the left side of man because that's where his heart is. Sure their divorce breaks my heart but I'm glad I had him home when I did and I'm sure future hubs will think the same.

I have a heap of guy cousins. When I was in France visiting some of them I was again the only girl around and I got to be the princess. I remember walking down the Champs Elysees with one guy cousin in front and the other in back. They had been doing that all day where ever we went. One leading the other protecting. How cool is that!

Panama almost made it to the World Cup. They needed to play the States and win to make it. I got to go to the game and I got a seat upgrade and sat with the Senior boys who all went to the game. I wanted the full experience and it was well worth it. The game was intense but that is a story for another day. When I found the boys they had saved a seat for me right in the middle. They bought me water. They explained anything and everything. They made sure to stick by my side while we were walking out and made sure I found the other teachers before they left me. Those kids were raised well!

What's been going on in my heart:
I can't wait to raise men of God. Seriously. I don't want kids anytime soon but man I can't wait to beam with pride when I see them protecting, providing and leading.
I have this special burden for boys in my heart. Its weird, I know. I don't do much with it but I hope that I can speak to the thing inside every boy that calls them to be men of honor.
I feel like that has been lost in my generation and the way our society is moving it seems like we are crippling our boys rather than challenging them to be real men.

I'm done now.

(I can't believe I got Leonard to do this LOL)