Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

Friends, Friends, and more Friends

  • Friday afternoon: lunch with friends who greatly impacted my life and had definite roles and investments in God leading me to be an RD
  • Late Friday afternoon: coffee with a friend who has my old job
  • Friday evening chat with one of my old roommies. I never see them any more :(.
  • Saturday morning coffee with my dear friend , Jen Holmes.
  • Saturday late afternoon headed down to Disney Day with Summer for the best Disney trip ever! I only rode one ride, but it was sooooo good to hang with Sum and to see so many other friends who were there for Disney Day.
  • Saturday evening: briefly saw Laura and Adam for a minute. Thanks for the Torani syrup and the avocados :).
  • Sunday afternoon: Porto’s Cuban Bakery after church with all of my old roommates. Guess I can’t say I never see them anymore.
  • Sunday late afternoon: Talked with my dear former student, Anuja. So encouraging to hear her plans, dreams, and desires for college next year and for beyond college.
  • Sunday evening: Time with my ARAs. I love them :).

Does it come as a surprise to anyone right now that I despirately need to do homework?

R&R at a B&B

Okay, so I’m not staying at a Bed and Breakfast this week, but I am staying at a friend’s home at Mount Hermon. They are gone, but I am here. The hikes, the sleep, the quiet, the reading, the pinning, the video-watching, the outdoors, the indoors, and opportunities to hear myself think have been lovely. I haven’t slept as well since I don’t know when but definitely not since moving into the dorm. On campus there is continual life and noise. Even with the students gone there are fire alarms, car alarms, tennis players, knocks on the door, grounds crew people outside making noise, a crow flying into my window over and over in the morning to wake me up…  I’m so thankful for the couple who see what God has given them as an opportunity to serve others and minister through hospitality. It makes me dream of someday being able to do the same. A retreat house up here would be nice because it’s only an hour away from the fam and because I am more of a mountain girl than a beach girl, but here they have the best of both worlds since the beach is only 30 minutes away :).

It warms my heart …

… to see all my RAs hard at work together preparing the dorm for the other student’s arrival. Wing decorations make such a difference. It turns barren hallways into lively homes. I’m so thankful for these girls’ creativity and service.

Series Finale

Why do good things come to an end? Are you one of those people who hates when shows end or when you read the last book in the series? I am. At the end of the series, it  feels like I’ve lost a group of friends. I’ve experienced two series finales of sorts in the last few days, but am thankfully anticipating the characters to comeback for some replays and reunions.
The first was on Thursday night. Esther, Adrienne, Phil and I went to Father’s Office for burgers and sweet potato fries, to a random Asian grocery store, and to fro yo at Yogurt Land. While Rick wasn’t there because of work. Although this particular itinerary wasn’t a series, I’ve always enjoyed hanging with this group of peeps. That night back at Rick and Esther’s, I found out they were moving sooner than I thought. Since I’m out of town this weekend, they will be gone when I return. That was our last chance to hang in their apartment with them . :(. Is there a way to create an emoticon with a tear? Anyway, here’s to many more reunions in my apartment and in the O.C.
On a side note, their burger were incredible!  They were melt in your mouth delicious! It is comprised of ground beef patty on a French bun, topped with caramelized onions, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, maytag blue cheese and arugula, but that list cannot do it justice. They are so confident that they know good food and you will like what they make that no alterations or substitutions are allowed. What’s on the menu is what you get! The ambiance is not so great, but we still had fun.
The next night was my final hangout in the teacher’s lounge. These are dear friends whom I love. While this will be my last time hanging with just these few people at this event, I’m excited that the next season of life doesn’t mean leaving these friendships. I expect many more events and dinners with these people both in large groups and small. I just won’t be directly reporting to Joe, which means the benefits and the events change.
Now to tell you about where we went! We went here. I had never had Brazillian BBQ before. If was delicious, but somewhat wasted on me. The whole point is the all you can eat meat, which I enjoyed, but my favorite things were the spicy chicken, the cheese rolls, and the empanadas. My all-time -favorite part of the meal was being with these people, so I would have enjoyed Chilis with them almost as much. I said almost :). I love new experiences and good food, but it’s all about the people and very few people that weren’t around last night’s table get to see how much this group of people enjoys being together.
Lastly, with regard to series I love new beginnings and that’s why I can’t wait for The Hobbit to be released in theaters and why I’m excited to start my new job!

May 14, 2011, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Christian Living, Friends, role models

I’m so thankful for the testimony and the example of my sweet friend Polly’s family in the midst of the grief over her niece that died 52 days short of her due date. They clearly communicate the grief and sorrow over their loss with an unshakable confidence in God. While I don’t know her family, I know their faithful testimony through mutual friends. You can clearly hear Polly’s faith in her recent post which you can read here.

Please pray for this sweet family as they mourn the loss of their daughter, sister, niece, and granddaughter.

A Conversation with My Grandmother

My grandmother is adorable. It’s been a while since my trip to Iowa, but I wanted to share my grandmother’s practical wisdom with you. My grandmother is a faithful servant, but she also has a clear understanding of her humanity and God’s divinity. She is 90-year-old former pastor’s wife with 7 kids, 17 grand kids, and now 21 great grand kids. Her friends told me that even though my grandpa is gone, she is still a faithful pastor’s wife. She regularly goes and visits people in the medical facility at her retirement home even though she herself is on oxygen 24/7 and has to use a motorized scooter to get around.

A couple of times while I was out there, I heard people say, “Now you take care, Hilda.” Her response was always, “That’s about all I can do.” She understands that she can’t do everything she once did even though there is more she would like to do, but she trusts God with the difference. She’s a faithful 90-year-old woman.

While I was there, I decided to ask my grandmother a few questions about life and ministry. This is some of what I learned:

Grandma out of all the places you and Grandpa ministered, which did you enjoy the most?

We like them all.

From talking to her kids who were in town as well, I found out there were extremely difficult situations at some of the churches, but my grandmother genuinely meant that she liked them all. I also found out that at almost everyone they had little to no money. They had seven kids on the salary of the pastor of a small church. At one point, I learned, they lived in the basement of a church member’s house for several months with 7 kids. My grandmother cooked on a camping stove the whole time.

Grandma, with 7 kids in 10 years. were you tired? How did you do that?

I’m sure I was but I didn’t think about it. It was life. There were things I wish I could have done better and times I wished I could have given the kids more but we just did the best with what we had.

She is precious. I love her and am so thankful for her example. May I measure success by my faithfulness and leave the rest to the Lord who has unlimited resources, perfect timing, perfect strength, perfect wisdom, and abundant grace.

A Conversation with Joan and Ted

God is faithful! That’s the message I came away with after spending an hour or two with my grandmother’s friends, Joan and Ted. That is the summary of their life stories.

How did they meet? God worked it out. Ted had wanted to be married for a long time. He would pray for a wife but he didn’t really have a social group with women in it. He cared for his mother until she died and worked at the post office. He met Joan by going on a few dates with her sister :). He got along with her sister, but they didn’t fit. Then he met Joan! He was 54 when they married and she was in her 40s. That was 32 years ago. Neither had been married before. “We’ve made up for it since,” he told me.

How did Ted end up working at the post office? He would have been happy doing anything. His father didn’t like working in a factory, but Ted wouldn’t have minded, but His cousin heard of a job opening at the post office. Two weeks later he was working there in a job he loved. He continued to work in the same place until he retired. They’ve now been retired for around 25 years. They said they have been enjoying life ever since. I tried to correct them and say “But you’ve spent your retirement serving too.” They corrected me by saying, “That’s a large part of enjoying retirement!”

They also talked about how they ended up getting into my grandmother’s retirement home. They never could have imagined being able to afford living there, but a realtor put the idea into their heads as they sold one house and bought another. They got on a wait list as they fixed up their house. When the retirement home called them one August saying they had an apartment available, they declined it. The home called again on Labor Day and Ted said yes. Their house went on the market September 11, 2001. Joan asked Ted, “Do you still think this is a good idea?” He said yes. Their house sold in 2 days to a descendant of the man who built the house. It sold for more than they asked and was paid for in cash. They doubled their money and moved into the village before the housing market crashed.

Joan and Ted spoke on how they couldn’t have imagined or planned a better fit than what God had in store at the retirement home. It combines their “love for old people, music, and service.” Joan is a part of the choral group there and she plays the piano for several chapel services. Ted is the resident helper/fix-it man. They take people to appointments and to the grocery store. My grandma even has them book her doctors appointments to make sure they are free. If the doctor calls her about an appointment, she has them call Joan. They help the different chaplains, including my grandfather, and the different residents over the years.

They talked about my grandma as a favorite of theirs. They told me that different residents respond differently to pain and old age. Many are crotchety, but it doesn’t matter how much pain my grandmother is in she doesn’t respond grumpily. They said that they will be in the E.R with her because she is doing poorly and even then they can laugh together at something that happens. What a sign of the Spirit at work! They talked bout what a joy it is to serve here. They aren’t just serving her though, they are serving all of us who love my grandmother and can’t be there. It’s nice to know someone is watching out for her and is available if she needs. We’ve adopted them. They are such an example of a life of service lived for God. They may not have children, but their lives as a faithful man and a faithful woman have led to many spiritual children. May I live a life worthy of the call of my Savior as they have.