Shout out to Dom for the catchy title (thanks, Dom)! This has been, by far, the most exciting week! For the first time, I really began enjoying my job. I wish I had remembered that is does take time to get to know your kids. I also wish I could give you more detail about each of the kid's individual "story", but I want be respectful of them. However, I do want to say that they are the most loving and life-filled kids I know! I am continually amazed at their spirit and enthusiasm. They are real inspiration. Just to share a little bit about the start of each school day...we begin each day with a class devotion and prayer time. I usually find a verse for the day and we talk about how it relates to our lives. We end by sharing prayer requests and praying. Shame on me for being so negative and complaining because I am the first person my kids shout out when I ask for prayer requests. Quickly after they mention my name, they ask that we pray for my family and Tibby (they love my cat). I wish you all could hear these kids pray! And man-oh-man do they love to pray! It is a true blessing being able to work in a school where God is a priority and you can openly share His word with your students and colleagues.
I have to say that I am rather proud of myself because I started learning how to drive a stick-shift this week! Whether you can believe this or not, I can be a little "high maintenance" and never learned how to drive a stick. Learning to drive a stick-shift, especially on the roads of Honduras, was a very exhilarating feeling! Hopefully I will be a pro before you know it!
Okay, coolest part of the week...getting to meet the PRESIDENT OF HONDURAS!!! In Honduras, they celebrate many awesome holidays (we could really learn from them). On Friday, we celebreated Dia del Ninos, or Children's Day. Well, I like to think that our school is very lucky because the President's helicopter pad is literally in our backyard. It is located right outside my window, so it is a daily occurrence for our lessons to be (pleasantly) interrupted by his helicopter taking-off or landing. Since it was such a special holiday, we were planning a fun celebration for the kids; the parents were bringing in traditional food and we were going to watch a movie. Around 9 in the morning, we heard the sirens leading Don Pepe to the heli-pad. My students happened to be outside for P.E. when I heard them yelling for us to come outside. Once all the students and teachers ran outside, Pepe was already surrounded by the kids. As I found out later, it is fairly normal for him to stop by and visit with our students. Because I was a new teacher, and following cultural custom, he grabbed my hand and leaned in to kiss me on the cheek...way cool, right? He spoke some English and told me that he was happy I was here in Honduras. That isn't even the best part...all of a sudden, he pulls out his phone and calls in pizza, burgers, chicken, candy, pinatas, and toys for the whole school. Once he ended the call, all of his servicemen take out their phones and start calling. It was just incredible to watch because that would never happen in the states. Before he left, he told us that he would be back at another time for us to enjoy a ride in his helicopter! Later in the afternoon, like he promised, the goodies arrived!! I have never seen so much food! It was by far, the coolest experience!!!
Now that I have shared the experiences of the week, I have just a few insights into my mind and heart for the past week. After my streak of no crying, I broke down on Tuesday. Tuesday was Leia's 16th birthday and it hurt my heart that I could not be there to celebrate with her. As an older sister, while I try not to be a second mom, I love my sister more than anything else in this world. She is my best friend and I want so much to be there for her. I feel like she is the older sister sometimes because she is the one who consoles me when I am crying and upset. Needless to say, I am very grateful for her and her understanding.
Now for the uber girly stuff...many of you know that I am chronically single. I haven't seen many relationships in my day and I have spent the last couple of years working to find confidence in being a single woman. I know what some of you are thinking, "Lauren, you're only 24!", "Why are you so worried. You have your whole life to be married." Yes, I agree with all of these statements, but that doesn't take away the desires of my heart. God has really been incredible and has allowed me to discover myself within the last couple of years. There was a time when I thought the end of relationships were the end of me. My identity was not of who I was but who I was with someone. Within the last year, I really lost the desire for dating and being in a relationship. I found happiness in being me and experiencing life as a single woman. Even better, God opened the door to Honduras and I KNEW that I could not do this if I were in a relationship. Well, I don't know if the devil is trying to get me down or God is opening my heart, but my desire for love is definitely on the rise. This has always been difficult for me because I have always been the "single" one, always watching from the sidelines. As I said in my last post, God is working in me...I can feel it everday. Sometimes I think I can physically feel Him working in my heart and my life. Right now, at this very moment, my heart is longing for something that I cannot physically see, nor can I even begin to wrap my mind around. Like the worry-wart I am, my constant thought is, "You will be the old maid with a house full of cats." On the other hand, I try to encourage myself with the thought that God would not place a desire in my heart if He did not have the intention of fulfilling it. I was talking to a friend tonight and told him that I have the hardest time being still. I believe I spoke about this some last time. If God is trying to show me anything, I really believe He is teaching me how to be still in Him. (Side Note: I have been thinking about getting a tattoo of something regarding "being still". Thoughts? Sorry, mom and dad). I also had a really great conversation with my parents about what all I was feeling and what I was wanting for the future, notice I said what "I" want. If you asked me where I would have wanted my life to be at this very moment, I would have told you that I would want to be married, living in our own little house (preferrably near family), teaching in a school, volunteering in some way, and taking cooking classes (I've really been into the cooking thing lately). Funny when you look at my life and it is absolutely nothing like that. I think that God really finds it hilarious when we try to make plans and when we think that we know what is best for our lives. I think I can actually hear the laugther...
I apologize if I have been rambling. Honestly, I feel like my heart and my head are working overtime wtih all of my emotions lately. Much like how I left you last week, my prayer for you and I is that we find a way to be still and hopeful in our God's promises and plans. Another friend told me that we need to wake up and go to sleep thanking God. Even in the moments when we can't seem to find anything positive, thank God. Thank Him for having it all planned out so that we don't have to worry. I have not fully grasped this concept yet, but I'm working on it. ;o)