Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dancing 4

If I was younger I would ask you to dance,
to feel the warmth of your embrace

If I was younger I would know just what to say,
to spur you on to great things on this day

If our lives were different we might not have to fight,
if our lives were different we might be able to see more light

The truth of our hearts, is that we were always far apart
we couldn't make it work despite so many dreams we set up

If I was younger I would be able to say
it doesn't matter there will be someone else one day

If I was younger I wouldn't have to worry,
jobs and money aren't important when you don't have to make a living

If I was younger I would climb the mountain for you,
when I got to the top I would shout out just how much I love you

My heart breaks at the thought of moving on
it isn't what I hoped and its hard to think of what is to come

If I was younger I would think before I spoke,
I would be able to encourage our lives on similar paths,
and make it last 

Christmas Lights

Days of Blogging....3

Last night I was driving home and looked around at all the Christmas lights.  It is something that I think most people take for granted.  If you have ever lived in another country or even in another place you know what I am talking about.  Christmas is just different in America.  I don't know if it is the cooler weather, or if it is the fact that every single house in my neighborhood seems to have its own personality with the various degrees of lights that make it up. 

I still just get this feeling everytime I am driving around and see Christmas lights.  I love makes me happy.  I love being back here for Christmas. 

Yet there is a part of my heart that wants to keep moving.  A part of me is scared to settle down here.  Just like the Christmas lights that only appear once a year I feel like my life is a constant change of events.  I feel like I go from one day to the next not really knowing where my stability is going to be.  Forcing me to take a deep breath and wonder when it will be my time to feel at home.  When will I be able to finally make a life for myself?  When will I feel  home?????? 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Entitlement...are we breeding it?

31 Days...... Post #2

The last few weeks I have been hit with this feeling that we in America are breeding a generation or several generations that feel entitled.  Entitled to have everything they want without working for it.  Entitled to not have to do what they don't want to do.  Entitled toward everything that past generations would have never even dreamed of having.  Why are we so entitled?  Why are the kids we are raising up becoming more and more entitled on a daily basis.  Or has it just always been this way, and I just never understood until I became 30ish?  

It makes me so very sad to look at kids/adults and see them waste a perfectly good life.  It's a waste because I feel like they just think that they are entitled to anything and everything.  It is not okay to rob people, it is not okay to talk about people behind their backs, it is not okay to disrespect your elders just because they don't do everything the way you want!  It is not okay!  Just because you are from a family that doesn't have to struggle that doesn't mean that you get to bully the rest of the world around.  That doesn't mean that your money can buy people off...or does it?  

Maybe that's it...maybe we have just become a society where the more money you have the less you have to worry about your voice being heard.  Money talks, right?  Or is it just the fact that kids know WAY more at younger ages then I would have ever DREAMED of knowing?  Maybe it is that.   I feel like I am in a world where talking about someone dying because of drugs or alcohol is just second nature.  I feel like I am in a place where there is no compassion for death, no compassion for those that are committing crimes.  

Something is wrong when people have lost their compassion and replaced it with entitlement.  Something is wrong when we can no longer look at our neighbor and see his or her pain.  Something is wrong when we ALWAYS put ourselves first.  Something is wrong when all we talk or think about is violence, or every word out of our mouth is negative.  

Something is wrong when we expect people to just give us things, and when we don't get them....instead of pushing through and figuring out a compromise...we just run away.  Or we teach our kids to just run away.  

We are ALL fighting battles that NO ONE knows about.  We are ALL walking a path that we didn't EXPECT.  We are ALL just trying to MAKE a life for ourselves.  

So why do WE think that WE DESERVE more than our neighbor.  Why do WE THINK that we don't have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes????????

Why do we feel that living in America means we are better than anyone else?  Why do we cease to see the NEEDS right around the CORNER, and instead FOCUS only on WHAT we WANT, and WHAT we will BENEFIT from whatever is going on?  



Monday, December 1, 2014

31 Days of Christmas Blogging....

Today I decided was the day...31 days of Christmas blogging.  Not sure what these next 31 days will be like, but I miss writing.  I miss just getting my thoughts out there into the world of blogs....wondering who cares enough to read it, or who might one day read it.  So here we go......

Day 31.....

There are now 30 days left till the end of the year.  I can hardly believe that another year has come and gone.  This year I started my year off in another country, wishing I was back in Missouri so I could be with a certain boy...

Well what we wish for isn't always what we really need.  It has taken a lot for me to realize that my dreams aren't necessarily what I believed them to be.  I had some tough things happen this year.   It seems tough things happen every year.  I guess that is life though, right?  Just when you think you have made it through one obstacle...BAM!  You are whacked over the head with something even more dramatic then the thing that happened before.  

When I was 16 I remember thinking...when I'm is going to be so great.  I'm going to know where I'm going...I'm going to have control over everything.  Then I turned 18, and realized it wasn't true.  So I thought....I can't wait till I turn 21....I can drink....I can be that much closer to "real life."  Then I turned 21, and guess what?????  I still had NO IDEA what I was doing.  

There were so many age milestones.....25.....30.....and now I am 33 and guess what I still have NO IDEA how to be a grown-up.  I really don't!  

The thing is though the older I get the more I just stopped caring about being a grown-up.  I don't have it all figured out.  I don't think I ever will.  I am just living my life, the best that I know how.  

These last few weeks have made me realize just how mean and cruel people can be.  Sometimes we are mean because we are hearing truth from others that we don't want to hear.  Sometimes we are mean because we aren't getting our way. Sometimes we are mean because we feel like it is the only way to protect ourselves from getting hurt.  Sometimes we are mean because we feel like if we are nice people might see the real us, and might see the vulnerability that is inside.  

For me the next 30 days I want to be about being vulnerable.  About being real.  About not hiding behind this mask that I have created for myself, and about loving those around me.  

Love means being vulnerable.  Love means opening up to whatever comes your way.  Love means letting go of all the apprehension and judgement that we feel and just being us.  Being the imperfect, human beings that we were created to be.  In this great big mess of a world....I am happy to just be me.  


Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Blog About Nothing

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a different time. A time that doesn't really exist, but in my own mind. Do you ever feel like that? Lost in your own thoughts, afraid that the reality you have built for yourself isn't really reality at all. Like yesterday when I cheered my heart out for things that were so not n my control. Sports....I love this season, when football and baseball are happening at the exact same time. I love that both the Royals and the Cardinals are in the playoffs. I love the feel of fall, but as I screamed and shouted yesterday I realized just how crazy it is that we pay to watch people play a game.

Don't get me wrong I know it's a lot of pressure for them, a lot of training, and a lot of time. But it just doesn't make sense. How many millions of dollars we spend on our favorite teams when there our kids in our backyards who can't read, write, or eat.

I'm guilty, I know I am. I don't do near what I could do. I know I could do 

How do I see beyond the complacency of my own self?

How so I realize that I am not just caught up in my own reality, but everyone else's ?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

No longer 32

My birthday week has past....I got strep throat, and it just made me realize how thankful I am for my health. I have never had strep as an adult and it kicked my butt!

I did get to go to the MU opener and am just so thankful I live in the US to experience life this way.

I'm excited about the future.

I'm excited to get my life together, become debt free....and learn and grow more in a Gods love everyday.

I hope to share His love and be who He wants me to be!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back to Blogging

I feel like I have been neglecting my writing. I feel overwhelmed with life right now, and trying to settle into a routine is a bit harder than I imagined. I think it might be fine if it was just me I was worried about, but it isn't. I don't want to become a hermit, but I find myself just wanting to stay home most nights. I also find myself working on school stuff and never being caught up. 

Does life just keep getting busier with no way to stop you're feet from running to keep up? Maybe I have already lived out the slow-paced part of my life. Perhaps this new journey will be helping me to embark on the busiest years.

Here I am, back in Missouri. Teaching at a place I never thought I would teach, and an age group I honestly thought I wasn't meant for. But I'm loving it. I'm loving the fact that I can get in my car everyday and drive to work, the store or wherever I need to be. I'm loving the fact that I can say I'm praying for you and it is received with no condemnation. I'm loving the fact that I don't have to be worried about making a mistake.

A year ago I was on a plane to Kuwait. Today my life feels very much the opposite of that. I'm thankful for the journey of last year. It helped me to see where I should go from here. It helped me to be more patient, more kind, and more understanding. As a teacher, as a friend, and as a member of the community. I don't just want to settle back into the American way of life. I want to forever understand my community from the glasses I gained while I was overseas. 

To see people through their lenses, to understand that we aren't perfect, and to be able to bring about change.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Marshmallow and hot dogs on a stick!

That's I experienced the Filipino way to eat hot dogs...with a marshmallow on top. Ummm....I didn't participate in case you were wondering. I don't think my body could handle the hot dogs pretty sure the two mixed together would be horrible! Yikes! 

What struck me though is that might be the only part of this culture that I have learned about. That thought makes me so sad because I know that these people have roots and culture. I know that there is so much more to this country than what I have experienced. But it seems to be hidden beneath piles of deceit. Around every corner I hear desperation...I see people being used...people being misunderstood. How do we notice the world around us, when we feel like we are locked away from the truth of it?

I'm not leaving dissatisfied with my time here, but I am leaving wishing that I had known more. Wishing that I could have formed bonds that couldn't be so easily broken or torn apart. Wishing that the protective bubbles could be a little less and the vulnerability a little more.

 My students...they will be what I remember. Their quirky personalities. The way they changed and grew, but mostly the smiles and laughs I heard today!

Friday, June 6, 2014



It has become a norm in my life. I have left so many places that I'm not actually sure what it might feel like to be somewhere for longer than 5 years. I want that though. A place to dig roots, to be a part of community. I almost had it once, but it wasn't time. 

So, here I am preparing to leave yet again. Excited to see what the next chapter brings...but also sad to say farewell. 

I have learned a lot this year. Starting in one country and moving to another. I have found my voice this year. A voice that I have been afraid of before now. My voice may not have been listened to, but I at least found it.

Life isn't easy when confined to the school grounds...but it has taught me to be thankful. 

I will leave here changed.....and perhaps a little more distrusting, but I will leave knowing where I belong...finally knowing where I need to be.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Coffee, Massage, and chicken wrap...

Today I decided to venture outside of the mall box that has been my social life for the past 8 months. I ventured into this place called Korea Town....which is basically our own little version of "Little Korea." It came about because last weekend we ventured out and I realized that there were great places around without having to go to the mall. Now I still have to take the school shuttle, but at least this way I don't have to fight for a seat at Starbucks. I don't have to make my way through crowds of people just to get groceries. I can simply just grab an hour massage, a cup of coffee...and be me without anyone else around. Even my current view is amazingly beautiful. 

So, I guess the moral of this story is, when you find yourself in a rut. When you feel like you just want to be something to make yourself happy. For me massages, writing and coffee make me happy. Especially when I am so far away from home and people that I love. 

Scenery makes me happy. Just observing the world around me. I need to do more of that for the next month. I need to pray more and let my heart feel love. 

I haven't been able to do that because is have been wrapped up in my own depression....but today I start fresh. 

And enjoy the view!

And the coffee!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Career Changes?

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to teach. I'm good at it...I like doing it. But what if this restlessness I've been feeling is because I need to do something more? What if I need to look broader then the classroom. What if I need to expand into places beyond my reach? 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Tonight I decided to break away from my routine and come to a place where I could hang out drink some coffee and be away from the stress of living and working in the same place. In a week and a half I will go home. I'm so excited, this might actually be the most ready I have ever been to go back to the states. I mean I'm really ready. So ready in fact that I probably will have a really hard time coming back. I'm trying really hard to just enjoy the time I have. To see bast the obstacles that are slapping me in the face and to realize how lucky I am to be living here for this time. Instead I continue to get caught up in the negatives. I continue to just hope the days disappear, quickly. I don't really want life to pass me by. I don't really want to wake up and realize that I have no idea where the time went. But I also don't want to be unhappy. I want purpose again. I want love, and I want to understand the kids that I teach. 

I continue to get slammed with the fact that my students have no idea what the word independence means. They may never get it. Even the people I work with freak out when their nannies are gone for one day. Seriously? I don't know how to deal with that kind of life. I don't want to know either. 

How do I live in a world that treats people like crap because they make less money, or come from the wrong country? It makes me sick. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why I chose It Works! Global for my business...

Pretty much my whole life I have been in debt and overweight.  I am pretty sure that I can count only 2 seasons in my life when I felt good about what I looked like and the amount of money I was making.  I have never felt sorry for myself, well not for longer than a few minutes at a time anyways.  Mostly because I have seen how people in third world countries live, and I know that I do not have it rough at all.  I know that I should be thankful for all that I have been given. 

I can't help though but feel like I could do something more to change these two things.  They are my downfalls, the things that I just really do not like about myself.  I have sought out supplemental income while teaching, and even while not teaching.  I mean last year I was working a full-time job and a part-time job plus living with my Dad and Step-Mom to try and pay off some debt.  I still have just felt overwhelmed with how much money I owe for an education that I am thankful to have. 

I had looked into a couple of direct sale companies.  In fact I almost signed up right before I decided to go overseas again.  Looking back now I am so thankful that I didn't go that direction.  Not because that company isn't great, but because of the journey I have been embarking on for the last year. 

I want to be healthy...not just lose weight, but live a lifestyle that is healthy.  I have been juicing for a couple of months now.  I wish I could say that the weight has just melted off, but it hasn't.  I do feel better about myself though and I have a lot more energy.  It is funny how much energy I actually have when I juice, eat lots of greens, and work out.

For a couple of months I have been seeing this "crazy wrap thing" pop up on my FB feed, instagram, and here in the last two weeks twitter.  I actually didn't really pay any attention to it.  I checked out some of the before and after pics and then just kind of let it disappear from my mind.  I mean I am in the middle of trying to once again find another job.  So, don't really have time to be looking into businesses, and I will admit that I kind of thought that it was all a big scam.  I mean...come on a wrap? 

Then one of my friends from RH messaged me and asked me to check it out.  As soon as I did I knew that this is what I had been looking for.  First of all it is a team environment...people that actually care about you and want to see you succeed.  Second of all and maybe this should be the most important, this is a company that is helping people get out of debt.  My goal for myself is to be debt free.  I am really, really tired of living from paycheck to paycheck with no savings, and no way to even save with the income I am making now.  I want to pay off my college loans, my car, and my credit cards.  I want to be free of financial burden, but I am want to do something that helps sustain lives. 

I believe in the It Works! Global products.  I believe in the wrap, the greens, but most of all I believe in the company. 

A year ago I would have never dreamed I would be doing this.  I'm a teacher that's what I do, but what if my dream is bigger than just teaching (not that teaching is bad, because it isn't).  What if there are bigger plans in store for me, once I am debt free.  I have always felt like the fact that I was in so much debt has held me back from things that I really need and want to do.  So, this is why I am taking this step.  Living debt free is important, but living a healthy life is even more important. 

Here's to a new adventure...maybe some of you will join me for the ride! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Looking ahead...

Today I signed up for It Works.  I am pretty much super excited about the opportunity to get healthy and be debt free through this company.  Hoping for a great start, and hoping even more that this brings new things to my life. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Looking up, and hoping for some direction

I find myself back to blogging after a few days off, and really have missed it.  I am one of those people that just needs to write.  If I don't find myself writing for a few days then I find myself in a lousy mood, taking everything personally.  For instance today I woke up to go downstairs and see this note written by someone that I live with.  Now my living arrangements suck for a 32 year old single woman.  I live in these dorm-like accomadations that are really meant for the students since this is a boarding school.  Since there aren't enough students to fill the space, well there are teachers that live here.  Now this arrangement might not be so bad in a place where people actually wanted to get to know one another.  Or it might not be so bad if I had people like I had my first year in Thailand, who were actually eager to get to know who I am as a person.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  So anyways...I woke up to this note talking about how we all need to be quiet past 10pm etc.  Okay, I get it...yes we should be considerate.  However the note was directed at me, and I knew it.  See, I had 2 interviews last weekend for jobs, and they went WAY past 10pm.  However it doesn't happen that often and I didn't really feel like I was being that loud.  Here is where I get frustrated though...instead of coming to me and saying "hey can you try not to have calls past 10"  No instead of doing that, a note was written on the board to everyone.  Okay there are only 6 of us living here, so ofcourse we all know who you are directing that to.  Come on!  Let's be adults, please.  Another thing is that one of the people that was complaining has violin lessons for students all day on Saturdays and Sundays usually starting at 8:00 am. I complain about that waking me up?  No actually I don' you know I feel like my TWO times of having late night Skype chats do not warrant getting all huffy when I put up with being woken up at 8:00am on both Saturdays and Sundays to squeaky violin lessons. 

This is just one of my many rants today.  I know that this probably isn't blog worthy, but it just has me thinking about perspective and how selfish we are.  I mean I completely know I am being selfish...because I want to be able to live my life without having to consider 5 other people every time I decided to stay up past 10:00pm.  The truth is though that I have to stop being selfish and I have to think of others.  But I also have to get the heck out of here, and settle somewhere else  I don't want to be here anymore.  It is turning me into a person that I don't like.  I don't feel close to anyone and I am tired of just living life as a zombie....not really caring about things and going through the motions. 

I want friends, I want a social life.  I want to do something other than sit in my room on the weekends.  I want to be able to go to the park without fear of being kidnapped for ransom.  I want to be able to drive and just walk along the river.  I want to be able to live...and I can't live here.  I can't just be me.  I am this person that I don't even want to be around.  I am someone right now that has lost myself, and in so doing I am pushing people away.  I know I am doing this, but I don't really think I want or care to stop. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

There's less noise in the Philippines

Today I took my bi-weekly trip off the "compound."  I don't really live on a compound but sometimes it feels like it.  We even have a goat grazing back behind our school.  I mean we all live and work in this gated community with armed guards.  That kind of signifies a compound, right? 

Anyways, today I was in the van, and just looking around at all the traffic.  Just like many other places I have been the traffic laws are a little bit relaxed around here.  It is not complete chaos, but it is just there is no real order to who goes first.  So....I was thinking about this and the lack of horns...and I just became really impressed with that part of this culture.  The laid back part.  Most of the time it drives me crazy, but tonight I thought....if we were in America, people would be honking their horns, shouting and in some areas be resorting to violence.  So, for tonight sitting in the midst of traffic...waiting I was glad to be in a place that is laid back, and relaxed.   Interesting life. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A job interview and a new beginning..

I've been trying really hard not to get hopeful or discouraged by the crazy amount of jobs I have applied for.  But when you have two job interviews lined up, it is hard to not at least be somewhat hopeful.  I want a good job.  I want a job that I can excel at.  I want a place to call home, a place where I can share love to those that may not have it. 

I'm pretty excited by the prospect of both jobs that I will be interviewing at, but I am also a little apprehensive.  The thing is that I have never in my life moved to a city in the United States where I didn't already know a least a handful of people.  Sure I worked at RH, and then later moved there, but I had the RH I already had friends out there.  Otherwise my life in the states has consisted of 2 places, and both those places have held memories and people that I love.  So the prospect of moving to a town in America where I know absolutely no one...well it kind of freaks me out. 

Right now there are people reading this that think I am crazy.  I are saying to yourself..."she has lived all over the world, but she can't live in KC, Missouri?"  Ha!  You would be absolutely right.  You see there is this certain pressure that is taken off of you when you move overseas.  Oh sure there are struggles, but they are different kind of struggles.  I am not saying that I wasn't ever lonely while living overseas, because trust me there have been plenty of times when I have been lonely.  What I am saying is that it is a different kind of lonely.  When you are in America and you can speak the same language as the people around you expect to not be lonely.  You expect to be able to make friends and fit in.  But it isn't always so easy.  I am just saying that there is some pressure in starting over again.  I am excited about what it will entail, but I am also scared to death about the person I am fitting back into the Missouri mold. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Finding Myself in Social Media

This weekend I really started a twitter account.  I have been using IG (Instagram) for a few weeks now and love it.  I have been able to connect with people all over the world, and it is awesome!  I am so excited.  I also signed up for this online class that was free.  It is actually a health class that talks about the four most common diseases.  I am really trying hard to kick all the bad habits I have started along the way, and get myself as organic as possible.  It is tough sometimes, but it is worth it.  I want to be happy and healthy.  I don't want to wake up one day and realize that I have ruined my life just because I didn't feel like caring. 

Social Media to me is inspiring.  I am finding myself hooked to my iPad and in some ways I know that it is probably creating an addiction in me.  In other ways though I am thankful for a connection to the outside world.  I am stuck away from family and friends, and sometimes it gets lonely.  I have found that FB, IG and Twitter make the world a little more bearable and a little less small. 

Connections are my life..people are my life.  I am thankful that this world is a place where we can connect with others from an ocean away. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Forever start....

One of my very best friends since junior high just had a birthday the other day.  In our talking she was saying how she is going to stay 32 forever.  I won't even mention that other age here, just because I don't want to let that age seem like it is going to be a part of my life.  At first I just thought....oh one year older, but then I got to thinking about it, and I don't really want to be that other age either.  We had some fun IG action, and so I we go...Forever 32 its the new forever 21.  

The biggest difference is that as a 32 year old I feel like I know so much more about life than a 21 year old does.  If I could go back to my 21 year old self, and give advice I totally would here are a few things I would say....

*stop trying to be older than you are.  You will miss the years that are to be used as the traditional fun years.
*don't care so much about what you wear, how you look in order to please others....just do what you can to feel good about yourself.
*read as many books as you can while you have free time, because once you hit 25...your free time disappears
*don't drink your life can't get back anything especially what you don't remember
*laugh often
*write often
*don't be afraid to get your heartbroken it really does heal, and you really do learn from it
*try something new every month
*make lots of friends....but not so many that all your friendships are superficial
*don't be afraid to let people go
*be open to living a different life than others, it is okay if you don't have kids by the time you are 32
*really look at what you out the truth, don't just believe what you think you should believe
*spend time with your grandparents, there is no way to know how many days you have left
*be open to criticism and suggestions
*don't spend money that you don't have
*laugh at your mistakes
*say a kind word to someone everyday

I am sure that I could keep writing, but for now that will be the end of my list.  I am excited about the journey I am on. Here's to being Forever 32....

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Transitional Places

Tonight I don't have a whole lot to say, but there are a couple of thoughts that have been running through my head.  What if some places and times are just meant as transitional to get you into the next big phase of your life.  I know some people only believe in moments of time...and aren't big picture people...but it has occurred to me that Kuwait to the Philippines just might have been a transitional time for me.  A year to just step back and go into the next big phase.  It might just be me being hopeful...but for some reason I feel like I am right about this.  College was a transitional time.  It is the normal transitional time.  As I think about it, I feel like Egypt was probably another transitional time.  I don't think that college really brought me into adulthood.  I think that living thousands of miles away in a country that had a different culture and background...well that helped me grow up real fast.  

I feel like forever I have thought that each step that we take has to be the next step in a chapter.  That it has to be this great chapter, and that there can't be anything straying and no reading between the lines.  But maybe there isn't one huge chapter after another.  Maybe there are quotes in between the chapters.  Maybe being here is like my quote.  The preface to what is to come.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Born a Native English Speaker

Many days I forget what it means to be born a native English speaker.  Sometimes I think that I even forget that I had to learn English myself.  I wasn't just speaking it the minute that I opened my eyes.  English takes time, concentration, and desire.  But what I sometimes just can't let go of is the fact that I was born into a world where I would be a Native English Speaker.  I didn't earn it, I didn't do anything to get the title of American.  I was just a little town in Missouri...and that sealed my destiny.  

I have been able to see so many things in my adult life.  I have been able to live out dreams that other people will only just dream about.  I have been able to examine cultures from inside the walls of the country.  But what I still just can't seem to grasp is the idea of sending your child away to a foreign country in order to learn English.  I am not talking about adult children.  I am talking about Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th and 5th graders.  I sort of understand middle school parents being willing to send their kids away.  Although I am sort of joking there is a part of me that taught  6th grade, and having been in junior high once...well I might even consider it myself when I get to that point.  But really my point is that I don't know the desperation that it takes to want to send my child to another place, to not see their face that they will speak English.  

I am not in any way saying that parents that do this are horrible.  I know that most of the time it is because they honestly believe this is what is best for the child.  But as I listened to a boy literally sobbing today...a 2nd grader because he missed his parents so much I had to wonder.  Is it really worth it?  

Another thing I wonder about is just plopping your Non-English speaking child into a classroom where the ONLY language that is spoken is English.  I had an experience the other day.  I was with mostly Koreans.  The primary language that was being spoken was Korean.  We stopped and something was said in Korean then all the Koreans started getting up and leaving the bus.  Well....the non-Korean speaking people on the bus just sat there wondering what the heck was going on.  One of the other people stated...guess this is what our students feel like when we give directions and they don't understand a word that we say.  Yep...must be.  I wonder how effective is it to throw a child into a classroom and expect them to excel?  More than that how effective is it to ask a teacher to differentiate for 20-30 kids in a classroom when each level is completely different Native speaker or Non-native it doesn't matter.  

I just don't know that I understand how we can just say it is okay.  Despite the fact that they have no idea what is being taught or said.  

It just makes me sad...and hurt because English isn't really that great.  America really isn't that great.  But we have been set apart as the people to be like and the place to go.  What are we doing with that fame?  What are we doing with that popularity?  I am not sure that much good is coming out of it.  But we sure do know how to boast about ourselves, don't we.  

If you weren't a native English speaker, what would you be willing to sacrifice just so your kids could speak English and do something with their lives?  

Would you be willing to do whatever it takes?  

We throw education away....we take it for granted...and yet millions of children around the world are busting their butts just to be able to go and study in the place that we live our day to day....

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Just some culture

Yesterday I went on a trip with some Koreans, another American, and a Nigerian.  The funny thing to me is that you could tell we were in an Asian country because of this picture...see the umbrella.  It's not being used for rain :)  Only people that have lived in Asia will understand what I mean by that.  

It was a super fun day.  Not fun in the amount of conversation that I had, but fun in the amount of culture that I was able to experience.  Most beaches in America you will find towels and people laying out to bask in the sun.  Our first island hopping stop was to an island that only had a 103 step climb to the top.  There was nothing sand to lay out on...just some hiking.  So....I put on the ballet flats I just happened to bring, because flip flops, just aren't for climbing steep steps.  And I climbed....even though I was huffing and puffing!  I climbed and was able to stand at the top of a beautiful tropical paradise that hasn't been built on, it hasn't been littered with trash...and it hasn't really been made into a tourist trap.  

After we hung out on that island for about 30 minutes we hopped back into the boat...ha ha literally and we went to another island.  It was here that I was struck once again with the fact that American beaches are so different than Asian ones.  As I put my blanket down in the sun to lay out, I looked around.  There was not one other person laying out in the sun.  Sure some were playing in the water (mostly kids).  But most were in the shade.  It struck me...and I was just in awe once again at the differences.  We want to be tan...they want to be pale.  

Our third island we went took a couple of pictures....

When we got back to the shore...we got in the bus, started backing up and then heard a loud POP.  So......the gasket had broken on the bus.  We sat on the bus for FOUR hours while it got fixed.  I am not totally for sure how that would have changed had we been in America, and it probably wouldn't have, but I can tell you that it was crazy!  Four hours.....on a bus....

Then we drove four hours to get back to the dorm.  

Except right before we arrived 10:00pm....we stopped for dinner.  

All I wanted to do was go home and sleep....all I wanted to do was sleep.  However eating Korean food, talking and spending time was part of the experience.  I am thankful that I got off of that bus and ate food for a couple of hours...drank a little bit and just had fun.  

When I think of good experiences, this will be one of the best.  I am thankful for the opportunity to go and see another part of creation. 

One more boat ride...

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to Hundred Islands.  It was amazing....super fun, and super exhausting.  I went with the Chairman of our school, and the Korean group he has visiting here.  It was amazing to see the aqua blue water.  To hear the waves splashing along the shore, and to just be away from everything.  While I was sitting on the beach I thought about the different boats and islands I have visited in all the places I have lived.  I thought about the very first time that I road in a boat in another country.  Cairo....riding down the Nile.  How long ago that feels.  No motor, just oars...pushing against the bottom of the river.  I'm amazed at just how different life seems now.  My first job, my first foreign country.  If you had asked me then if I would be feeling the way I am now, I would have definitely thought that you were crazy.  I never thought that I would be in the place I am right now.  I never thought that I would be ready to settle in Missouri.  I never thought I would be at a place where I was ready to just be part of the American dream.  

My next boat ride....Thailand.  I rode many different types of boats in Thailand.  Boats up and down the river, boats down small among many different people groups.  It was a very joyous time in my life.  A time when I was defined by my job and by those around me.  A time when I thought that I was living the dream.  Doing what I could to share my faith of God.  I will never forget seeing blue, sky blue water for the first time.  It was amazing!  I was in awe of the beauty.  All I had seen before was California grey.  Although very beautiful, it doesn't seem to compare.  So much beauty...

Other boat rides have included Vietnam...and more recently the Philippines.  

Yesterday as we came back from the island I had this overwhelming sense that this might be my very last boat road overseas.  It wasn't a sad was more of a knowledge that was peaceful.  It was a feeling that I needed to acknowledge.  For the first time in my life, I was completely okay with not going on another boat trip.  I was and am completely okay if I don't make it to Bali, or Italy.  I have been able to see places and meet people that I would not otherwise have seen or met.  I have been able to experience culture right in the midst of it.  I have been able to ride boats in 5 different countries, and be allow the gentle movement of the waves to show me who I am now, and what I have to look forward to. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

The BEACH!!!!!

For the first time since leaving Cali this summer I am going to the BEACH!  Hundred Islands, which is supposed to be amazingly beautiful.  We leave at 5:30 AM.  I wish it was the excitement that was keeping me awake, but I think it is more like the 5 hour nap I took from 5:00pm-10:00pm tonight.  Whoops!  Oh well.  I am just super excited to be going to a beach!  It is one of my favorite places to be...listening too the waves, and not having anything to do other than just be.  I will be taking my kindle for some light reading, but hoping to take lots of pictures, and just enjoy creation! 

Late night thoughts about the future....

I'm super excited that I am going to be back in Missouri in April.  I am not even sure if I can hold back my enthusiasm for a place that I never thought I would be this excited to be going to.  

I have thought about the last time I was going back to MO, and how I knew that it would just be a temporary time.  I don't know how but my heart and my thoughts have completely changed.  I no longer care to see the world.  I no longer feel that I am being called to a life in another country.  I long to just be back in Missouri.  I long to find a job where I can be for the next 15-20 years or more.  A place to settle down, have a family and get to experience life, being able to just live without the day to day feeling of not understanding the culture that I live in.  

I am not saying that there won't be days when I just want to leave it all and head back overseas.  I also do not think that I will always understand my life in America.  But I want it.  I want to live within driving distance of my family.  I want to be able to just be me, and not live up to the expectation of perfection that I have been trying to live up to for the past 10 years or so.  

So...I am coming back....first for a visit in April and then for good in June.  

I'm excited and nervous...and hopeful.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Life isn't about the days or weeks that pass you's about the moments that you live

The second day of 2014....I wish I could say that I did something amazing.  I wish I could say that I had the time of my life, but I didn't.  I did start out my day sleeping in and reading a book.  I spent today thinking about all the things that I have done during my life, and what I still want to accomplish.  I was thinking about patience.  That's my word for the day.  Patience is needed to figure out what my purpose in life is, what is life anyways?  We each have our own moments, we each of our own thoughts.  I wonder if I were to go back to my 9 year old self and ask questions about my life.  I wonder if my dreams really have come true?  Have I lived up to my name?  Do I take risks?  

I hope and pray that in the moments ahead I can take them one at a time.  I hope that every moment I am able to be patient and not hope for the next.  I want to live, and breathe.  To be healthy and know at the end of my days that I did the best that I could.  That I loved the best that I could, that I lived to change the world around me.  

Is that teaching?  I am not sure....but I will continue on, until I figure it out.  

Today's  moments were spent reading, writing, thinking, praying, and communicating.  What will tomorrow's moments bring?  Not sure yet, but I will live each one to its fullest!  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 begins...and so I leave behind the past and look to the future...

I'm not really sure why it has taken me this long to realize that I have been a prisoner to my past.  I have allowed my past to rule my heart, my head and my decisions.  I started 2013 off in a very sad state.  Mostly a result of decisions that I had made that affected someone else.  But in the past few days I have had a chance to look at all the decisions that I made this year, to look at the person that I have become and decide that I don't want to be this person anymore.  

For reasons that I won't got into, I have turned into a person that doesn't trust others.  I mean I have always had a hard time with trust, but I think the past 5 years especially I have really just allowed those feelings to dictate every part of who I am and the things I do and say.  I have always been a glass half empty kind of person, but not as much as I feel like I have been in the past 5 years.  What happened to make me see the world in this light?  What happened to allow me to not be true to the voice of reason that told me, yes people will hurt you, but you still must love?

I am not sure.  Well actually I am quite sure, but once again I don't think it is something that needs to be addressed on a public blog.  

What I do have to say is this.  No more...I am not going to allow my past to dictate who I am today.  I will allow it to shape me and mold me and allow me to see from other's viewpoints.  I will not allow it to tear me down and allow me to be the insecure person that I am right at this moment.  

So this year is for me.  This year is a chance to step back and say, who do I want to be.  How do I want to get back the parts of me that were stolen by people that I trusted.  How do I want to make myself a better person so that I am someone that can be a good wife and mother one day.  I want that.  I don't want to be so emotionally messed up that I miss the opportunity, or that I am too blinded by my own insecurities that I allow someone to pass me by.  

I am doing a word, a quote and a verse each day.  I am going to be writing like crazy.  I am going to be blogging everyday, in hopes that I can understand what this life holds for me.  What is the purpose for me?  I want to understand where I should be in this world, and who I should be with.  Not just a mate, but friends, and community.  Where do I fit in?  How do I settle down and make my life count for something?  I can't continue to hop from one place to the next forever.  

These thoughts have never occurred to me.  In fact until now I have been content with jumping from one place to the next.  I have been content with the thought of living in a new country every few years.  But I can say for the first time in my life...I want a place to settle.  I want a place to truly belong, and I want people around me that will be there through the good and the bad.  I want to have a home.  

So for 2014...I have big ambitions.  But I also know in my heart that there is a place for me.  I know that there is a place that needs me, and I know there is a place where I can use my strengths and weaknesses to change my corner of the world.