‘Home’ Again

It was with excitement that I boarded the plane Wednesday noon. I was going home! I wasn’t homesick but I was ready to go back and be with family and friends again for a short time after being away from home for a very busy week and a half.

I’m glad I can say that I’m excited to go back and to actually start teaching. Sometimes you can prepare for so long before you’re ready to ‘get on with it’ and get beyond the preparing part. I’m there altho not completely and comfortably prepared. Just ready to teach.

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Today we youth went canoeing ! There was a 20% chance of rain but we decided to go anyway since 20% isn’t a very big chance. A gentle rain was falling as we made our way to Boulder Dam Canoe & Kayak Rental an hour away. The gentle rain persisted as we prepared to go out on the water and it was still drizzling as we paddled out onto the river.

“Most people back out when there is a chance of rain, but you guys are a hardy bunch!” said the guy who assisted us at the Rental place.

A cold and hardy bunch we were as we continued to paddle in the now pouring rain maybe 30-45 minutes into our 2 hr. ride. Seventy degrees began to feel quite cold. The rain soon lessened and then stopped altogether but not before we were all properly drenched.

But that’s okay! We were making memories and we were in this together. When will we get the chance again to go canoeing in the pouring rain anyway??

We passed a pontoon boat loaded with ‘happy’,noisy  people.They stopped their boat to watch this group of ‘Amish’ go by  and called out to us to ‘wave’! We stayed on our side of the river and continued on our way around the bend.

We got to the end of the trip and landed our fleet of 10 canoes. We were cold, drenched from head to toe and hungry as we made our way to a park to eat our lunch.

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It was alot of fun despite the cold and rain !

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This coming week is going to be busy with final classroom decor preparations, company, an evening spent with the youth girls,and the precious time spent with family.

My ticket is bought for my return flight (home?) Friday morning! I’m excited about going back but I know I will miss home,the youth group,and Prairie church at some point in time.

Your prayers would be appreciated as I make this move and face the changes and challenges that lie ahead!

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” My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~God

Challenged Loyalty

I was up in my bedroom sorting through my collection of school and house supplies; a box for the important -must -go items and then the not-so- important /can -come- later- box ,when Amber walked into the room and began chatting.

We talked about my students and what grades I will have.She told me some fun things that Miss Rachelle did on the first day (or was it the last?)of school and I listened with interest and asked if she had any other ideas. She didn’t. Next she asked about some of the art supplies I had and I told her what I plan to do with it.She suggested I do an art project that her art teacher did and I told her maybe I will! It was  great to have her there and just talk . It seems that reality is slowly sinking in that I’ll be leaving soon to teach far away and she takes time to just be with me and talk.

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“When Austin and Logan go swimming I will stay and help you pack. You are in a good mood and I like to help you. The boys are sometimes  rude in the pool. Yesterday they shook the ladder when I was standing on it!”

“Would you mind running down to the basement and getting me a small stack of newspaper to wrap these 4 coffee cups, please?” I asked.

“Sure!” was her eager reply and she was off .

I told her she could wrap the coffee cups for me but I knew there were more somewhere so I began searching while she patiently waited. In the mean time , Austin and Logan came rushing up to their room to get changed into their swimmers.

“Audrey, would you wrap these coffee cups if I go swim?” was Amber’s question after the boys’ bedroom door slammed.

“Yes, I would.” I told her. ” I can’t find the other mugs but we’ll wrap these awhile.

“Okay. I’ll help you with these before I go.” was her reply as she began wrapping the mugs with newspaper.

A few minutes later she said,” I’m done. May I go now?”

“Yeah, you may go. Thanks for your help,” I said as she raced out the door to retrieve her swimmers!

I didn’t have much else she could have helped me with anyway and I just had to smile at her. It was easy for her to say that she would sacrifice swimming to help me when the boys weren’t swimming  but as soon as they got ready to go, oh, now that makes it a little harder to stay 🙂 She did get the mugs wrapped so she didn’t ‘forsake’ me right away!

I spent a couple hours reviewing the first grade and tried to get a better idea of what I’ll be teaching. I also spent some time packing.This time Amber was flopped on the bed with a book that I was planning to pack.Now I have to wait to pack it until she is done reading it. 🙂

I plan to be east (Maryland and Virginia) for the next 2 weeks for teachers training and also spending some time in my classroom , getting it ready for a new school term! I’m excited to see it come together in the classroom instead of it accumulating in my bedroom  😉

 

I Pledge Allegiance

“I pledge allegiance to my country. Not to some god. The country isn’t the problem; it’s the civilization.”

These words were stated in large,bold letters on the window of a little old ,pick-up truck in the Walmart parking lot.

I felt sorry for this person who obviously hasn’t found and placed his security in the One True God, but instead pledged his allegiance to a fallible and sinful country ,governed  by sinful man.

A statement which strongly stated one persons allegiance to his country got one Mennonite shopper pondering what her allegiance to Some God meant to her.

I had never really thought about it in that way before.When I became a Christian I pledged my life to Christ and promised to be faithful to Him until death no matter the costs. It took this person’s statement and Ray Boltz’s song “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb ” to realize just what those costs could be. I live in a country which still allows us to worship God without our lives being at risk. It probably isn’t going to be that way forever and I have to ask myself ,”Is my relationship with God alive enough now to be able to withstand the pressures of persecution then? Would I be able to remain faithful to God when the severe trials and tests come?” God’s grace is sufficient now and will be in that moment.

Where have you pledged your allegiance? Are you willing to die for the sake of Christ?

 

I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb

Chorus:
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.

I have heard how Christians long ago
Were brought before a tyrants throne
They were told that he
Would spare their lives
If they would renounce
The name of Christ
But one by one they chose to die
The Son of God , they would not deny.
Like a great angelic choir sings
I can almost hear their voices ring.

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.

Now the years have come
And the years have gone
And the cause of Jesus still goes on.
Now our time has come
To count the cost
To reject this world
To embrace the Cross
And one by one let us live our lives
For the One who died to give us life.
Till the trumpet sounds on the final day,
Let us proudly stand and boldly say:

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.

To the Lamb of God who bore my pain
Who took my place
Who wore my shame
I will seek to honor His commands .
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.

~Ray Boltz