Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Happy Hearts Day


Everyone is posting about Valentines day so I figure I should join the crowd. ;)

Love is the most powerful emotion in the world.  The most fulfilling, yet the most painful.  I think I got a taste of true sacrificial love today.  If you love someone, you put their needs above your own.  No matter the cost.

I bonded with a little boy the past few days.  He arrived Friday, a little three year old shy, scared and quiet baby.  We bonded instantly.  He wouldn't leave my arms.  He screamed and fought when I left him and my heart broke every time I heard him crying.
We were becoming too close.  Whenever I was busy he would sit quietly and wait until I was done and instantly grab my hand and come close as soon as I finished.  He watched me if I left his side, and instantly darted to me if he thought I was actually leaving.   I knew I had to start separating myself.  I have a little less then a week left., and to have me leave will be even more traumatic.  It will be hard on him, he is to young to understand.
The past couple of days I continually slipped away when I got him playing with the other kids and encouraged everyone else to take him from me, even when he screamed.  Oh yes my selfish little heart wanted him all to myself, but I knew that was what was best.  And then for the big transition, yesterday I left him.  All day.  I missed him, but I knew it was good for both of us.  Upon returning the following morning he would not look at me.  His eyes were downward, he would cry if I came near, and I think I officially feel like I was punched in the gut.  I love that little boy.  With his big chubby cheeks, and toothless grin. His pudgy short little legs, and the way his hand wrapped around mine.  But because I love him so much, I'm willing to step back.  He will NEVER remember this, he's not going to remember some girl he used to love on all the time, and he will never understand why I left and why I drew back.  But I will, and I know it is best.  But that does not stop the pain I feel; its hard to see his face and hear him with out having to fight back tears.  It may have only been a short 5 days, but I love that boy with all of my heart. We clicked instantly, he fit perfectly in my arms.   Real love protects.  When you truly love someone, you do everything you can to protect them.  A love that comes from God is about giving of yourself.   So he may never know how much of my heart he has, but I am so thankful I got him for 5 wonderful days.   And I am honored to be able to show him my love in this way, even though he may never know how much this girl loves her boy!
Everyday I will pray that he finds a family, a mama that loves him more than life itself. A daddy that teaches him to be a man and he knows the kind of love he so desperately wants. I hope someday he has a relationship with Christ so that I may see my boy when we're both home.  And I hope someday he knows the true definition of love; sacrifice.

"Love is patient, love is kind. 
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no records of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Moments of beauty


I remember how incredibly blessed I am just to be living my life the way I am when...

I walk in to a room full of little boys and my hair all done up for church; and they immediately start playing with it. They run their grubby hands through my hair and when gotten after they very carefully and respectfully remove their hands and take turns gently kissing my hair with their just as grubby lips.

I walk in to the house in the morning and I'm attacked and kissed by 11 crazy little boys and told how much they missed me.

A 4 year old come and places his hands on my cheeks and kisses my forehead. Whispers, "I love you." Then kisses my nose, both of my eyes, kisses my cheeks and then plants a big sloppy one on my mouth and walks away.

A special needs child comes and sits in my lap and sure, she is dirty, she has some type of illness that is highly contagious, she's causing a ruckus and interrupting things and being loud, but the smile you see on her face is worth it.

I am reading a book and it suddenly becomes a huge cuddle pile full of laughter and hugs.

One of my babies is clinging to me and I have no desire to ever let him go.

One of my boys comes and wraps their arms around my waist for a second then runs off to play.

I'm bathing someone and they are being as uncooperative as possible; dancing around and wiggling about and I end up soaking wet and laughing.

I'm sitting at a table full of children and watch them laughing and talking and seeing the joy in their faces.

When I'm singing worship songs with my boys at the top of our lungs and dancing around the house.

I hear the kids giggling and playing.

My baby falls asleep on my lap, his hand clutching mine.

Its moments like these that I am clearly reminded about what an AMAZING God we have.  Its moments like these when I realize how blessed I am.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pull outs, hair, balut, and Molocaboc.


Wow!  So a lot has been going on lately.  To start with, I would like to introduce you to my pull-out student, Ronel.  He is learning so fast and is an excellent artist.

Secondly, I got my hair permanently straightened.  Say what!! ;)
Aren't I just so cute?
Yes I am aware I look loopy.

Third big event of the month:  Sir Nathan thought it would be a GREAT gift to surprise me with balut.  At supper time.  Without any warning.  Don't worry folks!  It made it in my mouth, down my throat, then promptly made its presence known again in the kitchen sink.  (He tells me I am his favorite; I am beginning to question that.)

There have been plenty other exciting things that have happened.  Founders day, choir concerts, ACSI Inter-School Rally (basketball, volleyball, pingpong, musical, speech, academic competitions).  (Talk about intense!  I remembered why I LOVE basketball games: the intensity and danger of heart attacks due to stress is so exhilarating!)
But the 4th and most invigorating event that has happened yet was our visit to Molocaboc.

Molocaboc is a very small island that was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan when it recently swept through the Philippines.  It is a small fishing community of about 59 families.  Many of their homes are without roofs, food can be hard to come by, and they simply do not have the funds to rebuild.  We started off the day by driving out 2 hours then taking a 45 minute boat ride trip to the island from Negros.

Once we arrived, we were fed a wonderful lunch.  Fresh seafood they had harvested the day before.  We had rice, crab, spider conch, clams, oysters, volute shells, seaweed, and some other stuff.

After lunch I began playing with the kids.  They were so sweet!  I spoke to them in English and VERY broken Ilonggo once in a while, and they happily chattered away in Ilonggo.  Even when they knew I didn't understand, they just continued and wore a huge silly grin on their faces.  As far as they were concerned, they were either holding the hand of an American or in an American's arms, so they were instantly popular.  

Our wonderful hostess Maristel. 

Fresh water is not available on the island, so rainwater is collected in large concrete jugs as seen in the back.
Notice the orange in their hair?  That is due to the sunshine and salt water.  Their hair is naturally bleached from being outside. 

The guys enjoying watching a basketball game.  We are quite sure money was riding on it. 

This is one of the communities few bathrooms.  (Or commonly known as a CR.)  Many do not have restrooms in their homes.  This is a very basic but clean CR.  Once inside you will find a floor with a drain; in the corner will be a bucket of water and a kabo.  You simply go on the floor and rinse it down, then wash yourself with the water placed in the corner.  (A kabo is a dipper.)  

We brought enough rice for all 3 communities on the island, a total of about 240 families.  Each one received 2 kilos of rice.  Names were read off a list, and a family member stepped forward to receive their portion.  It was done in a very neat and orderly fashion. 

After the rice was distributed we were given a tour around the village.  We saw some of the damage that had been inflicted by the typhoon, and we saw some of the livestock they keep.  After the tour we said our goodbyes.  On the way back we had to take a small boat out to deeper water because the water by the docks was too shallow for the bigger boat due to the tide going out.  We then got to experience switching boats out in deeper water by simply crossing from one bow to the other; needless to say it was an exciting experience.  (We did not wear any life jackets the whole trip!)  It was a wonderful day.  Despite their current sufferings, they were generous and always smiling.  It was encouraging to laugh and play with the kids, and quite the experience to see how they live.  I am DEFINITELY looking forward to returning.  As soon as possible!