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11-30-14: A week without walls

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My school is pretty much the coolest.

Each November we take one week out of our regularly scheduled lives, shake things up a bit, and scatter our entire middle school throughout Hong Kong and SE Asia for some genuine learning experiences.  This year’s trips included service trips to Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and mainland China; adventure trips to Vietnam and Malaysia; and Hong Kong based activities like golf lessons, movie making,  running a restaurant, camping, and art workshops.  Needless to say, teachers and students alike come back from that week exhausted, but also renewed and invigorated.

Over the last four years I have had the pleasure of chaperoning trips both in and out of Hong Kong and have found that each challenges and changes me in different ways.  This year took me to Chiang Mai, Thailand and the results were, as expected, extraordinary.

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Our group included four teachers and 24 students.  Upon gathering at the airport that Monday, it was clear that each Thailand welcome pic 1of us carried big hopes for the week, but also no small number of fears.  It’s a tough trip, after all – one that takes responsibility on the part of everyone.  The Thailand trip is not for slackers or side-line sitters; we expect hard work, which can be mighty intimidating.

Plus, not everyone knows one another.  Mixed age groups and social circles takes time to navigate, especially in middle school.

And on top of THAT, please don’t forget that a good number of these kiddos are only 11 years old and traveling to a foreign country without Mom and Dad to help them.  I mean let’s be honest, sometimes I felt anxious just sleeping down the block at a friend’s house when I was that age.

One cannot downplay the significance of this moment in the lives of these kids and their parents.

And oh, the parents.
How humbling (and terrifying) it is to be entrusted with someone else’s child.
To manage passports and arrival cards.
To be given insulin refills and reminders about Jennifer’s diabetic requirements.
To watch a child quickly wipe tears away with the back of his sleeve and realize that this is way harder for him than it is for you… because you’ve already learned how to say goodbye.

The weight carried through the security checkpoint is different for everyone.

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The purpose of our service trip was three-fold.  First, to work in teaching teams at a village school teaching English.  Second, to do a service project for the school – in our case, refurbishing their playground area. And third, to do cultural exchange activities to learn more about our host country.

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*****

I won’t ramble about the trip here.  Without having been there, the stories simply don’t resonate properly.  They don’t have the right lightness, or weight, that I want them to have.

My words cannot show you the twinkle in Ohm’s eyes as he and eight other Thai littles chased after me at the end of a hot day, creating an impromptu game of “ice cube tag.”

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I can’t properly boast about how quickly new became normal for our kids – be it washing their own dishes after lunch or absentmindedly using the squatty potties (nevermind the spiders in the corners).

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My words will never recreate how good it feels to laugh until your belly aches with teenagers who are not yet too cool to hang out with their teachers.

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I cannot make your head spin from hours of exposure to turpentine and oil-based paints… nor can I make your heart burst with pride at the sight of a shiny new playground and the students wearing their stained clothes as a badge of honor.

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I cannot properly express the honor we felt when the village elders gave us cooking lessons, or the humility that came when, on our last day, the school we came to serve sent a traditional hot air balloon into the sky – the letters “ICS” trailing behind on a banner – serving us instead.

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Most of all, I cannot make you feel the deep hurt and heartbreak of new friends parted – our students sobbing as the vans pulled away; their students sobbing and running from one entrance of the school grounds to the next, just to wave goodbye one final time.

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*****

It was a powerful week.  A week of firsts.  A week of frustrations – some overcome, and some simply powered through for lack of any other choice.  It was a week of true learning – the kind that only comes from getting your hands dirty.

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That week my students had to do things they didn’t want to do, like take the reins and improvise lessons when materials weren’t available.  They had to learn that failures happen – sometimes epic ones – but that never has to be where the story ends.  And they had to learn how to say goodbye because some relationships in this life are only meant to be yours for a four days.

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They had to be teachers and students simultaneously – and so did I.

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Next year I am not coming back to ICS.  I have decided to be a stay-at-home mom for this next chapter of my story.  This also means that after four beautiful years we must prepare to leave Hong Kong and go… well, we don’t really know yet.

Some days that sense of uncertainty is terrifying, and some days it’s exhilarating… and sometimes it’s both all at once.  But like my students in Thailand, I have to remember that the best learning happens when we get our hands dirty.  Sometimes we are called to jump in and do it – comfortable or not.  And it’s good to remember that the failures need not drown us; that we can ride the waves and have faith in the craft that carries us.  After all, haven’t the years taught me that my Lord is a sea-worthy vessel and my family a hearty crew?

All we need is the courage to, yet again, push away from the shore.

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11-25-14: A good day

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Today was a good day.
It was ordinary
Indistinguishable in a line-up
Run of the mill.
Pound for pound weighing in pretty much —
The same as any other 100 Tuesdays one might encounter

And to be honest,
I can’t name any one big thing that happened…
… but I can name 100 little ones
All coming together to raise this little day’s status to that of:
Good.

In the pages of my life, this one won’t be dog-eared
For later reference.
No highlighted passages or emphatically circled phrases will garner
Second glances from a casual browser
Maybe one or two brief notes in the margin —
Something about how many bites of sweet potato my two year old ate
Or the way his hair curled up in back tonight, sweaty from our evening of play
Maybe a reminder to buy chicken stock on my way home from work tomorrow
Or an exclamation point next to the passage about necessary lesson plan adjustments.

The stuff intended for an audience of one.

The normalcy of today —
The soup stock and the curls and the bug bites and dirty fingernails and withered old balloons hovering in corners, leftover relics from month-ago birthday parties —
It fills me with gratitude.

Oh, dare I say it?
Thankfulness.

The cynic in me wonders if
Hallmark’s ingenious seasonal marketing campaign
Has demanded I feel this — subliminally forcing my hand towards optimism.

But she is immediately shushed away, put in time out until she can behave and play nice.
Because it doesn’t matter how I got there.

Hallmark
Divine intervention
A toddler’s laugh
A glass of wine and a good friend

I am thankful for my ordinary.
Because if today is ordinary
Than that means that my ordinary

…is good.

And if ordinary is good
Just imagine what extraordinary looks like.

Yes sir — thankfulness is too small a word
for so much wonder.

7-18-14: Midwest Asian General Store

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If you blink more than once, you’ll miss it completely.

The miniature town of Solway, Minnesota, tucked quietly to the west of Bemidji, doesn’t even have a gas station to lure in travelers zipping down Highway 2. There are no restaurants, no hardware stores – not even a farm implement wholesaler to meet the needs of locals. Then again, with only 96 residents, a business might be hard pressed for clientele around those parts.

And yet… when traveling with a toddler, when you gotta stop, you gotta stop.

A bathroom had become essential around Bagley, but we pressed ahead seeking greener pastures. Ten minutes later when the tiny town of Shevlin dashed our hopes of finding relief we began to feel urgent, and by Solway we were on red-alert. A small town family ourselves, we knew our chances in Solway were slim given the dusty nature of the single turn off and the hand-painted signs marking local proprietors… and we were right – no bathrooms. Wasting no more time, we pulled a quick U-turn on the abandoned mainstreet and returned to the highway.

And that’s when we saw it:

The American-Asian Food Market.

Eyebrows raised and curiosity whetted, we knew now was not the time to give in to temptation, our 18 month old dictator calling the shots from his carseat. Even so, we vowed resolutely to stop in on our return trip.

And so we did.

Two days later, bathroom needs being carefully managed ahead of time, we pulled our Tahoe into Solway once more. As before, ours was the only car on the street, but the paper sign in the window read “Open” so we made our way in. A small tinny bell tinkled to announce our entrance and I stepped in with baited breath, expecting… well, I’m not quite sure.

  • A half-hearted display of chow mein noodles and cans of water chestnuts tucked in somewhere between the Corn Flakes and motor oil?
  • Shabby red lanterns and cardboard poster cut-outs of Chinese boys and girls in traditional attire?
  • A middle-aged, second-generation Hmong immigrant perched behind the counter, wondering just how his father ended up relocated to this map dot in northern Minnesota?

What I didn’t expect were four old American farmers, sitting around a rickety metal table playing cards, drinking coffee, and listening to the All-Star game on the radio. As we entered, one man rose from his seat indicating that he was the man in charge. Pushing 75, he wore a farmers cap, a worn denim shirt, and spoke with a thick Minnesota accent.

“Hello there. Anything in particular I can help you folks find today?”
“Not really, just looking around. We saw it was an Asian market and had to stop in and see what you had.”
“Well, we’re the only one up in these parts, so we’ve got lots of items. Let me know if you need any help.”

He returned to his cards, turning down the radio a notch as he went.

We turned to peruse the shelves. It seemed a standard small-town general store at first glance, but upon inspection I was shocked. Boxes of Pocky and salted plum hard candies lined the checkout aisle. The fridge and freezer section featured Mangosteen juice drink, Char Siu Bao, ready-made pork dumplings, and cuddlefish balls amongst other hot pot morsels. Taking a turn down the canned goods aisle we were greeted with lychee and jack fruit in syrup, nata de coco, and oxtail soup. The spice and noodle aisle was jam-packed with products offering instructions only in Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai. Large rice bags imported direct were stacked knee high on the floor. At least 12 varieties of soy sauce were available. And the cup noodles – oh the ever-present array of cup noodles!

For a moment, I was in Park n Shop all over again – the smells, the packaging, the products. This old man had actually managed to bring a true snapshot of an Asian market to this tiny hiccup of a Minnesota town. Gotta hand it to him – he was legit.

We picked up some rice noodles and spice packets for making Vietnamese pho, assuming we’d just “wing it” with those foreign instructions (we’ve become accustomed to such kitchen antics). As we paid, we shared with him our interest in his store given our residency in Hong Kong, and thanked him for providing such a unique stop on the prairie. He politely bid us farewell and returned to his pressing afternoon business of card playing; the other men barely seemed to notice we’d been there at all.

In this part of the country, “ethnic cuisine” sections of grocery stores generally lend themselves to Mexican delicacies alone. I’m not knocking it, after all, you gotta play to your main demographics, but looking at it through the eyes of a new Chinese, Vietnamese, or Thai immigrant – it’s got to pose some serious dining woes. I know firsthand how much food can soothe a tired and overwhelmed soul in a new land. With that in mind, I can only imagine what an oasis his little store must be to those desperately seeking a taste of home.

I’m so glad that quirky little store in that quirky little town exists.

And the pho we made was delicious, my friends. After a month of American cuisine (well loved, to be sure) it was a welcome return to standard Hong Kong fare. Now if only he’d have sold us a bubble tea on the side!

4-4-14: Wind in the Willows

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As a woman living and raising a family abroad, one thing I often ache for is a feeling of stability that comes from being rooted.  Certainly my childhood home has roots that run deep, catching me gently in their complex and gentle web, regardless of where I may run… but I have got to admit, it’s not quite the same as having established one for yourself, your OWN family.

I sometimes catch myself comparing my life to those of my friends and family “back home.”  While this treacherous act is often immediately followed by self-admonishment for such a ridiculous exercise, it doesn’t stop me from sneaking just one more peek into the life I “could” be living.  And this coming from a gal who LOVES where she’s at right now – the opportunities, the community, the job…

I could not possibly ask for more.

Until I do, that is.

Because we are rootless.

The ache is there.  And I want to fill the void that establishing your life overseas can sometimes bring.

*

This has been on my heart more than usual as of late, particularly because of my trip back the United States coming up TOMORROW morning (Ahhhh!  How my heart leaps at that phrase!).  And you know how things go when you have something tumbling around in your heart… you find signs of it everywhere you look.  That phenomenon being what it is, the other day I stumbled upon a passage that sums up so much of what I feel… in a classic children’s story.  Like most children’s stories, however, I have discovered that The Wind in the Willows is not for “children” at all – but is, rather, a story for all of us.  It simply uses woodland creatures to lure in unsuspecting parents who may have otherwise chosen Captain Underpants and hoped no thinking would be required so close to bedtime.  Or maybe to soften the blow so we actually listen to the life lessons instead of simply bristling and becoming defensive.

Adults have a way of doing that.

So here’s my moment of clarity and peace, brought about by a conflicted and confused Mole, burrowed away in the home he had broken away from so long ago.  And as I sit, only mere hours away from returning to my home country – I savor these words and hold them dear tonight.

But ere he closed his eyes he let them wander round his old room, mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar and friendly things which had long been unconsciously a part of him, and now smiling received him back, without rancor.  He was now in just the frame of mind that the tactful Rat had quietly worked to bring about in him.  He saw clearly how plain and simple – how narrow, even – it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one’s existence.  He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage.  But it was good to think he had this to come back to; this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.

 – The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

 

 

2-10-14: So you need a getaway?

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One thing I’ve learned about blogging is that nobody really wants to listen to you expound for paragraph after torturous paragraph about your incredible beach vacation – especially not your friends and family Stateside who are experiencing one of the coldest, harshest, below-zero winters on record.  Anybody who does listen has either just been on such a vacation themselves OR they are being polite (and grimacing on the inside).

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And to be perfectly honest, they don’t want a photo blog either – especially not if all you’re going to do is post annoyingly cliche pictures of palm trees silhouetted in the sunset, footprints being gently erased by the rising ocean tide, or your own freshly pedicured toes wiggling in the sand.  Definitely do not do that.  Ugh.  It’s the vilest of vile.

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Yes indeed, waxing on about waking up with the sun, the water gently lapping away against the stilts my hut balanced upon; dozy naps in breeze-rocked hammocks, baby nestled in one arm, a book perched in the other; nighttime shrimping excursions in the shallows; sun-kissed cheeks and noses from swimming at the peak of the day; splashy baths for the little one on the patio at dusk… well, I wouldn’t talk about those things because let’s be honest, that would just be mean.

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And yet, I feel like I must blog about it because I really want to give the Telunas Beach Resort in Indonesia a HUGE shout out.

This place is many things.
It is beautiful, a collection of stilt huts perched delicately over the water and a quiet beachfront with no other resorts edging it out for space.

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It is down-to-earth, simple in its design and its offerings – no internet, television, radio and phone service to distract (or detract) from your time in the present.

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It is family friendly, with a staff dedicated to treating you like real people, not just a credit card and people who love on your kids and give you the freedom to breathe a little easier.

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And for all the transport required, it’s actually relatively easy to get to – just a plane to Singapore (the best airport in the world), a 50 minute ferry to Batam, Indonesia, and a 90 minute ride in a long-boat to Telunas (completely staff-directed, they actually meet you at customs and guide you through the whole process so you don’t even have to think) to Telunas.   Piece of cake for even the most timid of world-travelers.

Lucas in long boat

The truth is – I needed this vacation in a big way.  When we left for this trip I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and lost in the muck of day-to-day busyness.  And now?  Well, I return from Telunas this Chinese New Year with a heart full of quality family time and a soul that feels rested.  I also pack with me a resolve to go back – not something that happens on every trip we take, mind you!  There are few places we visit more than once on our travels, but this is shaping up to be one of them.

Thank you, Telunas Beach staff, for compelling me to write about this special place.  You’ve got a good thing going.

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Trying the low-ropes course

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Low tide by the pier

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Exploring the mangroves

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Chinese New Year, 2014

1/23/14: The Gloves are Off – or – Floors 2-30, You’ve Taken Things Too Far

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For those of you just tuning in, I live on the ground floor of a Hong Kong high rise.  As part of this set up, I have been blessed with a ridiculously large private patio… well, private if you ignore the 30 floors worth of people peering down upon us, but at least we’re the only ones that can walk in it.  We love our patio.  We grill in it, garden in it, and my son is at an age where he can finally play in it.  We have so much space that we can host parties and are even considering getting a swing set this coming summer.  It’s a Hong Kong dream – hands down the best part of my home.

But, as loyal follows of the blog know, there are some minor drawbacks.

In my first blog on the topic, I discussed in good humor all the silly little gifts that were bestowed upon us by careless upstairs neighbours.  A mattress pad here, a plush Santa doll there, a handful of clothespins often.  Harmless little odds and ends that tumble off precarious edges where one should never put things in the first place.

My second blog on the topic was a little darker.  And rightfully so, as Hong Kong police were called in by our building supervisor to investigate a rogue flower pot that prematurely took its own life from an upstairs neighbor’s porch.  No humans were harmed.  The plant, however, was not so fortunate.  (I would like to report that this is still a cold case.  The flower-pot bandit has never been apprehended).

And still, our spirits were good – our humor intact – our enjoyment of ground-floor living strong.

But today, my neighbors in the sky – today you go too far.

You see, when you drop used Kleenex balls into my porch, I chalk it up to an errant gust of wind.  When small pieces of meat from your dinner plate soar through the sky and are found glistening on our sun-soaked tiles, I credit it to the fact that your patio door is located off of your kitchen and, gee, these things could happen to anyone.  And when a pear is dropped from such a height that we find it deeply embedded in our planter dirt… well, we think morbid thoughts but aren’t tremendously angry with your obvious irresponsibility.

But a used maxi pad?

Really?

I mean – you had to really intentionally go out of your way for that one.

You had to carry that unwrapped napkin of nastiness, fully exposed, out of the bathroom, down the hall, through your kitchen, onto your patio – and then you had to think to yourself, “Hmmmm… should I throw this vessel of human waste product in the rubbish bin (undoubtedly just inside the kitchen door you just opened), or should I toss it over the edge and watch it drift down 10-15 stories?”

Maybe you’re new to this.

Maybe a bad English to Chinese translation left you confused about what the “wings” are for.

But no matter your situation – you have gone too far.

The gloves are off.

Consider this your warning:
I will begin construction of my trebuchet soon – and when I do – you’d better think twice before leaving your kitchen door open or hanging your nice white linens on the patio to dry.  I’m certain we can think of a few things to lob up your direction… just to return the favor.

In the meantime, I will take joy and comfort in the fact that our building security guard, after being notified, came over and (kid you not) PHOTOGRAPHED THE EVIDENCE before removing it.  She then stated that she would post a sign in the lobby to inform the building of this occurrence and warn against future misdoings.  And oh how I hope her sign includes that picture.

Saving face?  Honey – you messed with the wrong American expat.  We don’t play like that around these parts.

12-5-13: An open letter to a teenage girl about matters of the heart

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As a middle school teacher, you never are quite sure what your day will bring.  The only thing you DO know is that it will probably involve waaaaaay more than what was written into your job description.  Today, for example, over the course of 10 hours I counseled some of my advisory kids about their grades; I organized Christmas care packages for the needy; I led prayer (it’s a Christian school, mind you); I lectured two boys in the hallway about how their mosh-pit style of fun could harm someone; I untangled a knot from a student’s hair; I responded to two parent e-mails, helping them cope with behavior issues they were experiencing at home with their pre-teen children; I ate my lunch while roaming the halls on duty; I explained to a young man why using the word ‘jihad’ in a joke was inappropriate; and I retaught the choreography for a musical number in “Annie” for the 3rd time.

It was, altogether, a productive day.

I also brought a particular situation home with me – one that touched my heart and echoes so many conversations I’ve had over the past eight years of educating middle school girls.

When it comes to matters of love in middle school, man oh man is it hard not to roll your eyes and say, “Come on!  Get over it!  It’s not even real!”  But truth be told – it IS real.  When middle school kids face these issues, it’s the very first time they’ve ever experienced those feelings… the first butterflies and nervous glances… the first awkward school dances.  And while the adult in me may see years into the future and know the bigger experiences to come – to that child this IS the biggest experience they’ve had.  Ya gotta respect that.

So tonight I’m sharing the letter I wrote to this young lady after our conversation today (all names removed – I’m not an idiot, or a villain).  :)  Maybe to help you reflect on how far you’ve grown in matters of the heart… maybe to remind you how much compassion and guidance these young heart-sick loves need from us adults… and maybe just to remind you that a teacher’s job goes far beyond grading projects and handing out detention notices.

******

Hey there –

To start, I want to thank you for talking to me today and for letting me know a little bit about what was going on.  Know that your situation will continue to be in my prayers, and if you need/want to talk about it more, just let me know; I’m happy to listen.

Also, I wanted to just add some more thoughts now that I’ve had some time to sit and think on it for a while.

First… regarding middle school boy issues in general.  What you have to remember is that they don’t think like girls.  Why not?  Because they are not girls.  They process information and deal with situations differently.  Are there SOME boys that are more aware of their feelings and more willing to share?  Yeah, of course there are – but most of the time, they’re just not there yet.  Middle school boys, on average, just don’t get so emotional about things like this.  They don’t get dramatic about the love stuff.  Honestly, some of them simply haven’t matured to the stage where they really care at all about girls/relationships at all!  And that’s okay.  In fact, it’s great.  We, as girls, just need to accept that, be patient, and do our best NOT to overreact or read too much into things they say or do (or DON’T do, is maybe more like it).

 

Second, regarding dating in middle school.  Honestly the best thing I can say to you is: just don’t.  :) I mean it.  The friends I have that dated in middle school – most of them just got to high school and were embarrassed that they had.  Those of us who didn’t ended up looking like the smart ones (even if we didn’t do it by CHOICE, nobody needed to know that).  Most of the time when you date in middle school it’s just about attraction and “surface level” stuff.  You like someone for not-so-real reasons and are often so shy about it that you have a hard time even talking to them like normal people.  You don’t build a real relationship and it just creates weirdness later.  Rather – just focus on building FRIENDSHIPS with guys.  Bringing the relationship drama into it is a girl thing and it only brings heartache and awkwardness.  I’m not kidding – it’s never as great as you think it is going to be… and it almost always ends badly, sometimes taking years to mend.

 

Lastly, you said more than once that, “Nobody would ever love you.”

This is a phrase that is often said when someone is feeling sad and wants to get a compliment or an ego boost from someone else.  If that’s what you wanted today – for me to say, “No way!  Of course that isn’t true!” than I’m actually glad.  I mean, we all fall into “pity party” mode every now and again (I even do this to my husband from time to time, hoping he’ll boost my confidence when I feel low).  What makes me nervous is that some people say it and truly mean it.  They honestly have lied to themselves so much that they actually believe this is a realistic statement.  If THAT is the case with you – then there’s a problem.

But just in case the second option is why you said it and you have bought into that lie, let me just say this:  STOP.  Stop yourself from believing this nonsense.  Don’t let Satan grab your heart and feed you this viciousness.  Don’t let him in like that.  At 13 years old you have NO idea all the awesome things that are in store for you and all the people you’ll meet.

This school is TINY.

This school is a map dot on a huge picture of your life.

It’s important to you and has helped shape and mold you, yes, but this is a speck on your life’s trajectory.

Now, is it possible that the person God has in store for you to love (and to love you back) is here?  Absolutely it is.

But, is it MORE likely that the person God has in store for you to love is NOT one of your 90 classmates… or even one of the 300-some middle school students sitting before you right now?  Come on – you’re a math person, right?  Statistically speaking, the odds are stacked against this little school being the home of your “one and only true love.”  :)

Is it nice to date?  Yes.

Is it nice to be flattered?  Yes.

Is it nice to feel that “being in love” feeling and having it returned?  Yes.

But are there days I wish I had never dated anyone and saved ALL those butterfly-in-my-stomach, love moments for my husband alone?  Yes.

Looking back, in almost every single dating relationship I had, I KNEW that it wasn’t my “match.”  I knew that those guys I dated weren’t the one I was going to marry… so why did I date them?  Because it was fun to be “in love.”  Because it made me feel good about myself… and because my friends were all dating and I’d felt like I should too.

Not super great reasons to “love” someone after all, is it?

Does this mean that I’m saying you should never date?  Not at all.  That is something that everyone decides for themselves.  I don’t really regret that I dated guys in high school.  To be honest, I had pretty good taste and choose some  good-hearted young men to spend my time with.  They impacted my life in great ways.  All I’m saying is that they probably could have had that same impact had we just been friends… and then the heartache, the temptation, the inevitable feeling of loss would have been left out of the equation too.

 

SO – for what it’s worth this Thursday night – please remember that those words about nobody ever loving you… that’s Satan’s voice in your ear.  Don’t listen to him.  Everyone knows he’s full of rubbish anyway.  Everyone knows his sole desire is to make you feel horrible and distract you from the truth.  In the end, if you choose to love, you’ll eventually find that person who loves you back for reals, rough-around-the-edges qualities and all.  And you might meet him here, or you might travel halfway around the Earth and meet him when you’re 34 – but don’t let anyone ever convince you that you need to “date” in order to have a feeling of worth.

Get your worth from where it counts – from your personal strengths and smarts, from your loving and compassionate heart that reaches out to others, from the Lord.  Not from some dumb guy who isn’t even interested in girls yet anyway.  :)

You’re SO much more than all that.

Okay – enough said.  These are my thoughts (and remember, you asked for ’em!).

Peace to you tonight,
Ms. B

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