Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | By: Jake

Peace in the Moment

And to You, Almighty Father, I send up nothing but Gratitude and Praise, thanking You for my day, for the gift of this weather, the children, this summer, this opportunity, and every opportunity that I have to be more like Christ and to see more of Christ in others. You continually remind me of Your Immense Love, Mercy, and Grace with the daily downpour of rain. And I ask You, Creator of All, to continually strengthen me, discipline me, and carry me, so that I may first and foremost grow closer to you by seeking the Kingdom of Heaven.

Emily, with a no-sass status
After breakfast, I walk outside and feel the sun screaming down my neck, reminding me that I should have put sunscreen on yesterday...but I kind of laugh it off, and see it as a reminder of my dependence on God.

I played outside with them for quite some time, giving well over a hundred piggy back rides, airplane rides, and lifts through the monkey bars. With messing around with kids, jumping over numerous walls due to doors being locked, and playing basketball with the students after I'm done teaching, it seems that staying in shape, or more so, getting into shape, won't be a problem while I'm here.

My biggest problem of the morning was being put into timeout by Emily (a girl with the most unique, obnoxious, and life-giving laugh you'll ever hear...and sadly some sass comes along with that laugh) and Yelka (a little girl who loves to yell at me in such a quick voice that I can't make out what I'm being yelled at for). Anyway, I was put in timeout for some reason (who honestly knows?) and was continually threatened that if I moved at all, they would bring over a frog to "eat my feet for his lunch". Needless, to say, play time in the morning lasted quite a while.

Then, we had lunch, which is always my favorite time of the day, followed by nap time, which can either be an enormous success or an absolute failure. Today, I really needed help.

Five children have to go down for a nap every day, and as you can imagine, it's hard to get all five kids to get to bed on time. You usually have two of the five kids actually being willing to go to bed, and then three kids that refuse, and obviously, that quickly turns into all five kids refusing. Time after time, you'll tell them to go to bed, but when you have five intelligent kids that can somehow carry on three different conversations at the same time, it's pretty hard to stop all three.

Yesterday, the kids went to bed so easily; within five minutes, they all went to bed. But today, they just weren't having it. I started getting angry, frustrated, exhausted, trying and trying to get these kids to go to bed, trying every technique that I knew: the silent treatment, the nice treatment, the firm treatment, the gratitude treatment...they had all failed me. 

There was practically nothing else for me to do, so I prayed...which looking back, I probably should have done a lot sooner. And I not only prayed, but I thought of all the other people praying for me.

It's almost cliche to tell someone that's going through a hard time that your thoughts and prayers are with them, and if I'm being honest, I know I've said the phrase numerous times myself, without continuing forth with my promise.

However, shortly before taking off to Nicaragua, I had the blessed opportunity to visit with my great aunt, a devoted and humble woman of God that I respect greatly. Instead of telling me that she would be praying for me, she made a pledge to God before me that she would pray for me every single day. And it wasn't a simple pledge...it was a pledge with meaning, with love, with care. And it really hit me...she's going to be praying for me every day? I have something tangible that I can hold on to...something that will help get me through the days. And when I can't find the words to express what I'm feeling to God, I can rely on those prayers.

So thank you to my great aunt that prays for me every morning...
Thank you to the wonderful coffee shop friend that has randomly facebook messaged me numerous times over the past year to tell me she's praying for me...
Thank you to the close sister in Christ that randomly texts me bible verses and can change my day in a second...
Thank you to the neighbor from down the street, who I´m pretty sure I haven´t send more than a hello to, for the kind words and prayers...
Thank you to the wonderful friend who always seems to follow my blog without me knowing and sends prayers my way...
Thank you to my amazing friend for continually emailing and checking up on me out of the blue, helping me to look towards Christ...
Thank you to that friend´s mom, who warmly and generously went above and beyond by giving me a devotional that I read every morning...

Your prayers, thoughts, and actions are all appreciated more than you know, continually giving me Strength to overcome the past, Peace in the moment, and Hope for the future.
And lastly, thank you to the children of New Hope´s orphanage...as crazy and wild as you are during nap times, you continually bring me Joy.


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