Friday, August 26, 2005

R&R @ B&N

It has been 2 weeks since school started and I am just getting to know the crazy first graders that I have in my class. They are like little excitement bubbles that burst in every morning and they TOTALLY can't sit still. It's great! Tiring, but great. If only I could have half that excitement for life, I think I would have a deeper definition of the word "abundant"...

Needless to say, after 2 long weeks, I have been relaxing after school the last couple of days (trying to rid the song "Annie Apple, she says, /a/, she says, /a/" from my brain) by doing one of my favorite things--sitting at Barnes & Noble, drinking a chai latte (with all fat...I mean, milk), and reading a whole book that I never intended to pay money for. Man, I feel so much better! Maybe you are thinking what a nerd I am right now. Maybe you think it now that I said it myself. :P

My sister came in town for a few days and it was glorious! I was supposed to be spending time doing the "blitz" with my church (which equaled living in a gym for 5 days while going out to share the Gospel on campus every day), but my sister seemed to really need the encouragement. We got to see 4 friends that I haven't seen in years and I stayed up late talking to her every night. She kept feeling bad for "taking me away from my activities" and I had to keep reassuring her that I operate under the "people over activities...ALWAYS" motto. Mainly I just realized that loving someone requires sacrifice of some kind; and, if you really love them, it rarely FEELS like a sacrifice.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ahh...Paris! (and beyond)

I am definitely back in Texas (or should I say baked in Texas?), but I wanted to give you closure with my summer in France before I excite you with the daily news from DENTON! (that was sarcastic) Seriously, though...

I confess that I was really ready to leave Nice. Not because of any one thing, but just the drain of weeks away from your home base and friends. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE some of the people that I met on project, but I hadn't spoken to my sister in 2 and a half months! Our team finished strong with worship on the beach in Nice, and a guy from Ohio accepted Christ that night. It was exciting to see that Jesus will bring you across the world if that is what it takes to meet Him.

We traveled as a group to Paris to debrief and talk about transitioning back to our "normal" lives in the States. Can I just say that I love Paris?! I got to hang out with some awesome people, see the Impressionists at the Orsay, walk a ton, trespass in the "Phantom of the Opera" Opera House (thank you again, Jon), relax by the grand canal at Versailles, climb the Arch de Triomphe (not sure how to spell that one...), eat the best fondue--well, the ONLY fondue I've had, go with my team to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night, lay down and watch the Tower sparkle from the lawn with all the sprinklers, and say some teary goodbyes to people that I truly love...

The longer I am away, the sadder I get. I really miss people--partly because I know that I may never seem some again, partly because even if I do, it won't EVER be the same. But, such is life...I can appreciate my experiences even when I know I can not have them back again.

My flight home was a mess and I had to stay the night in Chicago. I talked to my sissie for 2 hours and that helped my massive crying episode subside. I spent a weekend in "project immersion" where I ate just about everything, and then I started work again. I have been abnormally calm and think I am freaking some of the other teachers out. They are stressed that I am not stressed. Does that make sense? I went to my church's leadership retreat this weekend and it was pretty exciting but VERY intense and long. I love being back with my peeps, but I was frustrated at the lack of excitement a few times. I think it is hard to come off of a summer with about 40 excited people to a place where there are maybe 10 total. I can't blame the ones who are not that passionate, but it was sort of a buzz kill for me. All the more reason to stir up the passion...I think I am just annoying them. :P