Monday, October 27, 2008

Out of The Mouth of Babes

Last Friday I was on outside lunch duty with the Junior and Senior Kindergarten kids. About 10 minutes before the end of lunch, a wild windstorm started. Tree branches were whipping back and forth ... debris was flying everywhere and children were stampeding around the playground screaming, "it's a hurricane" ... and, "it's a tornado!"

In the midst of the screaming and the chaos, Jenna ran up to me. Breathlessly, she looked at me and said with the utmost confidence, "I can stop this storm. I know how." Of course, she engaged my curiousity, so I looked back at her and said, "really? How do you do that Jenna?" Her response was to press her hands firmly together in prayer pose and say, "well you just push your hands together like this and you send a message to God to stop it. Sometimes it takes a little while, but he always does."

I was sharing this with a friend and as I was retelling the story, the impact of what Jenna said hit me. Yes, sometimes the winds come up and things are wild. Stuff is flying all around us. What do we do in the storm? Why, take a moment, stop, focus and ask God to deal with it. He always does. Not necessarily in our timing and not necessarily the way we would like, but he always comes through.

We serve a God who walks on wild waves. We serve a God who says, look at me, get out of the boat and join me. We serve a God who says, "Be not afraid. I will never leave you. Have courage. Walk with me." We serve a God who reaches down from on high when we are overwhelmed, who lifts our feet out of the mud and mire we get bogged down in, and gives us a firm place to stand. We serve a God who calms the storms. What are you doing in the midst of your storm?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just like the Sound .... of Silence ...

What can I say?

At the moment ... nothing ...

I have no extra energy for thinking ... to do that, I need to sit and be. I work ... and I sleep. Not a lot of "being" going on at the moment. Work has been crazy and will be probably until I leave for NZ in 8 weeks. I am completing training in being a certified Smart Board Trainer ... I have two batches of reports to write (so thats about 860) - first batch due in a couple of weeks and then I need to write the 2nd batch before I leave as i will not be around for the end of the 2nd quarter. I am presenting 3 workshops this Friday at a large Korean International Teachers conference. We are in the midst of a huge tech audit school wide ... budgets are looming ...

I have just spent both days this weekend in a workshop about 21st century skills. I am adjudicating IB Music recitals tonight or tomorrow (or maybe both ... better find out :) )

The weekend before last I had a fantastic time in Shanghai with my friends from Perth who were up celebrating Fiona's 50th birthday. I got back Sunday night and had a friend arrive that same night for 4 days for a quick visit. Great stuff, but all very exhausting!

I will comment on the picture above (taken in Shanghai) ... love, love, LOVE the joy on these kids faces. They are caught up in the excitement and scariness of rain and wind ... who cares if the umbrella is inside out ... laugh ... be ... and be filled with joy! Great wee lesson for us in life there eh?!

I continue to take my pills and try not to freak out about surgery approaching. You can pray for me in terms of hospitals and flights to sort out. The hospital my surgeon works at, won't work with my health insurance company (Aetna). Aetna only have one hospital in NZ - in Auckland - which is 8 hours away from my family so not suitable at all. My surgeon has put me on the surgical roster at Southern Cross Hospital in Wellington and my insurance has written to them guaranteeing to cover my surgical costs (apart from my copay). I have not heard from the hospital that they are okay with this, so that is this week's project ... chase down the finance person and find out. My surgery will cost between 16,000 and 24,000 NZD so I have to get this one resolved.

In addition I need to sort out return flights to Seoul with Singapore Airlines. I had flights booked for Christmas and had a nightmare changing to the beginning of December for the surgery. I need to find out where they are in Seoul and get in there in person to sort this one I think. Hopefully that will be next weeks mission if I get the hospital sorted this week.

So ... apologies for my lack of stimulating thoughts at the moment ... life is just about survival - hence the silence!