An Exercise in Frustration | Downey First Christian Church

Ages ago, I had a passive-aggressive boss who would say, “Interpret my silence” and leave it to us to figure out what was wrong. I don’t want you to have to interpret my silence. I’d rather tell you what’s going on. And I’m finally at a point where I can do that. So here goes…

The past week has been, in a word, frustrating. I was cross with all the students in all the grades because they wouldn’t be quiet so I could follow my lesson plans. I was tired of people asking me to help their children with their English homework from another school. I was tired of plans being postponed, yet again. I was tired of music blaring from people’s houses, of being stared at, of having to watch my step so I avoid the dog poop that’s everywhere, of having all kinds of critters crawling on me, of grading homework, of sweating, of always being around people, of a general lack of communication, of not fitting in both literally and figuratively, of feeling like I’ve overextended myself. And my main thought that played on repeat in my head? “I still have 8 months of this to go. Ugh.”

For the past few days I’ve been wondering what happened? Things were going so well. I’ve been here a couple of months now and have gotten a routine down. I have a better idea of what I’m doing … and that’s where I went wrong. I started relying on myself instead of God.

My whole journey since last summer’s mission trip when God told me to come teach English in Samborondon has been so awesome. I’ve known all along that I couldn’t do it on my own. Only he can orchestrate everything that needed to happen to get me here. I’ve held on to the hand of Jesus, sometimes really tightly, because without him I am nothing; without him I have no idea what I’m doing, let alone what I’m doing here. And then, coincidentally just after we had a series of spiritual discipline classes, I said, “I’ve got this.” And I ran myself into the ground. Pride is sometimes subtle and well-intended. But it is falsehood.

This Sunday Samuel preached at Samborondon. He said sometimes we try to coast through the rest of the week on Sunday’s fill-up instead of communing with Jesus daily, relying on him even in regards to our attitude, vision and passion. I see that I did that. Instead we should top off every day.  This Day by Audio Adrenaline seems apropos.

So, now I confess my error and turn back in repentance to the One who not only holds the Big Plan but also is Lord of the Small Stuff. John 15:5 rings true once again: He is the vine, we the branches; apart from Him we can do nothing. But, with Him we can bear so much fruit: awesome.

Odds and Ends

Our farm family has grown in the past couple weeks. Six of the eight duck eggs hatched and survived. Ok, they are actually thriving and so cute! They don’t pile on top of each other anymore, but they do flock together … and leave a mess behind everywhere they go.

Also, Jose picked up a couple chicks (baby chickens, not the other kind) at the market and his sister brought over a couple teenager chickens. They are definitely going through a troublesome phase and don’t get along with everyone else. That brings the total count up to 1 rooster, 5 chickens, 12 ducks, 2 rabbits, 2 turtles, 2 parakeets, and 1 dog … E I E I O.

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For dinner, or “merienda” we typically eat lighter than at lunch. One night, Lupe made what she told me was a favorite “merienda” when she was growing up: roasted “maduro” (ripe plantain) with fresh farm cheese (like queso fresco) and a glass of milk.

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Jose likes dipping the “maduro” in the milk. I tried it. Not too bad since I like dipping cookies in milk.

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Jello is a common treat at parties and get-togethers. I passed on this grape jello topped with chocolate pudding-like substance.

 

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And the other day Jose and Lupe cracked open a mature coconut, as opposed to the green ones you get coconut water from and have very little “flesh”. This was Almond Joy grade coconut. Sinking my teeth into that was such a pleasure!

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Thanks for your patience in waiting for these updates. I would really like to share something on a weekly basis, but it’s not always feasible. My ever wise mother says I set the bar too high for myself with the first really newsy posts full of pictures. Well, that was before my current activities started in full. But I’ll tell you about all those activities another time. She also says that any news is better than no news. I’ll work on that. 🙂

Peace.

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