Tuesday, January 20, 2009

on second thought

this won't take long, and it's something that's been on my heart lately (sorry, Kara, for the whole more-than-one-a-day thing).

i just want to encourage you not to be afraid to ask God for what you want. i'm not talking about naming it and claiming it. i'm talking about the desires of your heart, and the fact that in the Bible it clearly says that the Lord will give you the desires of your heart. you just have to draw close to Him. not because He's giving us a condition, testing our motives, or making a deal with us, BUT because we can't really know the true desires of our heart unless we ARE close to Him. He always wants to bless us, but sometimes we miss the blessing because it's not what we think it should be. i have been learning so much lately about the love of God, and finally believe that He does love me just the way i am. i wasted a lot of time trying to figure out who God wanted me to be, instead of realizing that He just wants me the way i am. He made me like this, and He loves me like this. the more i believe that, the closer i feel to Him, and the more aware i am of the desires He's given me. and if He gave me these desires, then how can i not ask Him for them? And why would He not lovingly and willingly give them to me? it's so simple. just like the gospel (which i also tried to complicate, but that's another story). God doesn't try to trick us and make things hard on us. If it's seems difficult, it's because we make it that way; or at least that's been my experience.
i recently asked God for something that i finally got tired of trying to figure out on my own. and i am one stubborn girl...just ask my parents. and you know what happened? He gave it to me. almost immediately. not because i did anything to deserve it. the truth is, i stopped trying to do the right things to get what i wanted and just said "God, have your way. Do what you want. I trust you." not only did He bless me, but He went out of His way (if that's possible for God, hah!) to make sure i knew it was from Him. and believe me, i know...there's no way i could have done this on my own. He gave me more than i ever could have dreamed of asking for. AND he showed me what i really wanted...what i had no clue i wanted until He gave it to me. God's way is so much better. He loves us like crazy, and is just waiting for opportunities to blow us out of the water with His love. He also gave me peace. a very wise woman (thank you Sarah Turner!) once told me that the best way to follow God's plan for your life is to follow the peace in your heart. amazing advice and so true. it's so good to walk in peace and love...which brings about great happiness. maybe the hippies really were on to something....kidding!

almost doesn't count

i was going to blog tonight...but then i decided not to.
think i 'll hit the hay a little early.
there are many words swirling around in my head, but they aren't quite making sentences just yet....perhaps tomorrow

Friday, January 16, 2009

and we all went to mexico, part 1

It was the Spring of 2000. I was a junior in high school. The year before, my school had hosted it's first ever exchange students. There were three of them: Dawei from China, Itsuka from Japan, and Luis from Mexico. Luis promised us when he left that we could all come visit him someday. Well, we made good on that promise, and our little group of high school students was on its way to Mexico for a fieldtrip.
I was psyched. A foreign country. I had been to Spain in the 8th grade, but i just had a feeling that Mexico was going to be amazing.
My BFF, Amanda Renee (it's french!) Parsons, and I were all set to room together, and she had a whole bag of Reece's Peanut Butter Balls in her ginormously large suitcase. What could be better than that? All the students had been divided up into groups and were staying with different members of Luis' family. His dad was an important government official (anybody remember exactly what his title was?) in their hometown, Hermosilla, and their family was pretty wealthy and had lots of space to host all of us.
Amanda and i were sent to stay with one of Luis' aunts and her niece. We were called over to our respective mode of transportation, "Ah-Mahn-dah and Melodeee!" We were on our way to some strangers house in Mexico with no adult supervision. Sweet! And our good friends "Joo-lie and Me-lee-sa" were staying next door. What luck!
Talk about a culture shock. We were two very well behaved Christian school girls who never did anything wrong (except for the occasional conference-leading-to-detention due to our bad attitudes towards the principal's grandson when he subbed as our Spanish teacher), and we were not prepared for what happened next. When we arrived at our home for the week, we walked through the courtyard and found a party waiting for us on the other side.
"You girls want some Tequila?"
I was speechless. I had never been offered an alcoholic beverage in my life, and i definitely wasn't expecting it then. Amanda answered for us,
"No thanks. We just had some milk." Milk? Was that the best she could come up with? I think she really did have some milk earlier now that i think about it, but i know i didn't. I hated milk. Anyway, after they laughed at us, they introduced themselves, and then we went inside to get situated.
I remember being scared to death that i might accidentally swallow one drop of water while brushing my teeth. I was told NOT TO DRINK THE WATER NO MATTER WHAT. YOU WILL GET SICK. AND DIE. A HORRIBLE DEATH. AFTER LOTS OF SUFFERING. But seriously, that's how i felt after the whole "don't drink the contaminated water" talk. I'm surprised i wasn't dehydrated due to all the spitting i did in Mexico while brushing my teeth. There was lots of spitting. I didn't even want one trace of contamination mixed in with my saliva. And the shower. That was tricky to. I made sure to never put my face in the water. No drops going anywhere near the mouth. I held my breath a lot just to be sure no water went in through my nose.
We spent a lot of time in the family room sitting around on the couches and the floor just goofing off. Luis' cousin, Gabi, was so much fun. So was her mom (can't remember her name??). One night, and i'm going to just throw this out there that sometimes high school girls can be unnecessarily silly (hard to believe, i know), we gathered around and translated a very serious song that is near and dear to my heart. It's called, Tirar un moco. If you speak Spanish, you'll know that it means, To Flick a Bugar. Deep, isn't it? I can't believe i'm doing this, but i am now going to share the lyrics with you. If you don't want to be my friend after reading this, then i'll pray for you to receive a sense of humor. Just Kidding :)

I picked a bugar from my nose and flicked it on the floor
I tied it up in knots and then went running out the door
Tirar un Moco!
Tirar un Moco!

You didn't know i had it in me, did you? I actually can't take full credit for the song. I didn't write most of it, but i still remember it to this day. I won't expose the author unless they would like to expose themselves.
Our good friends Michael and Kirt liked to make up songs too. The one i remember from that trip was the classic, Spear Fishing.


Good music like that is really hard to come by. I feel fortunate to have been a part of the Moco and Spear Fishing movement.
One day we were traveling somewhere in a big white van, the place i can no longer remember, but the drive i will never forget. Amanda, Michael, Kirt, and I all sat in the very back seat of the van. We spent that whole drive quoting segments from the John Boy and Billy Show. I didn't listen to the show, but Michael and Kirt knew every episode, and it was hilarious listening to them quote it. The line that sticks out the most in my memory is Michael in a very country voice, "Welcome to Revival at the Sword of Joshua, Pentecostal, Full Gospel, Church of God on Highway Eight on the frontage road!" (i may not have gotten that all right, but it's close!)
I also remember the principal eyeing my brand new adidas tennis shoes and mentioning that they were out of dresscode. I didn't realize i was supposed to wear my pilgrim shoes around the streets and hills of Mexico.
Then came the day we got to spend with our respective host families doing what they do. We lucked up and went to homecoming with Gabi at her high school.
We had no clue what was coming....

everybody freeze!

I am completely worn out after doing The Cupid Shuffle for 3 classes in a row....but it was lots of fun!

These are some photos of my 3rd graders playing freeze dance...look out world, here they come!

things that make you say awwww

So this month in PE we are doing dance. It's my favorite "sport" to teach. We do all kinds of fun line dances like The Electric Slide, The Hustle, and The Boot Scootin' Boogie. I always save a little time at the end of class for the students to play Freeze Dance. It's their favorite. I play the music, they dance around like loons, I stop the music, they freeze. If you don't freeze when the music stops, you're out.

Well, this morning, kindergarten was playing freeze dance and having a grand 'ol time at it when i saw the cutest thing ever. One of the little boys, Maverick, went over to one of the little girls, Ava, and started dancing with her like grown-ups do with the whole his-arm-around-her-back and her-arm-on-his-shoulder deal. Every now and then he would spin her. It was precious. And i did not teach them that...they did it all on their own. So i'm watching and smiling and thinking about how adorable the whole situation is, and that this moment can't possibly be any cuter when i hear one of the other little boys, Donovan, make this comment,

"I wish i had a girl like that."

How stinkin' adorable is that??? The cute factor just went through the roof, folks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

and then we can throw bricks at each other's heads

As i sat in afterschool yesterday, patiently willing away the minutes, i came to the realization that i will never understand boys and the things they do for fun.

I've dated my fair share, grew up with a brother and a father, and have lots of guy friends, BUT....sometimes the things you guys do....i just don't get.

For example, i watched 4 boys run around and hit each other mercilessly with pool noodles for an hour straight yesterday. Really? You can occupy yourselves for an hour by just smacking each other in the head with a noodle? Cause hey, it looks like loads of fun to me. If i could be doing anything right now it would be rolling around in the dirt while my comrade beats me with a long, aqua-colored, foam stick. It's right up there with cleaning the bathroom...or watching snails race. Those are all things that just scream FUN.

And the dirt that you're bathing in while receiving your beating...gross. Those boys are probably still picking wood chips out of their scalps and socks. If i was your mother, i would not be happy. You'd be darning your own socks.

Then there's the whole, "it doesn't hurt" aspect. I'm all like, "Guys, stop it before someone gets seriously hurt!" And there all like, "But Miss Loss! We like it! We promise! And we won't tackle each other!"

Right. You won't tackle each other. You just end up on the ground because you have really bad coordination....and because it's so soft and comfy down there. Who wouldn't want to lay on the cold ground gazing up at the puffy clouds while your face receives a pounding as the dirt specks fly in your eyes: BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM BAM! BAM! And you're all like, "that tickles!"

Whatever floats your boat...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

we're being invaded

Scene: Kindergarten in music class

Students smiling cheerfully and singing Deep and Wide while making coordinating hand motions

Sammy: There's a bug on the floor!

Me: It's ok Sammy, it's dead.

Continue singing song

Sammy: IT'S MOVING!!!

The one legged grasshopper slowly drags itself across the floor


Me: Calm down! It's not going to hurt
anyone! It's just a grasshopper!!


The one legged grasshopper is immediately consumed by the Kleenex in my hand. Death has mercifully arrived for one more insect.

Me: Everyone quietly line up at the door....class is over now.

Tito: (on the way out the door to Sammy) I bet there was an alien inside it.

Aliens...i knew it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin

This one goes way back...

I was a happy go lucky 3 year old...and the good kid :). My brother was 5. We didn't change roles of bad kid/good kid until i hit my teens, but that's a blog for another day.

My father, a pastor, preached almost every other Sunday at the little chapel on the hill that served as the church building for the ministry he has worked at for the past 25 years. It is a quaint, old-fashioned building with squeaky floors covered in scarlet red carpet and lumpy pews of the same color. It even has a sort of bell tower with a Notre Dame type bell on a rope that you pull to ring. There was an organ on the left, a piano on the right, and a solid wooden pulpit in the middle with a crack running down it from an incident during a deliverance session (also a blog for another day). Outside the chapel, there was a long, concrete sidewalk that curved all the way to the hard, concrete steps. Concrete...pretty hard stuff.

My brother, Jonathan, had a Big Wheel. If you're a child of the 80's, then you'll know that a Big Wheel is a plastic bike with three wheels, a HUGE one in the front, that rides low to the ground. I was a fan of my big brother back then...wanted to be just like him and follow him around and annoy him...all that good stuff little siblings do. So, i watched him place his Big Wheel at the top of the winding sidewalk and ride it all the way down towards the chapel till the huge front wheel bounced harmlessly off the bottom step of the chapel stairs. Woohoo! looked like fun to me. Being the fearless 3 year-old that i was, i promptly climbed aboard my tricycle.

Take a moment to consider the tricycle with me: this bike also has three wheels, but instead of it's occupant riding close to the ground, the cold, red, metal seat is raised high in the air just slightly below the red, metal handlebars.

Ok. So i'm perched on my tricycle and i start pumping the peddles as fast as my little feet will make them go. Down the curving sidewalk i race, gaining momentum with each second. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! The glee didn't last very long. Suddenly, i was heaved from my seat and flying precariously through the air, over the handlebars and landing directly on the soft flesh of my chin. AUGGHHHHH!!!! Actually, it was probably more like, WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! MOMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! You see, i hadn't done the physics or calculus or algebra or geometry or whatever math i should have done at the ripe old age of 3 to realize that me coming to a sudden stop from that speed when sitting so high up in the air probably wasn't a good idea. There were two hits: The tricycle hit the steps, and then my chin hit the steps.

I'm not sure exactly of the events that followed but there was a mixture of blood and tears, and somehow my mom made it to my side. I remember laying on my mom's lap in the car, rushing to the hospital. I remember seeing the big red stain on the white handkerchief that had been stopping the blood flow from my chin. I don't remember this, but my tells me that when she removed the handkerchief to re-situate it or check out the injury (not sure what she was doing), i quickly asked her to put it back because i was afraid my chin would fall off. I remember laying on the hospital bed and being held down while they placed a white cloth over my face with a hole that opened at my chin. I guess they figured it would have been less traumatizing for me to not see what was going on by forcing me to lay on that bed and have my face completely covered. I say the fact that i still remember being under that cloth and being terrified means they were wrong about not traumatizing me. BUT, the stitches made it in, and i lived to tell the story. :)

Besides those few vivid memories, i have one constant reminder of that day: a small, crescent-shaped scar right under my chin...if you look closely you'll see it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

The following is a conversation i had with the kindergarten class today during drama:

Zechariah: Miss Loss, who's Mike?

Me: He is my boyfriend Zechariah.


Me: Yep.

Entire Kindergarten Class: YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donovan: Wait a minute. You married Mrs. Whitt's husband??

Me: No Donovan, this is a different Mike.

Whit: Is it Mrs. Whitt's dad?

Me: No. He is not related to Mrs. Whitt in any way at all. He lives 11 hours away in Illinois.

Tito: So what kind of boyfriend is he?

Me: The good kind :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

gettin jiggy with it

We would have made Will Smith oh so proud.

On Wednesdays I teach music, and it's always a lot of fun. I love singing with the students and being silly and discovering which ones are talented movers and shakers! Some are a little timid, but most are not; especially my 3rd graders....they all like to move it, move it, and they aren't shy about it! Those happy-hearted cuties will groove at the drop of a hat. I love it!

They've got skills. Pictures don't lie :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Normally, I hate surprises
I like to know what's going on
I read the end of a book first
I ask questions during movies

Strange that i asked God to surprise me?
He knows us better than we know ourselves
I just knew i needed His help
It was a simple, sincere prayer

He heard me asking
He smiled
He waited until the right time
He surprised me!

He knew what i needed
heard what i wanted
saw what i couldn't
and gave me what I did not know to ask for

I like surprises

to be continued

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Update Soon!

I've been to what i now think of as The Great State of Illinois for a while...with no internet.

New blog coming soon :)