Friday, April 10, 2015

All Aboard!

My mom and baby sister, Angelina, will be coming out to California on the train to visit for the second time since I've been here! Their last visit was awesome and I know it's going to be amazing again. But you know what? This time there's more. This time my younger sister Johnele, her husband Andrew, and my niece and nephew - Grace and Jeremiah - will be coming as well! It will not only be their first family trip (how fantastic!!), but also the first time they will see where I live, who I live with, where I minister, and who my kids are. And if it couldn't get any better, they will also be here to see the dance recital that keeps me occupied for half of the year. (In case you were wondering, the dance recital is basically one of my biggest accomplishments of all time.)

You will never know just how happy all of this makes me.

I travel back and forth about three times a year to visit my family in New Mexico. It's always a great trip and I love being a part of the daily routines I once enjoyed as well as learning new daily routines as our family evolves. I get to take Angelina to school and pick her up; I get to stay up late with my sister and brother-in-law as they try to put the babies in bed; I get to have meals, watch movies and get up in the morning with the people God gave me as lifelong companions. Until now, however, I didn't realize that I hadn't shared my daily routines with them.

Although my mom and Angelina have been able to visit me a couple of times, they, like the rest of my family, have not been here while school is in session. This time, they will be here for a whole Friday and so can step into my classroom and enter into my life as a teacher. None of them have been able to do this before.

Johnele and Andrew will see where I live and pray and who I joke around with at the dinner table. They will witness an element of who I have become that they would otherwise not know about. They will see my bedroom where I plan, think and dream. They will finally get to know the routines and environment that are so much a part of me.

All of this, and more... My family will be here to witness a major stage production that I help plan and bring to fruition. They will watch a performance that I and some very dedicated students create through costumes, choreography, music and lots of energy. Countless hours, which turn into months, are required for a production like this. This will be my second year to put on a dance recital and I actually will have family here to witness it.

When the disciples asked Jesus where He lived, He simply said, "Come and see." An invitation into someone's home is an invitation into that person's very self. This is why I'm so glad my family will be able to "come and see".

Pray for their safe travels, please!

2-Year-old Grace
3-Year-Old Jeremiah

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Falling in Love

I am in love
with Sunday afternoons and ice cream splurges
with laughter and the gentle guidance of mentors

I am in love
with the singing and screeching that greets me after lunch
and with complaints about homework, heat and boys

I am in love
with the scent of California jasmine
and the cool evening breeze on my dusty skin

Each of these is a divine whisper
adding to the song that birthed my beginning
and each time I listen
I find again
myself, God's image, and thus God's own humming heart