XXXI: Summer Time (Finally)


Go figure I’d write this on June 21st (first official day of summer). I can firmly say that I’m officially embracing the summer break of 2016. My tests are finished for certification, I’ve already had my first few teacher meetings for the summer, my mission trip is finished up, and I’m actually looking at my first week of the summer where I don’t have anything slated.

Meaning, I have no excuse on getting distracted. Even though we’re still in June, the reality is, is that school starts back up in less than two months. Factor in that this will be my first year teaching and the work that comes with it, and already I’m breathing a little uneasy. i’ve got books to read, lessons to prepare, and even a curriculum to better understand. That doesn’t include the fact that I need to actually get into my classroom, acquire design pieces, and start to put the room together (at least mentally). I’m sure my typing smells of ‘new teacher’, but that’s half the fun in my book. For some strange reason it’s worth going the extra mile to have fun with your students, while also teaching them in the same manner. If the dynamics of the classroom are off, the students will be distracted…and so will I.

Currently, inside this classroom I have two walls that are nearly 100% dry erase boards and two walls that are brick. I’m thinking of theming the room to some weird, strange coffee and Japanese cafe world. I just can’t handle the concept of teaching in a sterile environment. It’s not fair to the students.

I suppose in these coming weeks that’s going to be my life in a nutshell. Working on lessons, living the real version of “The Sims” when looking at my classroom, attending some classes, and of course…running. Today was my first day off in seven days. I feel alright, I definitely need some new shoes as I’ve passed the 500 mile threshold on both of my pairs, but my legs are doing better.

I think body mechanics is a fascinating topic to explore when learning about your own body. When I started running again, even all the way up to the recent months, my knees and legs were the sorest parts of my body. As I told my doctor a few weeks ago though, something has changed in my mechanics. I’m not sure what, but those areas no longer host the most soreness after a training session.

My hips do.

This is actually encouraging for me. That tells me that my legs have strengthened and now I’m going to continue to work on developing my hip muscles; they tend to be rather important in the fast, repetitive motion of the style of running that I enjoy. With life finally calming down, I can also ensure that I’m getting in every valuable workout that I can. Darco and I are heading out east in the final week of July for the Liberty Mile and to see some pretty epic friends.

I’m alright with this life. There’s so much to always work on, but that’s coming to be part of the joy behind all of it. Teaching, running, praising…trying to be more optimistic, more forgiving, and asking for my forgiveness are definitely on my list of things I’d like to improve upon.

I guess here’s to a happy summer full of exploration, knowledge, and dreams!

-D-

XXXI: #Sike15 Part VI


You know those days where your head is so congested that every time you stand you get a taste of what vertigo is all about?

Exactly.

This random cold, probably obtained through exhaustion, has kept me seated most of the day. I’ve gotten up long enough to get coffee, prepare dinner, and move some dirty clothes around. That’s about it. My day has been ended, so I’ve spent the remainder of it on the couch working on messages and emails from the previous week.

Mission accomplished.

Those were the words pacing through my brain as the paved lanes passed before me heading back into the comforts of my home last night. As stated in earlier messages during the recent mission trip, I had high hopes of rekindling my love with the thing that hurt the most in spiritual warfare, damage, etc…being mission minded and having fun. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: #Sike15 Part III


What day is it,
And in what hour?
The clock never felt so alive.

I’ve completely lost track of time down in southern Missouri. I’ve given up on tracking the days and instead I’ll just go with the flow.

The group had a unique opportunity on Tuesday. Down the road is a city called Poplar Bluff. Here one can find a halfway-house situation for women recovering from addiction (addiction to drugs and alcohol is a serious pandemic in the area). We have several female youth with us, and they were beyond thrilled to be able to work with this home called “Recycling Grace”. A few ladies were kind enough to share their stories, and a few hugs, with the group.

At “Recycling Grace” the organization has been allotted several rental properties throughout the community. Our crews main task was to work with paint scrapers and wire brushes on the porch of one of the rental properties.

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The. Amount. Of. Paint.

To show you how skiddish some people are, we had started on the porch of this duplex when this woman, in nothing but a towel, steps outside in broad daylight fearing she’s being robbed by us (paint scrapers near windows do that I suppose).

I’m still amazed at how easy it is to pack up, grab a passport, and disappear to another country as a missionary, when in so many ways, the same problems plague our own communities.

We’re mulching again tomorrow. The heat hasn’t stopped us yet.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #Sike15 Part IV


It’s not even 6:00AM on Friday morning, and I’m staring at the ceiling. Like all good things, this trip is drawing to an end.

Last night was one of the more humorous events of the entire week. Armed with a snow-cone machine and some giant, neon poster boards, we took the crew to the local baseball complex.

Why?

Simple. Give away free snow-cones.

Darco, armed with syrup pumps (funny how God uses barista training), started dishing out the cones. The rest of us vanished into the streets and parking lots letting people know about the opportunity (note: growing out the beard has one drawback…a grown man with a beard, telling kids about free snow-cones at a park…borderline creepy).

In total we served up 250 snow-cones, made several new friends through the kids showing up, and were thoroughly blessed by cooler weather and a nice southern breeze. This was a nice change up from the 102℉ we witnessed while throwing mulch on Wednesday. Interesting factoid though, our group was able to successfully disperse all mulch to all playgrounds throughout the school district. With no heat sickness, and no injuries with the pitchforks being used. That’s rather impressive in my book. Personally, I get so much joy doing physical labor as a service. I’m thinking that’s because I’ve been going that route on missions for years.

It’s 6:00AM, time to shower, eat, pack, and hit the road.

Next stop, home.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #Sike15 Part I


What do you hope to get out of this week?

Those were the words, three hours in, that I heard being asked in my direction. Heading to far, south Missouri what was my intent? My purpose?

Riding with a member from our house church group, I tried my best to swallow my pride and be honest.

I want to find my love again.

It was the first time to anyone in our group that I had openly spoken about my divorce. It’s this hidden guilt that I don’t want to acknowledge for fear of being rejected, but in the moment of this question it was needed. I spoke of my love for mission work, it’s the one thing within the church that I’ve always enjoyed. Because it was so close to my heart, it’s what took the biggest hit when I became divorced. I was convinced that I was on the disabled list for good. “God can’t use blemishes to do cool stuff like missions…”, I’d mumble to myself.

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There's fans! And air conditioning in our dorm!

My personal prayer is that humility during this mission trip, with this close group, can heal…spiritually…in an area that I 100% desire to be back alive. It’s a short, calm, safe trip so the environment is ideal. My hope is that as time progresses I can work up to where I once was.

You just watch, Darco isn’t afraid of international travel.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #Sike Part II


Internet and data is pretty limited out here in southern Missouri.

Yesterday started the first day of the physical labor for the group. Terra Nova, the church we’re working with, has a great partnership with the local school district. Because of this we have a great opportunity to help out the schools maintenance department by spreading fresh mulch throughout the playgrounds…

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…of nine school buildings…

The weather cooperated throughout the morning with our small group (5) at the school. Thankfully, with pitchforks in hand, no impaling took place amongst the youth.

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Lunch was unique and incredible. There’s a bakery named “The Knead” in town, it’s managed and owned by the folks of Terra Nova church. With a prison just down the road, The Knead acts as an opportunity ministry to assist released inmates by providing employment baking bread. Our lunch for the week is coming from these awesome folks (and the bread is very good).

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The afternoon provided plenty…PLENTY of sunshine and more mulch. The crew held on firm for four hours spreading mulch. Conversations of faith, school, and the Illuminati all took place to keep our brains from frying (DYK: Kanye worked for the Illuminati and attempted to assassinate 2pac)?

The hard work paid off with a trip to Lambert’s in Sikeston, Missouri. The evening was full of thrown rolls, carbs, and sweet, sweet molasses.

Needless to say…the equation is simple:

Productivity=Sleeping Well

-D-