Thursday, April 3, 2008

Excuse me, Excuse me...

Today started out disastrous..I woke up at 6 am to help out with breakfast detail and while most mornings I'm happy to get up and help Ludie, our wonderful kitchen help, today was not one of those mornings. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and that thought continued well into nap time this afternoon. Nolan and Kerry were atrocious in class today and what little patience I had was worn thin after an exhausting art class. By the time it was "quiet" time I was ready to call it quits for the day or longer. I felt physically and emotionally drained without patience or energy to deal with the kids. During quiet time I tried taking a nap to rid a migraine, but after a restless attempt decided to journal and finish the last 20 pages I had in Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis . I was about to put the book down and prepare for beach time when I read this paragraph..

"Oftentimes the Christian community has sent the message that we love people and build relationships in order to convert them to the Christian faith. So there is an agenda. And when there is an agenda, it isn't really love, is it? It's something else. We have to rediscover love, period. Love that loves because it is what Jesus teaches us to do. We have to surrender our agenda."...

His words hit me really hard. They are simple, but their is so much to wrap our minds around in what he says. An agenda. What agenda did I come here with for these kids? What agenda do I carry with me daily? Maybe I'm misreading Bell, but I took in what he said and put it in perspective of today and these kids.

My patience wears thin when I expect to achieve something with the kids, when I get tired of trying due to the presence of an acknowledged or unacknowledged agenda. But I'm not here or I shouldn't be anyhow with the agenda to see this change in front of my eyes. I'm simply here to love these children. For me in my role here that means teaching them, setting boundaries and disciplining in a non-violent way, and continually surrendering control to God day to day, but even hour to hour in days that are trying. In a day that I felt worthless and helpless to these kids and to myself I felt uplifted by this reminder.

After putting our books down Alison and I went to gather our laundry that we had like domestic house wives hung on clothing lines in the backyard. Before we headed to beach time we went to grab a delicious slice of fresh baked banana bread for snack. Hungry from day two of sadwiches (intentionally misspelled the way Ludie spells it, as they are definitely sad sandwiches) we decided to sneak back in and split another slice. Thinking we were sneaky and no one saw us we smiled as we quickly consumed them, when I heard a small voice I turned to see Brandon sitting in the corner of the room mouthing something to me. Apparently in a fit of rage he had snuck to the laundry room and poured bleach all over the kids clothes and was now being punished with an hour long timeout in the corner of the dining room. I walked over to the child who had been apparently watching us like hawks and in Brandon style this is how the conversation went..
Brandon: You had one and a half slices, you were only allowed one.
Naseem: Yes Brandon, but Alison and I are very hungry because we didn't eat much for lunch
Brandon: glares
Naseem: walks away in shock and shame that she was just caught by a 9 year old sneaking an extra half of banana bread..

Appalled Alison and I slipped away to load up for beach time, which today including a special treat of getting to swim in Ms. Ann's pool. It ended up being a very relaxing, fun afternoon with the kids. We didn't get back till late and dinner was rather uneventful tonight. The kids are watching Baby Genius right now, but due to an iffy stomach I had to sneak out early, sadly..maybe, I can borrow the movie and watch it later?..if I'm lucky..

Peace & Love,


Anonymous said...

heeeeey! so good to catch up today by reading your blog!

i'm so excited about what you guys are experiencing. i totally agree with your/bell's thoughts on loving like jesus, agenda-free. you go, girls!

much love!

living vicariously through you...

Matt Davis said...

Powerful words, Naseem. It's a wonder to me that you don't write more when you're home; you're quite talented. I hope you continue when you return. I pray that God would continue to show you how this points to His love for us. I pray that in finding this you would reflect the Love of God.

Jason Raschen said...

Nice post Dorothy

The glare of a 9-year-old has been proven by scientist to stop a rhino in his tracks.