Last weekend, the Whipps took us out on their boat to Rock Island. It was a great Sunday. It was fun playing in the sand and swimming in the ocean. On the way back it was low tide and there were big waves coming at us. The boat driver was very nervous and the kids were loving the excitement. Sarah and I started talking about Jonah after watching the waves. I bet those waves were big, since God was trying to tell Jonah, you can't run from me. The waves and the storm was so big that the fisherman were throwing cargo over. Finally Jonah jumped in and the waves and the storm stopped. Then our conversation moved to the story, when Jesus was sleeping on the boat and a storm came, so the disciples woke Jesus up. Jesus told the seas to be still and they were still. Then he told the disciples oh ye of little faith. Later that evening I was thinking how many times I am like Jonah and the disciples, were I run away from the big storms or the problems in my life. And God says to me, Meggan why is your faith so little? Why don't you just trust Me and and know that I have a plan for you. He tells me to be still and know that I am God. God is always there and all I have to do is trust in Him and He will calm the storms of my life.
So awhile ago, some other SM's and I went to a waterfall. To get to the waterfall you have to climb down to a river and than you have to cross the river. After you cross the river, there is a steep slope you go down and at last you make it to view a beautiful waterfall. Really easy to get to and a beautiful scenery. However, what we learned afterward is you are not to go to the waterfall while it is raining, because the current or the water flow is stronger. Well, it just so happened we went to the waterfall, while it was raining. But that certain day, I was particularly shaky. I stood and watched my legs shake. I was to far in to turn back and I really wanted to see the fall so I kept going. I was taking my time which was fine, but than it was time to cross the river. I current was strong and the water was high. After thinking I should turn around and friend offered to help me over. First, I said no I was fine, but I kept him close just is case, because I was so shaky, I thought I was going to fall over. So, he was there just in case, something to grab on to in case I fall. After a long while, I made it across the river a little wetter then I had started my journey, but I was across. Now it was time for the steep slope. It was straight down. Again a friend offered to help me down, but again I was to stubborn to accept. Half way down the slope, my shaky legs gave out and I ended up sliding the rest of the way down. This friend, held out his hand and helped me back up. Nicely he didn't say should of let me help you or anything like that. He asked if I was okay and than asked if he could help me now. So, with extra help I made it to see the waterfall and back up again. Not exactly sure why my legs, arms, and hands were shaky that day, but the experience was worth it. After this I was thinking and how often this becomes my relationship with God. My walk with God becomes shaky and I feel like I can't go on. But I keep treading on keeping God there just in case, but not really wanting Him. God says, "I am here let me help." But I am to stubborn to accept. Finally, I fall. God is there waiting, He sticks out His hand and asks, "can I help you now?" After shaking and failing I am ready to accept and continue my walk with God. With God I can see the beauty and make it back up the hill. To often this becomes my relationship with God. But what an amazing Father I serve who is always there and ready to pick me up when I fall.
This week has been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. But as I think about it every week is that way. I don't think I would want to have a week with no downs or lows. I don't think the ups and the highs would be as exciting. I will start by sharing a sadness of this week. Yesterday, Ishbel, had her last day of school. She is leaving tonight to head back to Australia. I am excited for her. She gets to go back to where she is from and see all here friends and family again. At the same time it is very sad to see her go. Ishbel, was a quite student, always did her work and got decent grades. What I loved the most about Ishbel is that she beat to her own drum. She did not care what others thought and she was happy to do what she wanted to do. She was really good friends with Ailan and Mesikt, but yet she was still happy doing her Ishbel thing. I think that for a 10 year old that is a great quality to have. If only I could spend time caring what others think and just doing what I wanted to do, how much better off I might be sometimes. I will miss Ishbel, she was a great student and will be greatly missed. It is hard to lose students. You get so used to doing everything in a certain number, but when your 21 becomes 20 it is a sad day.
Along with the sad there is good. Today is Merkii's birthday. Today she turned 10. It is so exciting when the kids have birthdays. They are just so excited about turning a year older. Merkii's mom brought in cake and ice cream and the kids got to join in the celebration of another year of life for Merkii. Life is such a precious thing and each new year is exciting. It was funny though. I remember as a kid my mom would always ask so how does it feel to be a year older, so I asked Merkii that today and she said the same thing I always said, "It feels the same." We never realize how much we grow and change in a year. It is a special time to get to celebrate birthday's with my students. Each birthday is special.
Teaching comes with it's funny moments as well. Today, 8B had chapel, they put on the story of Jonah. They did a great job. When Ms. Rossi was telling about the lesson of the story, she said, "raise your hand if you have ever made a mistake before." Most everyone in the audience raised there hands. I really wasn't thinking much about raising my hand I was just listening and thinking. Than one of my students, Edson, turned around and said Ms. Meggan you've made mistakes... than there was a pause... and a quite raise your hand. Edson said this in a really respectful way it. But it just made me laugh the way he said it. Edson is quite the kid you never know what he is going to say sometimes. He is one for the kids say the darnest things.
Another up and down in my classroom is a child named Rendi. I do love that kid dearly, but there are days with him that I just want to pull my hair out. For example, on Monday we had a fire drill, every student was lined up and we were all waiting for Rendi who was just chilling at his desk, because he did not want to line up. When I got on him to get up. He told me it was just a drill, so he wasn't moving. Than I asked what if it were a really fire. His response was I can handle it. So, if the whole classroom where on fire, you could handle it. Yup, sure could. Sometimes am at a lost for word with this kid. The conversation went on and he ended up back talking me, which landed him in the corner and a lost recess for not being willing to do the fire drill. I got his normal, but I did not do anything comment and that was it. Than there are other times when Rendi can be great. Like today after school, since he as to stay after school until all his homework is done, we were working on his Science assignment together. He was trying and looking up answers. He did pretty good on the assignment too. First quarter, he had all F's, which where the staying after school started. Today, he was asking about his grades since was doing work now, I told him we need to work on Social and Math, those are his only two F's now everything else is a C. I am so proud of the progress he has in his grades. Rendi is a great kid, I think I say his name more times a day than anyone elses. I love him more and more as the days go on. I know he has a rough life and I pray for him every night. The days Rendi is absent, which are alot, it is quite in the classroom and I miss Rendi. I think every classroom needs it's one trouble maker. Class just isn't the same with out them.
So it is now December, getting the classroom ready for Christmas and getting the students ready for the end of the semester. We have made a Christmas tree and colored white paper green and taped it to the wall. Today, the students drew nativity pictures which are now on the wall. I love Christmas and being able to decorate my classroom. On Friday, we are going to make ornaments for our tree and snowflakes to go around the classroom. While doing this I plan on playing the one Christmas CD that I brought with me. If it weren't so hot here I would bring in hot chocolate. But when it is 80 some degrees and humid with the ercon on, hot chocolate is the last thing you want. Christmas is different here in Palau and it is only the first day of December, but I am exciting that I get to spend this holiday with a classroom of bright smiling 4th graders.