Thursday, October 30, 2008

So many thoughts in our heads...

...so I'll start with the one that least impacts me personally. Today, my 5th period class (as they were working on a review) began discussing the election. One dear boy in wranglers and a cut-off camo t-shirt decides that he is now a political commentator. He says "Obama is an idiot. His policies will ruin our country. I hope he dies." First, no, son, you are failing 10th grade biology...can you call him an idiot? Second...it's not as if Obama can do ANY worse than what we currently have (and yes, I voted for Bush...I'm just soooo over him). Third...SERIOUSLY?!??!?!?! I told him that his comment was possibly the worst thing I have ever heard in my life and that I am disappointed in him. The whole class then begins to discuss their idea that Obama will definitely be assasinated if he is elected. Which gave me pause first because I would hate for my vote to cost a life. But then I began to think of the SEVERE mess that our country would be in if, in fact, their horrible idea would come true. Can you IMAGINE the racial divides, hatred, and violence that will be incited if that does, indeed, come true?? I can't even put into words how much my students' comments made me think today.

Regardless of your political views...pray for the safety of the winner. And for the safety of our nation...because we need it. Especially if the ridiculously hateful people that are in every corner of our nation follow through with what they say they want to do. Praise the Lord that we don't have to fear! He is in control.

Now, to the part that I WANT to talk about and brings me joy:

All week, I have been wrestling with what to say about Sunday. What a BEAUTIFUL God-send Sunday was! It began with Justin and I driving to Lake Jackson for church at Brazos Pointe with my family. The Daraja Children's Choir of Kenya had been in LJ since Thursday, with three little girls staying at my parent's house. Sunday morning, they performed a couple songs and I was BLOWN AWAY. They praise like nothing I have ever seen. It began by watching a video of these children telling us how/why they are orphans or living at the children's home that my brother and sister worked at in Kenya last summer. My heart wanted to burst for them...sweet Josephine telling us how her father died of AIDS two years ago. This beautiful, gleaming, child of God...and all she can talk about is how He has saved her and she can't help but sing for Him.

The message was beautiful. Just beautiful. The theme was injustice which was defined as people not getting what they don't deserve. Think about...drink that in... We live in a just society, which means we get what we don't deserve. Our God is a God of justice...which means He is compassionate (Psalm 116:5), a God of wrath (Psalm 12:5...I love this one so I will write it all out: "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the Lord. "I will protect them from those who malign them."), and a God of rescue (Psalm 35:10). How amazing is that!!!? And what does He command of us??

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the orphan, plead the case of widow. Isaiah 17:7


Wow. What a command. First, seek justice. Seek out people who aren't getting what they don't deserve. Then he gives us three people groups to demand justice for. The second caught our hearts this weekend.

The orphan.
Carol. Sweet Carol. She is in the first grade at the age of 13. She and her two sisters have been at the Havila orphanage for two months. They were rescued from a coffee farm...and Carol is the oldest. Three girls on their own at their age. I sit here with tears on my face for Carol. She stayed with my family and ALL she could talk about is how the LORD has blessed her and loves her as a daughter. She barely knows a fathers love, but she knows her Father's love. (and she wants to be a teacher...kindred spirits!)

Carol, Josephine, and Varel. They breezed through our lives and I know we will never be the same.

Now, the call. The Lord has called Justin and I to action. First, small actions: we have another child support payment to make every month. We decided to sponsor an orphan (Susan) through the 410 Bridge in addition to Chris who I have had for a few years. The beautiful thing about Susan is that we can meet her! Our next step is likely to travel to Kenya this summer with the 410 Bridge!!!! I am giddy just thinking about it. We are still in prayer about the logistics and money, but we would both like nothing more than to spend two weeks singing with the sweet kids we met last week.

Lastly, adoption. We are passionate about adoption. I have no idea what color, what nationality, or when...but I know when my heart stirs. And my heart was churning for the children we saw. I have an inkling we will end up with an African child because the Lord put Africa on Justin's heart three years ago and on mind since then as well. We are SO open to that door whenever the Lord calls!

Injustice is everywhere. It's the child in my classroom who goes home afraid of her parents. The widow who sits at home alone. The child orphaned in Africa, Asia, America...

Please. Join with the Lord. Answer his call.

Please check out 410 Bridge, Daraja Choir, and consider giving this Christmas to the beautiful faces you will see on this website. There are plenty of places to give on that website and many others.

That was long...but so necessary.

With pouring love,
Laura and Justin

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lazy Saturday

I love days like this. Where it's hard to think of things to do...things you HAVE to do. The only real task we've had all day is cleaning up the electric griddle after breakfast. And Justin did it, not me. We've had such a beautiful day. Except for the fact that I can't find a pair of jeans that fit me to save my life. They're either too low, too tight, to stretchy...etc. Sigh. And it doesn't help that my clothing budget has drastically shrunk. Not that I spent a lot before marriage and teaching, but I had the option of spending more than I do now. Oh well, ugly jeans are a small price to pay for marriage!

On Friday, we had the Cy-Fair vs. Cy-Woods football game. We (meaning Cy-Fair) lost (of course). Poor boys...as an adult, you get to not care about the result but you can't help but feel for the group of boys out there. They deserve a win more than anyone and can't get it. We took Kate and Brian Cruickshanks (Mr. and Mrs. C...it's easier for all of us that way ;) ) with us to the game because we each get a guest pass and Mrs. C teaches at a brand new school without varsity sports (or more important to her, without a marching band). It was a good evening preceded by a long dinner at an okay Mexican restaurant. It was one of those places that you have to wait hours to get in and all we have heard about is how amazing it is...and it was okay, but not worth circling the parking lot and yelling at people coming out to find out where they parked (happened to us by 3 people when we came out).

We slept in (till 8:30...it's hard to sleep much later when you are used to 5 am) and ate a fun breakfast of pancakes and turkey breakfast sausage (if you want pork/beef, do not come to our house...we eat turkey burgers, tacos, bacon, peperoni, sausage of any kind, etc. But don't get us wrong...we still LOVE LOVE beef and pork...we just don't cook it much for ourselves anymore. It's an "eat out" treat).

Tomorrow, we are going to Lake Jackson to see the Daraja Children's Choir of Kenya. It's the sponsored by the organization that Peter and Micaela went to Kenya with and it is composed of children from the orphanage they worked at. Brazos Pointe is so excited because they are housing these kids. My parents have four and are taking them to the Brazoswood HS football game tonight. I'm pretty sure there is nothing more ridiculous/American than a high school football game...especially a Texas football game. That should be a fun experience. I'm so excited to see them and my family!

In other (great) news, we found a church!!! We are so very excited and so very blessed to have found a body that we can belong to again.

-The Two of Us

Sunday, October 12, 2008

You know you were raised in church when...

...you feel guilty for not going when you feel sick. I hate that! We went to church without fail until I was in the ninth grade Sunday morning, night, and Wednesday plus any other time the church doors were open (after that we got involved in churches that were Sunday mornings and small groups during the week...beautiful invention). Which was good in every way except for this way...for now I lay on my couch, unable to swallow due to my sore throat, feeling guilty for watching TV on Sunday morning. My good Christian husband went on to church without his ball and chain. And the guilt multiplies. :)

This weekend we watched more football in a two day period than was humanly possible. And I imagine we'll continue that trend today. Friday night, we went to Justin's school game, which they lost. Saturday we woke up and went to College Station where we sat in the Henderson's living room and watched a bit of the OU/Texas game. We then proceeded to drive to campus armed with an amazing parking pass from a season ticket holder, walked the few feet to the stadium, and sat in the shade on the fifty yard line where we watched the (bad)Aggies lose...again. But it was the best game ever due to the fact that we didn't sweat at all. Not once. And we had cushioned seats. After this defeat, we drove back to Houston and straight to MY school's football game. The Cy-Fair Bobcats decided not to mess up the trend we had collected during the weekend and lost, as well. However, they played AWESOME and just barely lost to one of the better teams in the district (we're on a rebuilding year...so that's a big deal!).

I love my husband...and that is why I went along with that ridiculous weekend schedule. I also love spending time with him...I would do anything to spend a Friday/Saturday night with my cutie.

We have a new next door neighbor...who has this beagle named Toby. Toby doesn't do so well in the apartment on his own. And he expresses his feelings towards his loneliness by howling...and howling, and howling. For hooouuurrrrssss. And then when he hears her garage door open, he howls even louder. And then howls as she lets him out. And howls as he is outside. Yay! Haha...

Right now I am reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (please don't take points off...I can't figure out how to underline on here). It's fantastic and I totally recommend it. I love stories!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Wisdom wins out.

Well, the Nicholses have made the "grown-up" choice for us. While we would LOVE LOVE a dog, it would be smarter for us if we wait at least until this summer. We went to the several places and just couldn't find "our" dog. Oh well! We took all of our frustration over this as a sign that it is not meant to be. But watch out...if you have a dog, we will probably live vicariously through you!

My favorite thing about being a high school teacher is that if you EVER tell anyone what you do, they respond as if you are some superhero. In reality, I'm a glorified babysitter. Haha, just kidding, but a LOT of days that's how it feels. It's a constant battle versus lazy teenagers. At least they make you laugh! On Friday, my 7th period had so many good excuses for why they just could NOT work during class. Oh silly kids...you don't fool me!

Justin and I are still struggling to find a church...which is EXTREMELY frustrating. Being apart of Houston doesn't make it easy to search for churches because you may come up with one that is an hour away. It's so hard to draw the line between being picky about what you want and deciphering what the Lord wants for you. He gives us desires for a reason, but they can often be clouded. I guess I just get to spend more time in prayer :)

-L