Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The tough ones

This afternoon, I spent some time reflecting on our tutoring program with some other volunteers and planning for 2015. It was such a joy to sit and talk through joys and struggles over the past few months. We talked about "wins" and when it was my turn, all I could think about was this one little boy, Alexander.

I met him in August and our first interaction was me intervening during an argument between peers. The kids were told to line up by grade level and there seemed to be quite the dispute among the other kids about what grade Alexander was in. He spoke ZERO English and honestly, he seemed a bit confused his grade level too. Just recently having arrived in the U.S, you could tell he was overwhelmed with the situation. 

A few weeks later, I'm sitting on the floor trying to reason with him (almost impossible) and convince him to pull out his homework. Followed by another interaction when I was taking him home after tutoring. While trying to calm a crying child outside my car, Alexander smacks another kids in my car and hops in the drivers seat. What ensued was, to be honest not my best tutoring moment, but with zero patience left I just started yelling at him in Spanish. Y'all, this boy. He tries my patience like no other kid before.

Yet, days after my yelling match, he sees me as he gets off the bus and comes running at me full speed and gives me the biggest hug. I was kind of like "what the heck?" I scream at you and you hug me? Anytime I see Alexander he face lights up and he embraces me.

The last week of tutoring, I worked with him one-on-one. He really wants to do the right thing. He was following my directions and practicing his spelling words over and over again.

It's the tough ones, you know, that really teach you things. That make it worth it. The ones you have to fight so hard for and dig deeper than you thought possible, they are the "wins." Isn't that true in all things? I mean I love the sweet, easy kids too, but my patience isn't tested and I don't practically lose my mind, and maybe the testings and near insanity makes the ending even sweeter.


  video

"I like tutoring because you teach me how to play and read. You help me in school and I'm learning English." He then giggles and admits to listening to music during tutoring. Love this boy and so excited to see his progress. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Twenty fifteen

Time just seems to keep passing by faster and faster. It's crazy to me that it is 2015 now & that Christmas has come and gone.

Today Will & I started back to work. It was a bit of a rough start, snoozing the alarm way too many times, but we made it! Actually, Will is still not off work. Poor thing, he left way before I did and is still working away. Even though it was hard to wake up and get back into the swing of things, it's good to get into a routine again.

There are quite a few unknowns for us this upcoming year. Will's job on Sleepy Hollow will end in about three weeks and from there we honestly don't know what he will be doing. It's possible that we will say goodbye to the film business for a while and he may move into something different. Or we may move to another state, which seems unlikely at this point, but yet still possible. I'm thankful that we have made smart decisions financially and we feel very at ease with the potential that Will may be job-less for a bit.

The past week, I've found myself reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to what I want to change, keep the same and try out. Here's what I've come up with:

1. Will & I both want to encourage each other to consistently study the Bible. We agree that realistically this looks like daily devotionals on our own, more prayer time together and the biggest thing, joining a small group. I've been in a women's group for a while, but we took a break last semester. We have desired to be in a couple's small group for a while, but with Will's schedule we can't seem to find one that works. We're still deciding if we want to go separate routes or seek out a couples small group, but either way we need that community.

2. I want to read.read.read. Last year I devoured books & I want to continue doing that. Expand my reading list to new & different genres and just enjoy reading.

3. Consistent physical activity. I said this last year and there were months were I was great at it and many months I was not. Trying again this year. Here's to yoga, lap swims and long runs ... or short ones perhaps :)

4. Begin learning a third language. I still haven't decided on what language yet, but leaning towards French. I've wanted to learn it for a while & I really want to give it a shot, even if I just learn a little bit.

5. Travel. I'd really love to go abroad with Will, but we have no idea what the year may hold. Even if we take a few short trips, I will be so happy. Traveling with Will reminds me how we are best friends, in addition to husband & wife. We travel really well together & I love experiencing new places with him by my side. I love his laid-back travel approach & that we are totally satisfied to be reading a book & sipping coffee -- no jam packed schedule needed.