February 11, 2012

Febrero Loco

The term “febrero loco” – crazy February - has been used many times in Xela this week. Technically it is dry season, the season where there is no rain for six months, dust flies everywhere, and your boogers turn black. But in this “febrero loco” we are having, the week consisted of not just rain, but full-on thunderstorms. Loud thunder. Flashing lightning. All a beautiful display of God’s glorious power. Unfortunately, not so great conditions to climb a volcano like we hoped to do the past two weekends.

February is “loco” for more reasons than the weather. We are halfway through the 3rdquarter of school, and life feels like it’s at a busy peak, and will be for the next month. I feel very much like a first year teacher, trying to balance time and keep up with planning, grading, progress reports, tutoring, and extra-curriculars. It’s like I am running around school all day trying to get stuff done, but also trying to remember that my first priority is the child standing right in front of me, either asking me to tie their shoes or crying because they fell on the playground.

I feel weak. I feel exhausted. I feel humbly reminded of the fact that we are not always the strong, independent, self-sufficient people we like to think we are. Thankfully, Christ responds to our weaknesses, uses our weaknesses, and teaches us to praise Him in our weaknesses. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12.

But while work might feel crazy, we have the blessing to look forward to many great things as well: a retreat with the school staff, Potgeter parents and sisters visiting, a weekend trip to Mexico to renew our visas, a Broekhuis sister and friend visiting, and a few weeks later the Broekhuis parents are visiting. It’s exciting for our family to see where we live and where we work…as well as give us an excuse to get out of Xela and do a little more traveling. We have accumulated a “Guatemala Bucket List,” so it will be fun to cross some of those off with family and friends.

Speaking of our bucket list, a few weeks ago we were able to take a day trip to Las Fuentes Georginas, natural hot springs tucked away in the mountains. Fresh, hot water flows out of the mountain and into three different lounging pools. Before we went we were told that there would be one pool that nobody would be sitting in, and that would not mean we were the lucky ones who get it all to ourselves. It just means it is too scalding to even stick a toe in. But the other two pools could be wonderfully enjoyed for about twenty minutes at a time. It was a wonderfully relaxing time, alternating between hot springs and reading in the sun. Cross it off the bucket list.

We praise God. We praise Him for the opportunity to work. We praise Him for accomplishing His work, even through our faults and weaknesses. We praise Him for rest. We praise Him for the good times ahead with many loved visitors.

Grace and Peace,

ps. A few photos...

 Las Fuentes Georginas. This is the spring too hot to sit in...or touch.
 Natural mountain water. Wonderful.
 Some people even bring giant floaties.
 Many enjoying the warmth.
 Carmen, our new friend and student we sponsor.
 Collin with our Fruit Friends...ready for some Pollo Campero.
 Our "thank you" gifts from our Fruit Friends.