Monday, May 21, 2012

To Reveal, Unveil, To Show

*Disclaimer - if you read to see pictures, you will be sadly disappointed by this post! 
 * Second disclaimer, I decided to put in a photo, because I thought of it throughout the writing! :)

Revelation - it's the ending theme and unit to our formal Bible classes this year.

One of my FAVORITE things about teaching at a Christian school is teaching Bible. Not just the "class", but teaching how to think Biblically about all aspects of life, aka developing a Christian worldview. It is my hot button and I'll get all fired up about it and throw down some "Texas flair" (a title given by a sweet friend to these expressive outbursts).

Every year that I have taught upper grades, the questions tend to lead towards discussion on end times, the return of Jesus, what happens next, why will God judge the earth, etc. Every year I have wanted to spend weeks studying this fascinating topic from the perspective of Scripture. Throughout the year, we'll tackle questions as they come up, but the curriculum, scope and sequences, and plans necessitate finishing what is laid out.

Fortunately, our formal Bible program is much shorter than our school year. So for the next three weeks, we are going to go hard-core, in-depth into the book of Revelation. The kids are psyched and so am I!

I was talking to my sweet friend, Jen, last night and she was discussing her ideas for finishing Bible for the year too. I showed her what I was putting together and we decided to combine classes to go through Revelation. (Her kiddos this year were my kiddos for three different grades, so they are sort of my babies too! :)
(Whoa, Jen, this is an old picture!!! Year three, I think!!!)

Today was day one of jumping headfirst into Revelation. We are going chapter by chapter, verse by verse and sticking to the text.

I don't know what the Holy Spirit is going to teach the students, but I am learning a TON! We started this morning with handouts (yes, I am the nerdy learner who loves handouts with fill in the blanks, so we are using ones that I'm writing - side note, I didn't make a master for myself, so I'm looking at one of the blanks and wracking my brain to remember what I had thought to put there!:)

I'm gonna admit, it was a late night, but so good, and I was feeling the lateness this morning. Starting off the day, digging into the Word, pursuing what I love with the Lord, was EXACTLY what I needed!

Y'all need to know that when the Holy Spirit gets going in Bible, I get a little excited (ok, maybe a lot!). It can involve raised voice, jumping up and down, singing songs, exuberant answers to questions, wild excitement about maps (yes, I love those too), enthusiasm at making connections to other passages of Scripture, etc.

It's definitely a shot in the rear for me in continuing to search the Scriptures, to get into the Word, to be in awe at the wonder of God's working throughout what "was, and is and is to come".

Already we started with some great questions, some of them antsy to move more quickly!

If it comes to your mind, pray for the Holy Spirit to be moving in the classes we will have together. Pray that I would get out of the way and speak what God has revealed through Scripture. Pray that the eyes of those who do not believe would be opened to truth and to Jesus. Pray that those who follow Jesus would be encouraged to live with reckless abandon for Him no matter what the cost.

I'm excited to see what the Lord will do! Cautious and fighting in prayer because this a spiritual battle as well.

We ended our first lesson with this song. In chapter 1, verse 7, (ESV), it ends with "Even so. Amen."

Ever since I first studied Revelation on my own and really looked at the last chapter where it ends with a similar message - "Even so, come, Lord Jesus.", the song, "It Is Well" has taken on a deeper and richer meaning.
What a sweet way to worship the King - in sorrow or joy, forgiven of sin, and eagerly awaiting His return.

So I wait, in eager anticipation, of what is to come in the next 14 school days.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moving mattress, Air Conditioning, and Key Cards

Jess and I had quite the adventure with our hotel room in Contadora. Our room had two beds - one twin under the AC and a double in the middle of the room. 

We started off in Room 36. It was all fun and games until we came back in the afternoon and Jess's bed under the AC was wet. The air was leaking onto her bed. 

Off to the front desk we went, receiving assurances that the man would come to check it out. 
Jess went off to the beach and I stayed on our deck for some Jesus time alone and the AC man showed up. 
He tried a few things, including sawing the outside pipe in half so the water would drain outside. He then said to let it run for a few hours and it should be fine. 

Went to dinner on the fun golf cart, Jess and I pretend fought with chess pieces, had our feet nearly attacked by a friendly restaurant crab, and laughed a lot. Upon our return, Jess's bed was still wet from the earlier leaking, so we "borrowed" the twin mattress from Kara and Bill's room. 

This picture is from Kara's blog post on our adventure

While this seemed like a brilliant plan at the time, it wasn't enough. I went to sleep and Jess went to the lobby to check internet. Upon her return, she realized that the AC was leaking again on her bed. Mattress #2 was now wet too. 

Next day, we went back to the front desk to ask for a different room. They obliged us and we moved over to room 34. We seriously packed up within 5 minutes. Over we moved, the maintenance guys were there, so the door was opened for us, so we moved right in. 

When we came back to our room several hours later after spending time at the beach, exploring, etc, we tried to open our door and it kept blinking red.  Back to the front desk we went. Instead of giving us a new key card, the desk lady comes to us and says that our room key is for 34, but doesn't always work. She tried it and couldn't get it. Kara tried asking her for the master key card to at least get us in the room, but she seemed confused by the request. We go to the front desk again and are given a new key card by the manager. The number says 33 on it, but we are assured it is for our room. 

It worked, we were relieved, and our room hopping stopped. 

You just never know what might happen on vacation! It brought good times, fun laughs, and a great anticipation for what might come up next! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Contadora, Last Day

Our weekend here was so incredibly relaxing and lovely! So thankful for such a sweet time with fun friends, seeing the incredible creation of the Lord, and enjoying rest! The best part was the labor day had been moved to Monday, so we got back and had a day off! Love that!

See the floating coconut in the photo below????

This water is so incredible! I could have packaged up the sand to walk around in at home. It is so gorgeous!!!

Amazing water!!!!

The Lord's color palette is so incredibly beautiful!

What a sweet weekend of relaxation, fun new memories (stay tuned for an upcoming post on our room situation - hilarious), island adventures, and a fabulous weekend on a gorgeous island!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Momma Memories

My momma - she is a wonderful lady! She put up with a LOT from us three kids, not just being our momma, but choosing to school us from K-12th grade. Yep, we was home-schoolers and we is smart and edjumacated. :)
Momma had incredible patience with us. I still laugh at some of the things we did that I KNOW drove her up the wall. (Momma, remember when you had Hannah and I scrubbing the floors with Comet and the fabulously, unique song we made up to make the chore fun???? Yeah, that didn't go over so well.)

So I thought I would upload some photos of momma and us and it turned out to be a lot more than I expected. Oh well, I love it!

(I tried to upload these in chronological order, but alas, it was not meant to be)
So thankful momma and daddy were able to come and see my life here in Panama (and excited that they may come again soon!!!).
 Momma with her four kiddos
 One of momma's incredible talents is her sewing skills! She can make nearly anything and without patterns if needed. I wish I had some pictures from when we were younger and the amazing dresses she would make for Hannah and I.

 Momma totally supports Dad's love for Blue Bell ice cream.
 Momma totally loves it when Luke and I do ridiculous things to embarrass her! She secretly thinks we are hilarious! :)
 There are far too many of these now that we live all over the place - but it makes our hellos that much sweeter! The times we are all together as a family are incredible treasures that we do not take for granted.
 She will even join in on our game playing, even though it is not always her favorite thing. But she loves us so much, she'll play!
 Christmas 2012 will be a new season for us with two of the kiddos married (Luke is the second one. No, there is no big announcement on this side). I love it when it is the "Spencer" year for Christmas.
 Sweet friends with momma

 Thanks for teaching us to play cards and laughing as we play in random places, like airports
 This is a classic Luke pose with mom around. It makes me laugh every time!
 Family time

 I've been told I look like Momma. Thanks, Mom!
 Sweet family time
 Mom is always willing to go to crazy places with us, even when it requires dressing parkas. Plus, she had to keep Hannah safe as she was preggo in this pic.
 Mom is a HUGE support to dad in the children's ministry. When they came to Panama, she jumped right in to helping me in Sunday school. That's my momma! Thanks for loving Jesus well.
 She even loves it when we do crazy things in hospital hallways...
 like when Luke dresses like a snuggie monk.
 I love watching Momma in this new season of her life as a Granny. Charlie Belle is blessed for you to be her Granny!
 I love watching you and Daddy together!
 Your laugh makes us all laugh! It's one of the reasons we act so crazy, so that we can get you laughing hysterically!
 Seriously, one of my favorite pictures ever. Such a sweet representation of a Godly heritage.

 Another one of momma's hidden skills is her outdoor, planting, gardening abilities. Hannah and I have sweet (literally) memories of the garden on the farm. Mom still loves to plant flowers every year and now living in the country again, planting edible garden treats.
 She loves it when Luke and I act crazy and take nutty pictures and then she laughs at them!
 She thinks our acting abilities are hysterical (again, we do it just to make her laugh)

 We also try to make Momma cry at different points. It's because she has a sweet, tender heart!

 Thanks for encouraging me to pursue my dreams and being present at those big moments!
 Thanks for being willing to travel the world to be with your family.

 Thanks for loving us when we are "normal"
 and when we are goofy
and for always being our momma.

We love you dearly!!!
Can't wait to see you again soon! Lots of love and hugs!!!