Friday, September 30, 2005

Is it too late?

Is it too late to quit? We've only met two weeks as a cell group and I feel like I'm causing more harm than good. I hate leading things. I'm much more of a support type person. And when you are leading a group that you are actually the youngest person in, it doesn't help matters. I feel so shallow, so inexperienced, so like I have nothing to offer any of these people. And yadda, yadda, yadda . . . I know that it shouldn't be me offering them anything, but the holy spirit and all that. But doesn't that seem like one of those Sunday school responses?

The Holy Spirit should be working through me and ministering to them. The group should not rest entirely on my shoulders, but everyone should bring something to offer (I just organize and facilitate). But this is all theoretical, not necessarily reality. The reality is that I have been really busy with the start of school and quite honestly my Quiet Times have been very irregular and when I do sit down my brain is always spinning with the other things I should be or could be doing. So I wonder how I'll ever hear the HS if I'm not listening. The other reality is that the group is in the beginning stages and my "support system" is a bit handicapped from the get go. I should have an assistant, but my assistant is gone for six weeks. Of course it is the beginning six weeks when I need her the most that she is gone. So I'm feeling a bit like I am out there on my own trying to do something that I can't do.

So the question is . . . is it too late to quit?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Funny Story 2

I had a funny kid story happen today and I just have to share it.

We are doing a unit on poetry in my first grade class. Today we worked on writing our own poetry. We started with the basic poem
One, two
Buckle my shoe
Three, four
Shut the door
Five, six
Pick up sticks. . . etc.

So we started with the "one, two" and wrote the next line ourselves. The kids had to think of words that rhyme with two and went from there. So we get to "three, four". I ask the class if anyone can think of a word that rhymes with four. One little bot raises his hand high and I ask him what his word is. "Whore," he pronounces loudly. I think that I surely must have misheard him and ask him to repeat it. "Whore," he repeats with conviction. I think to myself that he must not know what that means and he has either made up the word in his head not realizing that it already is a word or has maybe even heard it before but has no idea of it's meaning. "Yes that rhymes with four. Can anyone think of another word that rhymes with four?" To my relief a girl blurts out, "Poor!" I quickly try to move on to her word and say , "Yes, that rhymes with four too. Let's think of a line that ends with the word poor." The little boy says, "but I said whore. . . like a lady." Hmmm. There goes my theory on him having no clue. "I'm sorry, but we can't use that word in our poem."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Funny Story

This is a funny and not so funny story I heard today. I laughed, but then felt guilty about laughing at what could have potentially caused a good deal of harm to someone.

One of the teachers I work with rides her bike everyday to school. Some of my friends were talking about the dangers of bike riding in Cairo. I mean the traffic here is unreal. The drivers are crazy. There are no rules of the road (or at least none that anyone pays attention to). But now it seems that it's not just the drivers you have to watch out for when riding your bike. The pedestrians can be just as bad. My teacher friend was riding to school and rode past a crippled man on crutches. As she rode past, he flung out one of his crutches to trip her up. Isn't that horrible. . . and completely funny. I might be sick, but just the image of a cripple throwing out his crutch at an innocent passerby was somehow really funny to me.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Nothing Like a Chick Flick

There is nothing like a chick flick to somehow make the female mind twist and contort into something completely irrational. I watched one tonight that had me for a split second thinking "ya know, maybe a girl could bang a complete stranger in an airplane and that guy turn out to be 'mr. Right' ". . . sure . . . it could happen . . . WHEN MONKEYS FLY OUT OF MY BUTTHOLE!!! What kind of sick person tries to distort women's mind into thinking that doing something like that would be an ok idea. Obviously sick perverted men write these movies (no offense guys, I do realize that you are not all sick and perverted). Anyhow, that enough of my ranting for the night. It's time to hit the hay.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

People and Cats

I've had a revelation about how people are like cats.

I'm cat sitting for some friends of mine. I have this weird cat allergy that only comes up with certain cats. It's not about long hair vs. short hair, but I can't really figure out what the determining factor is with my allergy. Anyhow, I am allergic to these cats (or at least one of them). But my friends had a family emergency and had to leave suddenly for two weeks, so I volunteered to feed and care for their cats. It's generally ok if I just go in feed them, clean the litter pan, and leave. But if I sit there too long, I get the kitty cat eyes. They look up at you saying "why don't you pet me? I'm a really nice cat? What have I done wrong? Why are you with holding your love from me?" You know that if you touch that cat your eyes will be burning, itching, and blood shot. You know your nose will run and you will sneeze the rest of the day. But how do you tell the cat that? How do you let the cat know that you approve of it completely, but you simply can't give it what it wants? It's not that the cat doesn't deserve to be loved and petted to its heart's content, you just can't do it. So either the cat goes on feeling hurt and dejected or you give in and feel miserable all day long.

Sometimes, people are the same way. They want you to meet certain needs that they have, and you just can't. How do you explain to that person that it's not that you think there is something wrong with them or that you are better than them? It's not that you don't think that they deserve to have that need met. It's just that you can't be the one to meet that need, for whatever reason. It's tough. I think we've all been there and most of us have played both of the roles at one point or another.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Settlers of Catan

Have you ever played Settlers of Catan? This is my new favorite game. Everyone should play it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Starting New Things

Tonight, for the first time ever (I think). I led a small group (by small group I mean a church-related group of less than 15 people). I've literally been involved in church leadership in one way or another for the last 12 years of my life, but never leading a small group. Be it kinship group, cell group, home group, Bible study, or whatever. . . I've never led one. So tonight I started something totally new for me. It was nerve-wracking as anything, especially since I'm just meeting over half the group and the rest are little more than acquaintances. But I think it went well. I love meeting new people, so that part was nice. But the feeling like I'm talking or leading worship or leading prayer and setting the tone for the whole night and it just freaks you out. Are they bored? Do they know any of the songs I picked out? Do they think I'm stupid? Are they uncomfortable? Am I dominating conversation? Am I not talking enough? These are just a few of the questions that were racing through my head.
The best part of the night was that we didn't have a house to meet in tonight, so we took a short boat ride on the Nile. It was a hit. I felt like patting myself on the back, but then I remembered that it wasn't even my idea (Sara suggested it to me I think). Well, I gotta go now. Edward wants to play music with me. So I'll write ya later!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Too busy for stupid stuff

One of the really good things about my life here and now is how busy I am. Admittedly, sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed and like I have no life (I am usually sound asleep by 9:30 or 10:00). But on the whole it is good to be so busy. I find that the normal stupid things in life still happen. You know the things that you were kind of hoping for that just didn't work out. Given the opportunity, I would ponder on these things and bemoan why they didn't happen the way I thought they should. However, life right now doesn't let me do that. I have too much going on, too much responsibility, too many more important things to give myself too.
At the end of the day, we only have so much time, so much energy, so much of ourselves to give. We can give it to selfish worries, doubts, etc. Or we can get out and do something that really means something. It's really nice to feel like I have something more meaningful to do than to worry and feel disappointed.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A thought

Today at church something the pastor said struck me and I just thought I'd share. He said that problems don't create character, they just reveal it. I have tended to think of people who have suffered more as being the people who have the best character. But I think this guy might be right. There are people who have suffered enormous tragedy and handled it by stepping on others around them and just blindly grasping for anything and everything with no thought for others and no thought for consequences. But others in similar circumstances might show enormous generosity, perserverance, etc. Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Esther's New Lover

Esther was a counselor at a camp for the last 10 days. The camp was for a bunch of young Egyptian orphans and also the kids whose parents work at the orphanage. Esther works with these kids all the time, loves them, and knows them pretty well.
So while at this camp, she is walking with one of the boys (who is around 10 or 11 years old). He tells her that he doesn't know how to be friends with her. She asks him why and he just says that he can't do it. Then there is long awkward silence. He suddenly bursts out that he is in love with her. There is more awkward silence. She asks if he means like he loves his friends or his family (hoping that something was lost in the translation). He simply says "no". Okay... more awkward silence.

Poor guy. Esther is such a heart breaker. She pretended they never had the conversation and tried her best to ignore him staring at her the rest of the week.

On a completely unrelated note, if I ever get that nesting urge and decide to start a family, I have decided to adopt a Korean kid. They are the cutest kids ever.

A Night at the Opera

Last night I went to the opera. I went with Sara, Edward, Emily, and Reagan (I'm not sure if that's how you spell her name) to see Aida at the Cairo Opera House. It was wonderful. I loved it, loved it, loved it. I was pleasantly suprised by this opera as the last one I went to there (Le Nozze de Figaro) was not up to my expectations. This opera they actually did in the original Italian. The sets were very nice. The costumes were good. And most importantly, the singing was amazing. The kind of singing where you close your eyes and you are in a different place. So it was possibly the best 35 LE I've ever spent (that's somewhere in the neighborhood of under $7). Oh, did I mention that we had third row seats in the orchestra section?
The only marginally annoying thing about going to this opera was the fact that it didn't start until 9:00 pm. Why would they do that on a Monday night? Thursday or Friday, I could understand, but Monday???!! Did they realize they were putting on a four hour opera? Do they realize that people have to wake up and function the following morning? But, all things considered, it was still totally worth it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Odd Realization

I warn you all that this is a slightly gross comment. So if toilet talk bothers you don't read on.

I realized something odd about myself. Whenever I am in the lou and I pull off more TP than is actually necessary, I think of the book The Grapes of Wrath. You know the part when the little girl and her mom get chewed out for using more than the alotted two sheets of TP when the girl has diarrhea. It's strange how some things will just stick in your mind.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Maria McKee

I bought the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction not too long ago. So now I have a new thing for Maria McKee. I have to get some of her albums. This is the lyrics to her song on Pulp F. It's called "If love is a red dress".

My heart is empty.
Your eyes are dull.
Once we were hungry,
Now we are full.
These ties that bind us,
Can't beat these chains.
If love is shelter,
I'm gonna walk in the rain.

You were my angel.
Now, you are real.
So like a stranger,
Colder than steel.
The morning after,
You know what you bring.
If love is a red dress,
Well, hang me in rags.

There goes the fairy tale.
Lord, ain't it a shame?
In all this comfort,
I can't take the strain.

If we played even,
I'd be your queen.
But someone was cheatin'.
And it wasn't me.
I've laid it on the table,
You held something back.
If love is Aces.
Give me the Jack.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Today I was the crier

Last week was the first week of school, so naturally a few of our kids broke down and cried at one point or another. But today the tables turned.
One of my little girls, who is normally quite happy, was looking a bit blue at story time. The KG teacher was on for reading the story and, since I was free, I pulled her aside to find out what the problem was. She told me she didn't like living in Egypt and she didn't like coming to school. She said the only classes she enjoyed were Arabic and Art. So basically, every class I teach her, with the exception of the hour a week I teach art, is painful to her. So I did my best to cheer her up and let her know that I had been pleased with her school work thus far. But when she went back to story time, I sat at my desk and cried. Silly, yes. Irrational, maybe. But I felt like I was and am trying so hard to do a good job, to make the lessons interesting, to make school fun and really teach these kids well. And in one fell swoop this 6 year old lets me know that I am failing miserably. I'm telling myself that this girl is probably dealing with some other sort of issue with culture shock or at home or even with another kid at school. She has always seemed to enjoy school up until today (granted "always" includes all of 7 or 8 days), but this just appeared to pop up out of nowhere and doesn't really make sense. So hopefully it is just something else. Sigh. These things happen I guess. I'll just have to keep trying harder to make things more interesting.
Anyhow, after spending so much time with kids lately, I have become like those moms who only see their kids all day long. So when they finally get to talk with an adult they are so thrilled they don't know what to do with themselves. After work I met up with a friend for coffee and a croissant. It was like therapy, just not talking about kids, not being around kids. Truly a breath of fresh air. I love kids. They are great. They are honest and genuine. But it was so nice to have a break.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Love is in the air!

Well, I have a new boy coming into my class tomorrow. He came in briefly today to say hi to the rest of the class and look around at the school. After his appearance just before lunch, one of the girls in my class couldn't stop talking about how gorgeous he was. First I just try to control my laughter. After I get that under control, I'm thinking "You are too young for this!!!!" Then I thought "when did I get my first crush?" I am ashamed to say that my very first crush was when I was (gulp) 4 years old. My kindergarten class. His name was Dusty, Dusty Waters (weird name huh). I was the shortest girl in my class and he was the shortest boy, so I guess I just figured that we were made for each other.
I don't remember ever having crushes in first or second grade. Those were the first years of the hellish childhood years, the years where I had practically no friends and I was the butt of all classroom jokes. So I was too busy despising my peers to actually feel any sort of liking for anyone. But my first serious crush was when I was 8. I had a thing for my mom's best friend's son. His name was Benji. Our family would drive down to Florida every year to visit their family. I was a pretty intense kid I guess. I had a crush on this guy that I saw about one week every year, and I had a crush on him from the time I was 8 and for the next four years of my life! That just seems strange to me, but that was me. You know what else is strange? He had a rat tail. How could I ever find that attractive, even if it was the 80s/early 90s?

Do you remember your first crush?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to my niece Emma Marie Lee! She was born yesterday at 3:56 pm (EST). She was 8lbs 10oz and 20 inches long. Tommy says she has a full head of hair. I can't wait to get some pictures!

Movie Reviews

Lately I have been lazy. Well, at least I spend all my energy at work and when I get home I don't want to do anything but veg. So I veg in front of the TV. I've watched about a billion movies over the last few days and I just thought I'd let you know what I thought about some of them.

Father Goose- a classic Cary Grant film. Cute, funny, but not his best work.

Bewitched- Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman star in this movie. Ferrell is a self-centered actor who is redoing the old show Bewitched. Kidman is a frustrated witch who wants to be a normal person. Ferrell spots Kidman at a book store twitching her nose, and he persuades her to be his costar. This is a chick flick. It's cute. It's funny. But I was slightly disappointed with it and I don't know why.

Dodgeball- Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn star in this comedy. It was hoo-ha-larious. If you are in the mood for a stupid comedy of Zoolander genre, this is a great choice.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason- Renee Z., Colin F., and Hugh G. What can I say? The first one was better, but the second one had it's shining moments. This sequel seemed to be one of those that just repeated the same jokes that were hilarious in the original, but by the second time around had lost their element of suprise. But Colin Firth is gorgeous, they use one of The Darkness' songs, and did add a few new interesting twists. So on the whole I like it.

Little Black Book- Britany Murphy stars in this complete waste of time. Don't see this movie unless someone actually offers you money to do it. I want my hour and a half back!

Bride and Prejudice- this Baliwood take on Jane Austen's classic is set in modern day India. This movie had me in tears laughing the first time I saw it. I freely admit that it is a dumb movie and that most of the rest of mankind wouldn't even find it funny. But none the less, I loved it.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Joke of the Day

Do you know how they make extra virgin olive oil?

With really ugly olives