Since returning back to Mexico, life has felt a little like running up hill, which tends to leave me ready to collapse all day Saturday to catch my breath! Getting back to my class has been the best part about returning. It is always really difficult to leave my family, though it was difficult leaving my class before break too. Leaving in general is just hard! But the good part about leaving versus being left is that you are going to something, and in this case that was my class. These beginning weeks have been full of laughs and catch up times.
On a more serious note, in the short time since returning to Mexico a good friend of mine passed away suddenly, and my great uncle passed away after a long time sickness. It is hard being here during times like this that I want to be with my friends and family. As everything, the pain is affecting my teaching. People are important. Each student is a soul, with a family, and future. My life experience makes me feel determined that each one of my students succeed, develop, and grow close to God.
I just began reading a new book aloud to my class by Brett and Alex Harris called Do Hard Things. I have read the book before, and I was challenged. But reading it through my students’ eyes, with my desire and faith in their success, I’m finding it is hitting me even more now than it did when I was a teen. The book is a “rebelution” by teens: rebelling against low expectations. The authors challenge teens to overcome low expectations by raising the bar and challenging themselves to do whatever it takes, even hard stuff, to grow and strive for excellence.
Have I chosen to do the hard things in my own life to overcome complacency? I’ve had to do a lot of hard things in my life, but I don’t feel like it was really by choice. It has been more like God had high expectations of my faith and ability by allowing different circumstance to happen. But that doesn’t really count for my own choices in challenging myself. Here I am, growing closer to my 30’s every day, and I am still challenged to do the hard things in life. Part of doing hard things is being faithful to finish what we start, and now that I am starting a life of ministry and following God, the hardest challenge will be to finish the race strong and well.
As a class I’m praying that all of us, me included, can find some areas in our lives that we can start exercising with hard work to grow some “muscles”: maybe spiritually, physically, intellectually, academically, socially, or in maturity. When I look at my class, I push them and put high expectations on them because I see a lot of potential (and because I really want them to succeed!).