Speaking in Confidence... 10/20/2011
Speaking in ConfidenceIn the past few weeks I have met many people whose lives have come in contact with my own. Last week I started volunteering at the Garnett Bilingual Preschool where I've met some amazing women. I work in Ms. Carina's classroom with 1 and 2 year olds. The kids are precious and building relationships of trust with them has been a blast, but building a relationship of trust and responsibility with their teacher is what I would like to touch on.
Carina has had faith in me since the second I stepped into her classroom. She automatically handed me a book and said, "Just read it, your English is better than mine." To which I decided to take hold of the opportunity and read. She translated the things I said, and I tried my best to learn just as much as the kids were. I want to know her language. As the day progressed our stories began to slowly come out piece by piece. I told her about my passion for Guatemala and she told me about Argentina, her home country. We spent a lot of time comparing the cultures of the countries we both knew and loved. She told me about her kids, she has three boys, that are seven, four, and two. She told me how much they had blessed her and how her life changed as they continued to grow.
Our conversations were very intriguing, both of us speaking a sort of broken Spanglish. I would throw in the Spanish words I knew and fill in the gaps with the English, while she did the opposite, throwing in English when she knew I wouldn't understand. Getting to know Carina and her story has been such a blessing. God works through her everyday in the lives of the kids she works with and her own family, as well as the few conversations we have had. She told me not to be embarrased of my Spanish, but to speak it with confidence, and just hope the words come out right.
This advice relates to more than just speaking in Spanish, though. Throughout my entire life I've struggled to not be wrong. I don't care if I'm right, that doesn't matter, but if I feel like I have the chance to be wrong, most of the time, I just wont do it. Carinas simple advice to speak with confidence, and just hope the words came out right has been rolling around in my mind. She told me, "It's okay to not know, I'll understand you just like you understand me." It's okay to be wrong. The gentle love and encouragement by Carina and her collegues has been incredible to me. Without knowing it she is constantly challenging me and pushing me to put aside my pride and speak in confidence. The Lord is my strength, it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks about me or if I'm right or wrong. He loves me all the same.- Andrea Ewing
A must read. What would happen if we just paid attention to what is all around us? An entry by Andrea. 09/26/2011
Living Among CreationThis week we were challenged to see the creation that constantly surrounds us. Not just the nature, or the people, but the creations that have been made by the people and nature surrounding us. That probably makes no sense, does it? Let me put it this way: All week long I have been surrounded by a church, a community, that has a very distinct culture. When walking through the Garnett Church of Christ office you will probably see a LOT of coffee cups laying around here and there, and a bunch of hippy looking people walking around barefoot with no makeup, and chaco tans on their feet. We don't sit in chairs the normal way, at least not when we're talking to each other casually, and different music can be heard as you pass by each office. Beth's office has the sounds of Waterdeep overflowing through her doors, while our pator, Greg, has some kind of odd tribal sounding Asian music. This at least has been my observation, I haven't asked him about his music choices, nor do I plan to, I just sit on the floor in the middle room, and marvel at the sounds all around me.
A culture has been created at Garnett that tells me that it's okay to kick off my chacos and sit sideways in my chair. The culture has been made by a certain, unique group of people that surround me every day. God created the world to have a certain majestic culture, and he created us to create more, to add to his creation with our own unique personalities. No matter how "unartistic" someone may think they are, I swear they probably don't realize that every day they make something or someone feel a certain way.
I have a friend named Kylie, she is my hero, and every time she walks through the room, no matter how chill of a mood I am in, I automatically get phyched. She walks with a little bounce in her step, and talks louder, and laughs more frequently than is necessary, but the way everyone changes when she is around shows how Kylie creates a mood everywhere she goes. When Kylie is around, everyone is free to snort when they laugh, and make strange noises when something bad happens. She brings joy to everyone in any situation. She is an artist, she creates.
The creation that surrounds me, rather often, usually goes unnoticed. Sometimes its hard to be struck by something when you see it everyday. This week, I decided to let myself get culture shock everywhere I went. I actually listened to the music playing over the speakers at Starbucks, and actually saw the people I look at almost every day. I payed attention to the details of an environment, the colors people wore in a movie, the cracks in the pavement as I walked through the park, and you know what's funny? Everything became more beautiful to me.
Creation is a part of the story that I feel many overlook. But to me, it's the most beautiful aspect of the Christian culture. I've always had an odd fascination with creation. My family has encouraged me to create, and to move since I was tiny. I grew up making up games on the trampoline, and running around the neighborhood pretending to be someone I'm not. Neither of these bits from my childhood can be hung in a frame, or pasted in a scrapbook, but it is a creation that I will never forget. My God did that.
He created something too big, and too beautiful to be put in a frame. He spent days creating a perfect creation. He didn't look at the world at the end of the sixth day and say, "Well, It's alright... I guess." No. He was proud. He said, "This is good." He was proud of his creation, and wanted to be a part of it.
Many marvel over the fact that God walked with Adam in the Garden. They can't imagine what it must be like for Adam, but what I'm wondering is how must God have felt. He was walking alongside his most beautiful and perfect creation. I hope, one day, I can know what that feels like.
Creation, it's something God didn't keep to himself. He gave us the ability to create. The ability to imagine something to be the way we think it ought to be. So why don't we all let ourselves loose to create something that we can be proud of. Something that we can look at and say, "Man, this is good."Posted by Andrea at 5:47 PM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
You can access Andrea's musings surrounding her link year experience at: http://www.andreaewing.blogspot.com/
I was thrilled for these two great people to join me for their first college class on Monday. Their first one! And it was happening in my office at Garnett Church of Christ! The atmosphere is great, the content challenging, and the people interesting. I pray that they enjoy the process as much as I do (even if they have to do a whole lot of work!)
The world is right out in front of them, and the choices abundant. They are diving into a pool of real investment...
We have already learned about crossroads in life while sitting in a corner booth at the Rt 66 Diner, considered the value of all people while observing and even interacting with folks of all kinds coming and going from the Tulsa County Court House, and scoped out the value of Restoration while walking in and through the marble columns of the historic Mayo Hotel. I've also given them the great pain of having to write about all of this, read important books, and drive all over Tulsa observing the scope of service opportunities in our city.
Here's the link to Cody's blog. And, here's Andrea's link.
This is going to be good.
Orientation today, internship sites and blogs tomorrow, and a service opportunity scavenger hunt Friday. Class starts Monday! More to come!
We just got some cool press…and some great investment.Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 | Posted in Chris King, Culture and Community, Current | Author: Chris King | No Comments »From www.batesline.com regarding City Counsel Candidate Blake Ewing’s decision to accept a contribution from the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, and then pass it along to a local non profit making a real difference (he chose CQ Missional..which is way cool….):
“I was pleased with his decision to give the $1,000 to a non-profit, an organization called CQ Missional, a Christian organization that “helps people discover their role in making the world a better place.”
In an email, Blake wrote of the group: ”Their aim to grow leaders out of young adults in Tulsa is something I’m also passionate about and I’m eager to see what these future leaders do for our community. It’s one thing to serve at the point of need. It’s a whole different thing to train and empower young adults to be outwardly focused and intentional about serving their community. I believe in this organization and am proud to share the $1000 with them. The long term impact they could have on the city of Tulsa and the world around it is too amazing not to support.I love the idea that they are training people to impact their community. They are helping to form a new generation of leaders and servants, dedicated to changing the world. I wish them safety in the journey and pray that their nets be full and their compass true.”