• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: life

Peace or turmoil

The longer I remain in the old world…the stronger the pull to live in it again.

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Often I feel guilty for living at a slower pace and not relying on only my strength…my wits…my choices. How easy it would be to turn back to taking control. I have a list already in my head of what I would do and what I would seek.

The big question is will it be best to do MY will or the invisible friend’s will?

The ‘invisible friend’s’ will is far from easy and sounds the most impractical, imbalanced, unbelievable, and unthinkable path to take. If I lay it out logically it will involve this:

  • Using all of my savings account to sustain myself until the non-profit gets on its feet to support a salary.
  • Living simpler and not buying luxuries…such as a couch or anything that takes up space.
  • Putting myself out there and looking pathetic begging for donations.
  • Nights of frustration not knowing who to beg for money.
  • Humbling myself by accepting help.
  • Public speaking.
  • Travel
  • Solitude
  • Minimal electricity and abundance of options at a supermarket.
  • No nesting and uncertainty overshadowing my thoughts.

If I decide to continue and make it past the next week in Michigan and arrive in Africa I risk the possibility of seeing what most don’t want to see. Already St. Croix opened my eyes to something else in life, what will Africa do?

Is it true that when you are the edge of greatness that is when all around you begins to crumble and that safe patch of grass on the other side looks all that more appealing?

“If you live in this way, you will do less but accomplish far more. Your unhurried pace of living will stand out in this rush crazed age. Some people may deem you lazy, but many more will be blessed by your peacefulness. Walk in the Light and you will reflect the watching world.” – Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

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What’s a Squirrel?!

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Why does he keep calling me Mommy?

Made the Squirrel craft today. I figured screw trying to pick only the easy crafts with the Boys and Girls club because of the chaos there. We are going to use glue and get messy! The kids loved the ‘thankful squirrel’ craft and most of them survived the trip home I hope. This one boy really wanted to make one after he finished his homework so I gave in because I am a softy for him. We sat together and worked on it one-on-one and he is proudly showing off his squirrel in the above photo. At one point i was getting faint from lack of food and the yelling kids so he shared his cheetos and cheeze crackers with me. See God provides:)

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Showing off their Squirrels. One Kid thought it was a beaver.

 

The kids are still excited for my Africa trip and enthusiastic to make rubber band bracelets. Today I ran out completely, they just devour them. Hopefully tomorrow I can find the new shipment of rubber bands at the post office. It’s so cool to see how much the kids want to be a part of something and to be noticed for their accomplishments. We have a little over 100 bracelets made so far!


Got to take 5 kids to the beach on Saturday and it was quite an adventure again. Piled them up in my jeep and gave them another day to remember, for me and them. At the end one of the new boys I just met didn’t want to leave me, he kept trying to sneak back into my jeep when I turned my back. I wish I could put into words the day but perhaps the photos can speak for themselves. I’m making some big leaps towards meeting the mothers of these kids and I wonder if somehow I can grow those connections and not just the kid ones. I mean the adults matter too and perhaps that’s a piece forgotten on the island here when the kids get all the photo ops and special programs.

 

Healing Eyes

A day at the Lighthouse

Every time I bring the ukulele the kids swarm around and smile. I gave up my piano to move to the island but God gave me the ukulele to fill my musical void.

The kids found it funny I didn’t know there ‘Patty Cake’ version and that I kept messing up.

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Perseverance worked yesterday

Much better day with the kids. Hot and muggy but no tears and mean words. The kids were super lovey today. Happy feet gave me the longest hug and told me I was a good person (yes in those exact words).

I brought my bracelet maker today and the kids taught me how to make rubberband bracelets with just my two fingers. The boys actually were the ones most interested and very talented. It was a great motivator for good behavior and manners. it was quite funny, we started with about 5 kids but then when the van arrived with a huge load of kids I said, “quick pack it up before they see”. Otherwise all the kids would be grabbing and it would have been chaotic. One girl really understood me and rushed to quick hide the loom.

There was this small boy who over the week keeps finding me. He pulls out his big piece of paper I had been teaching how to make flowers on. He asks me to show him how to make a new flower each day. So cute and odd how he keeps bringing that piece of paper back to me. I wish I knew his name. He’s one of the few boys who complains about how loud it is there. He wishes everyone would stop screaming all the time.

So yesterday was awful but today was a blessing. I got hugged, loved, and treated nicely:)

The Jeep update: My Jeep is ‘running’ but it needs a tune-up now for the distributor. I won’t complain though because it would be triple the cost if it was a newer jeep. So yay this will only break me by $220. Pray that God will keep providing and doors will keep opening up.

I am thankful for free Wifi courtesy of my awesome neighbors. I am thankful for my girlfriend Renee who is going to be my roomy soon. I am thankful for the sun. I am thankful my Jeep starts. I am thankful for the kids who hug me. I am thankful the mosquitos are not too bitey. I am thankful I have gallons of drinking water. I am thankful for Becca who sends me goodies. I am thankful for Cindy who prays for me. I am thankful for my Parents who are proud of me… and I am thankful for my Olaf who keeps me company at night.

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Healing Eyes

Presented with a challenge

Since the Lighthouse after school program unexpectedly closed down for a week I can now devote more energy at the other club and God put some inspiration into my heart at around 2am on Thursday. Filled with excitement by the time 7am rolled around I had a plan, 5 devotional type crafts for 5 days at the boys and girls club.

Thursday : Honor your Parents
Friday: Tell the Truth
Monday: Forgiveness
Tuesday: Decisions
Wednesday: Sheep

Then have the kids present each craft every day and share what they learned. One boy was scared to be on stage but I told him I also fear public speaking and if I can do it he can too. He fell on his butt from running up the stair and all the kids laughed but he survived and even said a word or two. When we worked on the second craft today he just kept talking about how scared he was but he said it all with a smile on his face.  I suppose as frustrating as it is with all the screaming and chaos of lack of rules at the club it’s worth it for 20 minutes of one on one time with some kids craving attention. If I can keep tackling a small group at a time than perhaps something will rub off on the kids.

Little J’noy worries me, he has taken to being depressed much more and I tried to ask him why but he just won’t say. It was nice to see him perk up a bit on the stage when he showed his craft, I think maybe he smiled. (he’s on the left in both photos.

 

Healing Eyes

Simple blessings amidst suffering

Life teaches us more than what we find in textbooks. Our greatest teacher of obedience is through suffering. From great loss, such as death of a loved one, to our daily failures we suffer over and over. Each time we learn something new about ourselves and how we react will be a witness to others.

I have no jeep. On an island that means I have to wait for the new radiator to be shipped over and then hope the post office will release them in a timely manner. There is no loaner car from the local dealer. There is only waiting. Waiting on the kindness of others and waiting on the mechanic. Good news I have raised $325 towards my new radiator, half way there.

This has forced me to again be still and have patience. Lots of time to read and listen…be guided to act and to wait on things. This experience again reminds me that I am not in control. I am at the whim of my invisible friend. Yesterday at the club I felt so small and useless with the kids yelling and not being able to reach each kid to help with homework. Little J’noy speaks so softly and is trying so hard to be noticed but the other kids over power him. J’shaun (I call him ‘J’) is my smart kid. I saw him working on his homework while the other kids were running around like monkeys. We sat down at a picnic table and worked through his alphabetizing and math (of which my math sucks). He wanted to get the homework down before power hour I think because it’s so loud during that hour of homework time that he can’t think. I don’t blame him, its pretty impossible to really get anything done during that time. Later I had J’shaun help with the other kids by pointing to the misbehaving ones and he would tell that kid to come over to me. He’s really a great helper. It’s shocking that during summer camp he was actually loud and misbehaving but now he is polite and kind.

Little happy feet got a big hug from me before I left, I picked her up and swung her around. She said she loved me and I said I would be back on Friday. ‘See you on Friday she yelled’.

Almost forgot the cutest part of the day. I shared photos of my day at the beach with Olaf the snowman from the movie Frozen. The kids found that quite humorous that I made Olaf’s dream come true.

I dare say I am in danger of falling in love with all these kids.

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Abundance with little

I am truly blessed! Living an abundant life of simplicity. I just finished a delicious dinner of chicken and mac & cheese with a corn on the cob, I totally splurged! After a few hours at the Boys and Girls Club I needed it though. Today I was with 7th and 8th graders trying to teach them about computers for the Digital Literacy Program. Exhausting and rewarding. At one point while on my knees talking to one of the boys and going through his answers on the computer. The talk turned from computers to a pep talk about believing in himself. He kept saying ‘I’m dumb, I am stupid’. I told him if he keeps saying that it will become true and he needs to say ‘I am smart’ over and over again.  He basically was a disruption the entire time by goofing off but I am not giving up on him yet.

Before class started I pulled my ukulele out. I debated heavily on if I should bring it or not but I gave into my potential embarrassment and brought it anyways. A little girl was playing outside by herself and so I asked God that if he wanted me to show it to her that he make the first move. Soooo he did… the girl came over to me and asked me if she could play on the computers and I said no.. but I have something cool to show you. It turned out her dad has musical tendency and she likes the guitar so I showed her some chords on the uke and she was doing C and A chords in no time. Then other girls started to show up and I taught them a bit while talking about life and how my husband died and that I don’t have kids (yes the girls started that conversation with their questions).


 

This week I chose to start reprogramming how I think. When I start to feel insecure I remember this:

“Now you are my friend, since I have told you everything the Father told me.  You didn’t choose me, I chose you.”
John 15:15-16

When I start to doubt and think what I am doing is crazy I remember this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Prov 3:5-8

And when I am clouded by my own problems and end up blind to what’s around me, I think of this:

Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that is where the action is.  See things from His perspective. Col 3:2 

Enough Scripture talk! I have ran 3 times this week and I got free French Toast twice! What more do I need?! Free breakfast, good conversation, and exercise to clear my thoughts.

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Empty and numb

For the first time I have no desire to blog…to share anything…to even go on with this stupid journey. How ludicrous to move to an island where all it does is isolate you more. People come and go and then there is no one…it gets dark early and the electricity is too pricey to use. So I sit in darkness, the light reflects off the walls at least on a full moon. I have one stuffed animal, Olaf, to hold me back at night. No arms to hold me…they were taken away. God’s arms seem so invisible that I can’t even feel them. Break me no more dark grief. Break me no more broken world. 

Others have opinions on how to cope.

Yet I still remain alone. You appreciate what you have when it’s gone. I even miss those damn chemotherapy visits and pointless doctor appointments. The midnight runs to the Emergency room. The lack of affection from Andy when I lost him before he died. I would take anything if only to see him again, to talk to him!

All is meaningless under the sun.

Even the serving at the Boys and Girls Club today felt empty. The kids kept fighting my authority, all of them yell and misbehave, there is no structure or respect for authority there. The kids that need the attention sit quietly but the misbehaving ones steal it all away. The older kids disrupt the classes and its understaffed. The only positive was the meeting I pulled together with the Director on ideas to reign in the chaos. I again am placed in a ‘mediator’ role and at least in that I feel some of my old self coming back. I know I can at least give the ‘soft spoken’ and stern approach to leading. If one of God’s gift to me is Leadership than I’ll take it. Through my quiet spirit God will use me but it is draining. So many emotions pulling at me right now and in the midst I have grief and loss. I don’t want to be a victim but its easy to feel sorry for myself.

I am angry! Damn it! and I miss Andy’s cooking ha!

 

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Healing Eyes

Fog

I awake from a fog of loss. Last week a storm blew through and now a light mist lingers over the dew of morning. Seeing for the first time the depth of damage done in the wake of a great storm. Lives touched by the loss of Andy, loss of family, loss of fuzzy kids, loss of self, and loss of dreams.

Each wave that crashes shakes free another memory thought long gone. In those days after Andy died I dived deep in the pain felt from losing part of yourself. Feeling hopeless in knowing he’s gone but I remain, as if his life was more important than mine.

Now as the fog lifts I see my chance to view life differently. Andy was taken from me tragically but I blame no one. For this loss I don’t blame God, I don’t blame myself, death just happens. I am thankful for knowing Andy and loving him but now I am thankful for a second life.

Thank you for the rain and thunder of the waves.

Thank you for the clash of thunder and lightning.

Thank you for taking everything away to set me free.

 

Timeline for newbies:

Valentine’s gift from Andy

Cancer Sucks

42 Days 

It has begun..now what

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Boing Boing..Jump

My day wasn’t supposed to be all kids but it ended up being that way. I am floundering around and each day it seems I never know what will happen. Today I was with the kids at the club all day and we went to the beach for most of it. As usual I was awkward when I first arrived and shy around the kids.

The staff members talked to me more today, yay! I’m making progress in being accepted.

Then little ‘Happy Feet’ came by and she is so full of life. She has 3 names but today it was mainly Happy Feet. All day she was my little shadow, from bouncing around to being a fish she rode in the water, this little girl kept me jumping. By the end of the day she was tired and grumpy and laid on my lap crying. I taught her lessons on sharing food with others, being nice, how to work a camera, and finally she taught me love. There is a boat we have to take to the beach we bring them to and at the end of the day she got on the first boat back to the mainland while I was on the second. When I got off she was waiting for me, she was explaining to the staff member she was waiting for Miss Sarah and pointed at me. She said she loved me and missed me. As if I had been gone long since it’s just a 2 minute ride in the boat.

Whatever did I get myself into?

They have offered me a staff position when school starts, possibly teaching computers in the lab (it’s a tiny lab so nothing high end). Also seems I may have a graphic arts opportunity in creating a promo flyer for future donors. Today God has thrown more ideas at me and I am spinning. So many kids and I have no idea what to do.

Pray for discernment on this coming school year…it seems I have too many options on what to do.

 

Healing Eyes