One Life Leads To Another.

“Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you no one would believe it.” ~Unknown

Image

I was online the other day, and a news story caught my attention.  The jest of the story, a six-year old girl was killed while being outside of her house playing when a drive-by shooting took place.  She was six-years old and playing!!!  I know this isn’t the only sad, unfair event that happened that week or even that day.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about it or her.  I couldn’t stop thinking about her family.  Where did this happen?  Chicago…a few hours from where I live in the states.

Here I am in Spain trying to serve children, encourage children, and a few hours from where I lived a little girl lost her life.  Now I sit here, looking out my window, watching all the people walking through this small town and I wonder, who is in need of a friend to listen, who is having a difficult time, who is in need of hope.  I look at the children that I teach, and I wonder what example can I be for them, what can I teach them, what do they need to know in order to grown up as caring, respectful, hope-filled adults that then teach others.

You see all our actions have direct and indirect affects.  I’m not going to sit here and wonder what I could have done better in the past, the moments I didn’t take the time for someone, but I am going to move forward in giving all that I can to those I meet…or at least do my best to try.  Because their life is important, and the lives they have an impact on or influence in are important too.  It doesn’t stop with one person, it continues.

One life leads to another…

You may be wondering what can you do?  Teach and be an example.  Give what you have, share what you know, and let that be displayed in your actions.  As I was praying for this girl’s family, Titus 2 came to mind.

“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”

I refuse to hold anything back that might challenge, impact, and encourage the lives of others.  Now to actually live this way…

Advertisements

If Only…

Here I am, Semana Blanca is over, and it is back to teaching and seeing all the children again.  I’ll ask them how their week was and some will tell of how they spent time with their families or traveled, while others will share that they slept longer, played video games, or watched tv.  I’ll tell them of my vacation, hiking up the mountain, spending time with friends, and hosting a few friends who were on their way to North Africa.  It will be nice to catch up with my students again.

As I was preparing to teach today, I began to think about what they will learn.  And then I thought about what I will learn, because let’s be honest, children tend to teach us a lot… specifically, about removing the terrible excuse of “If only…”

I read an interesting story this past weekend from a nonprofit I continue to follow.  It was about a boy who dedicated his 5th birthday to helping others.  You can follow the story here.  The truth is children as young as 5 are figuring out they they can start doing something, that they can help others.  And yet, we as adults are waiting for when we have more money, or have it all figured out.  We are worrying about giving up things, and yet children are grasping the idea of freely giving.  Hmmm…

Brag moment, even my own nephew and niece have given what they have to help others.  I remember one night, after they had done chores around the house to earn money, we sat all dressed up around the dinner table with our fancy meal consisting of McDonald’s…don’t judge me, I’m an aunt and I give in from time to time ;).  There we talked about giving and decided together what organization we wanted to support with the money we earned.  They were excited and didn’t even hesitate about giving it all.

There will always be an “If only…”, but we have something to give now.  I dare you to be challenged by these children.  I know I still have a lot to learn…

Well, there’s that quick thought.  I teach in an hour and must finish getting ready.  It’s going to be a good week…