Monday, January 28, 2013

Alarm clocks and traffic, oatmeal and coffee. Bless you.

Weird waking up early, eating oatmeal and coffee with my dog in our humble little house watching the local news in English. Yesterday I was drinking coffee on our balcony overlooking lush gardens, in a white robe, drinking in the warm salty air. We awoke each morning to birds chirping and the light rain tapping on our roof.  Paradise. Not reality. And that's okay.

My alarm chirping merely 24 hours later is a jolt from the easy living of vacation. I've traded up margaritas for kale smoothies and late night buffet lines for 9pm bedtimes. It's good though, I missed home.

I will definitely miss blogging, checking emails, reading, and talking about black holes with Matt here though.... as you can imagine, I found black holes incredibly interesting and I had a lot to add to the conversation. 

One fun thing we discovered was at the resort you could ask the grounds keepers to cut open one of the many fallen coconuts on the property and drink the water out with a straw. Once you've re hydrated with delicious fresh coconut water you can take it to a bar and dehydrate with a piƱa colada that they'll pour into your coconut. It weighed like 25 pounds though so "one for each hand" would have been pretty difficult. However, I should have man-ed up because I may have developed some killer biceps instead of a killer headache.

This week brings many meetings with coaches and teams and I'm excited to meet a lot of the students I'll be working with. I met with some students from Plant High School last week at Palma Ceia Methodist Church and got to spend some time with one student who hasn't grown up a Christian or ever gone to church but recently had some things happen in his life that he couldn't manage himself.  Some tough hard things that 17 year olds shouldn't have to experience or know about.  Then his best friend told him about church.  Church told him about Jesus.  He's been walking to youth group each Wednesday and church on Sundays for about a year.  Because he loves this Jesus.  Because he believes that however crazy the Bible might seem on paper and from the mouth of a youth pastor, to a young boy who tragically has never known a McGee & Me video or Psalty the Singing Psalm Book, he knows Jesus lived, Jesus came to redeem those that knew Him, He died for those that knew Him, and was resurrected for those that knew Him and those that know Him today.  He knows Jesus because He is working in his life, to make it new, to make it mean something.  I was humbled hearing this young man talk about this with no pretenses or cliches, no "christian-ese", he wasn't trying to impress me with his Bible trivia, it was pure, unadulterated amazement. 
So while I'm sad to wave good-bye to an incredible January full of family, and love, and sun, and snow, and friends, and adventures, I'm overwhelmed with joy that I get to spend more time hearing about the lives of the students in Tampa Bay.  Cheers.

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