My Update Hits a Road Block

I’ve been feeling the need to give an update on my neighbor project, my Spanish usage, and anything else that involves this blog.  However, I’m hitting a road block.  There are plenty of ideas driving in cars, but the writing police are saying, “Hold up, you can’t drive through, you can’t go this way.” 

I’m reading a very interesting book that my father recommended to me, because he said, “It sounds like you.”  It is A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, a book, in which he writes about writing.  I’m at the point in which he is attempting to explain to his publishers the concept of the book.  He states, “all of us are living stories, and those stories teach other people to live stories.  And what our stories are about matters, not just for us but for the world” (125). 

It makes me wonder what my story, my blog, is teaching others.  Has it really made a difference in any one of your lives, or am I just writing to hear my fingers type on the keyboard as if I’m trying to play a highly staccato song?

I have hit this road block and there is a lot of honking in my head.  I see flashing lights, warning me to stay back.  I can picture police officers in long trench coats, telling me and my ideas to turn around because there is danger up ahead.

I’m not sure where my story goes from here.

Necessito una Maestra Simpatica

Seven months ago, I desired full immersion in a Spanish speaking society in order to use my knowledge, albeit elementary, of the language so that I could both perfect my use and spread the message of Christ. Well, I did get my desire, but not as I thought I would have it. Isn’t that how God usually works?

Instead, in beginning my masters program in Curriculum and Instruction, I am taking a Special Topics in Bilingual Education and the course – I’m laughing in the circumstance as I write this – is completely in Spanish. Oh, Kristel, you mean the instructions are in Spanish. No, I mean exactly that plus completing all of our assignments, tests, forum discussions, diary, and I’m pretty much guessing that will include speeches too, in Español. I believe the experience is supposed to really let us live what it is like to learn in a language that is not your own.

I was kind of shocked at my reaction when learning of this minuscule detail. My typical response would involve me furtively searching for an “un-enroll me” button on the Blackboard site, e-mailing the professor of this gargantuan mistake, pressing the “return this purchase” for the book I got off Amazon.com, anything to avoid the sheer embarrassment that will befall me when I make my first Spanish speaking/writing/reading/interpreting gaffe. Instead, I actually welcome the challenge. I feel that yes, it will be quite arduous, but so would going to a country and having nothing else to rely on but what has been stored in the recesses of memory. At least this way, God has given me access to translation services and using the skill I know best: escribir.

Neighbors: What is My Next Move?

Now that I have successfully delivered my “neighbor gifts” to my neighbors, I’m considering what my follow-up action is going to be. We live on the corner of two cul-de-sacs and that convenience of a meeting point is not lost on me. I think that a block party is just the right fit for my next big mission to my neighborhood.

A bonus to this block party idea is that I could easily resource people from my church small group to help me in this endeavor. My husband and I joined this group because they have put their faith into action. In past discussions of what our small group could accomplish on a fellowship night, others have even brought up the block party idea as a way to draw others to a Christian fellowship and get-to-know-you experience.

I feel that more than stating we are going to accomplish this is knowing whether people would attend. What do you think is the best way to draw people out of their homes? Is it a flyer to pass/mail out or a personal invitation the night of the shindig? What do we offer – a full on meal extraordinaire or simple snacks?

I have to say, I’m a bit worried it will turn into a block party for the kids in the neighborhood. I want to make sure adults come too. How do you think I can best make this happen?