As we come up on two years here in Dulce, I was considering how to express our lives so that our friends, family, and others can know what ministry and life look like here. I decided that simply sharing a day would be a great way to let you in on my day-to-day reality. So, here goes:
Today, a Wednesday, I got up at about 6:20 and met a Jicarilla friend to walk together. We walk at the high school track, which is about 3/4 of a mile from our home. I walk to the field, then my friend and I walk another 3/4 of a mile on the track while we chat. Today I learned that a member of our congregation was ill, that some people were traveling, and that the wildfire was still burning. A second fire crew was being called to fight it. The fire is about 4 miles from our house, and as of tonight has burned over 160 acres just on the other side of a ridge and across a river from the parsonage and church. I must admit that wildfires scare me! Hand me a tornado any day; I know what to do during a tornado!
I returned home about 7:40 and got ready for the day. I wrote a letter to one of my parents while I was waiting for school to start. By 8:25, my second student arrived. I am home-schooling our 8 year old daughter, and this year I added a 7 year old Jicarilla boy. It has been a delightful addition! My daughter loves having another student, and the two of them learn very well together. We spent the morning doing lessons and reading, except for the quick trip I took to the post office to mail a package containing a glass piece I had finished yesterday. Brad took a few minutes away from his sermon-preparation and hung out with the kids while they were on a short break. While I was at the post office, I chatted with a woman from our congregation, finding out that one of her family members needed prayer.
On another break from our lessons, I returned a call to a friend and found out that she was going to homeschool one of her children. She wanted to chat about homeschooling, so I made a plan to meet with her later today.
Following school, the two kids headed out to the backyard pool while I made some lunch. We usually make lunch together so we can discuss nutrition, but there are so few pool-days left that I let them go swim. They ate under the trampoline, delighting in being outside with their lunches. I ate in the kitchen, window (and ears) open to the pool and trampoline, while I continued to read "Half the Sky" by Kristof and WuDunn. If you haven't read this book, you should! It is an excellent discussion of the oppression of women around the world, and of how to turn that oppression into opportunity.
By 1:00, another homeschooled Jicarilla boy arrived to join the swimmers. The three kids had a wonderful time swimming, jumping, and playing while I sat under a tree, crocheted a Christmas present for a granddaughter, and chatted with an elderly widow who happened by and saw me outside. She stayed till suppertime.
At 3:00, I taught a science lesson to all three children, and wrapped up their playtime. They were picked up by family before 4:00. I then made a quick supper while our daughter practiced her piano lesson. We ate early so that Brad could take our wee one to her soccer practice from 5:30-7:00. I've been helping the coaches with the kids, but tonight I stayed home so I could meet with the new homeschooling family.
Before supper, I also shopped, bought, and drop-shipped two magnetic door alarms to one of our grandchildren's family after their two toddlers managed to open the chained door and get outside. Thankfully, a neighbor found them immediately and returned them home. Their mother was distraught, as was I. It was this kind of situation which caused the death of another of our grandchildren in February.
I spent from 5:30-7:20 with the newly homeschooled child and family, doing a quick assessment of the child's reading ability. Following that, I made some recommendations to the family about what strategies would be effective for the student. When our daughter arrived home from soccer, all the children went outside to jump on the trampoline. I finished my visit with the adults in the family, and they went home. Our daughter came in for a bath and bed. After tucking her in, I started writing this post.
This was a very typical day for me. It is busy, but I am rarely overwhelmed. God has provided the patience, energy, and enthusiasm for all my activities. Sometimes, I don't feel like I'm doing much ministry, but when I examine this day, I see several interactions that could be considered ministry. This is what God has called me to, and I am blessed to live each day in His grace and providence. I am delighted that my education and experience as a teacher are being put to use. I am blessed by several friendships. And I love serving the people here.