Right now my students are busy doing a massive word search I created the other day. Lots of short words hidden in huge box of random letters. Some of them are starting to grow restless and give up, but others are determined to finish. (I’m making the restless ones organize the colored pencils, which no one managed to put away nicely after our last activity.) It’s cute seeing these rambunctious little boys focus so hard on something, and it’s cute when they come ask me for help.

I purposely designed this activity to last as long as possible and require as little of my attention as possible. (Plus, most of my kids love word searches and constantly ask for them. Win-win.) It’s been a long week because of the nightly battles I’ve been having with the mosquitoes.


Last night I awoke from a deep sleep in an instant state of alertness. A mosquito had just bitten my foot. I shot up in bed, grabbed the electric tennis racket I had strategically placed next to the bed, and immediately started swinging it around in the darkness. ZAP. The sound of victory.

This week hasn’t been the easiest. My kids have occasionally had to call my name 3-4 times to get my attention (that number is an estimate based on the level of desperation I heard in their voices), I have blanked out in the middle of more than one conversation (not even while the other person was talking, but while I was talking), and I had to catch myself yesterday when I was about to exit the subway at the completely wrong stop. But I feel like I’ve been training for some sort of battle.

I’ve been building endurance, learning to conserve energy in the right moments, learning how to recharge efficiently (best secret weapon: laughter), and I’ve been growing more alert, at least in the key moments (i.e. when a mosquito is trying to bite me). In battle, you have to be alert, even in your sleep.



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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

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