Monday, October 27, 2014

How God Uses Squatty-Potties...And Us!

I'm making waves with my titles this trip I think.  From death to potties.... I'm being out there-creative!

Memories flooded back as I made my first re-entrance today into the Appletree bathroom.  It was almost exactly a year ago today that God decided Julie needed a new iPhone in that raised-floor, tiled,  in-ground squatty potty stall.
Chinese Thanksgiving 2013 - tables were set, children were dancing in the halls and I made a quick last minute run to the bathroom before our guests'  grand entrance into the Thanksgiving room.

Forgetfully stashing my new work iPhone in my jeans' back pocket and then racing into the washroom I quickly entered the stall.
And in those moments - one might say I forgot my precious new phone in my back pocket... Or God had just pre-decided Julie, who needed a new phone quite badly, would inherit my phone.
For as I began my - hmm - "descent"... iPhone made its quick descent out of my back pocket and smack dab into the middle of that eternally deep squatty-potty.
Literally - do you know how deep those squatties are?!

I was horrified!
And even more so horrified at the decision that I now had to proactively make to actually get down on my knees on that squatty potty floor and reach elbow deep into that abyss in order to retrieve said phone.
I took a deep breath, I got to my knees, I rolled up my sleeve and inserted my hand and I prayed - and I begged and I, yes, I bargained.
I got that phone out and the screen actually still lit up when I pressed the button.
I was elated!  Maybe it was saved!

I nervously went back into the Thanksgiving room and found some rice (not hard to find in China) and put my phone in and covered it.  And then for an hour I proceeded to try and be present in my head at this glorious Thanksgiving celebration.  I figured that the longer I let iPhone sit in the rice the better.  Throughout the day the screen would light up and then make feeble attempts to tell me that it was not happy at the concept of being dropped head first into a toilet.
But it bravely solidered on.

And at 0-1700, when the battery was just beginning to wane, I plugged iPhone in and iPhone sadly said "no more, Alison.  No more" and died.

I was grieved.
I was worried.
I was in trouble.
I was phone-less.
Do you know what its like to be phone-less for over a week?!

But - two things came from the whole squatty experience.
#1 - being phone-less was actually refreshing as I couldn't communicate except via email on my laptop and I didn't even want to take the time to bring that up so - all I could do was face to face talk with Julie and so Julie and I talked and talked and talked and we bonded bonded bonded.  And now I love love love her.
#2 - my phone was dead so I had to get a new one when I got home, but - China happens to be technology central and so Julie had asked if she could have my old, dead toilet phone which I was more than happy to give to her even though very curious.
And you know what - those ingenious Chinese FIXED that dead toilet phone and so now Julie has a new-old-new iPhone which was a total upgrade from her previous phone!  And she's able to download sermons and podcasts and games for her boys and books and all kinds of things that her last obsolete phone wouldn't allow her to get.

And now a year later - new-old-new iPhone is no longer referred to as "ew - the TOILET PHONE!" but instead, its lovingly called "THE iPhone".

So - when God has your iPhone fall out of your back pocket into the squatty potty.... Don't think "ack! My iPhone is ruined!"  think "God what a creative way to provide someone with a new iPhone!"

And on to Momday -
Quick day recap - outside of the bathroom!...

Appletree backpacks lined up in a row for the start of a school day!

This morning the boys and I met the bus at 7:20 and rode near an hour to get to the school where we immediately went up to the classroom.

My five students were Orange, Moses, the twins Melanie and Mary and then Eli.  I did Julie's first three classes and LOVED them!  Its so fun to be back in the classroom - and even more fun to not be with high schoolers in the classroom.

We did two classes with science - we read and talked and experimented with solar eclipses...

And one class with Bible....
I must admit that I'm not only impressed with these little Chinese students' English (which has improved drastically since last year as I know these kids from 2013), but their thought process coming out in English and their writing!  I've never seen such beautiful handwriting, in English, with girls AND boys!

This was Julie's check in to see how everything was going - project done and (most) faces happy - CHECK!
Their reading class with their teacher Linda while Eli and I did some homeschooling.

And then it was DANCE time! :)  Half of the school comes out in the hall and one of the teachers takes them through this dance routine... If it were normal to me it wouldn't have been so amusing, but quite adorable....

Then lunch....
Which Eli and Jasper and I did on our own and then shared a delicious chocolate bar sent from the states!

And then history.  Just a test - yuck - I had to be THAT teacher... :(

Its unbelievable how super long their day is - we got here around 8:30 and classes started and then they don't get out until 4:40!  That is one LOOOONNNNGGG day - poor kids.  I guess it just gets them started in their life of long and hard days so - welcome to China!  I guess thats why you need American chocolate sometimes!

We're on our way home now and I'm struck by these adorable little kids that I just want to eat up and it hits me - they're like 5 and 6 years old and it's 5pm and they're just on their way home right now.  That's just crazy!  

And my buddies Eli and Jasper and I are on our way home.  We're gonna make chicken curry and rice and I'm going to be the bad sitter and let them watch some Disney downloads while we eat because "mom NEVER" lets them do that!  I think it's time for me to shake things up a little.  I'm so bad:)

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