>Hi. Me llamo Elizabeth y I speak Spanglish.

>While I am very excited about moving to El Paso, I can’t help but think my Spanish skills are lacking. I never experience a full study abroad program, though I have traveled to three countries. My longest stay was only ten days, just about the time you start feeling comfortable. I taught for two years, but besides using Spanish with the advanced levels, I read and heard a lot of Spanglish. That’s nothing against my students, of course, but I was expected to be the expert. Ha.

I had two great Peruvian professors at Bradley from whom I modeled my fluency and accent. Of course, I can speak it well enough to pass all the tests, and to have conversations, but honestly I’m self-conscious. I know it’s totally normal to feel that way about your second, third, fourth languages. But this was my major. I have a degree in Spanish.

I was perusing job openings in the school districts surrounding El Paso, and there were none for Spanish teachers. I wonder why! And who would an administrator choose: a Mexican-American who is fluent in both cultures and languages, or a white girl from the Midwest who learned a lot of her Spanish from a textbook? I know race/ethnicity should have nothing to do with it, but really.

The Lord knows the desires of my heart (Ps. 37:4) and I fully believe He placed me at my current job for such a time as this. I was not happy in the retail setting. I always said I’d rather work retail than sub, and boy was I wrong!

I have never been jobless in my life. Ever. He has always provided. I should trust that He will do the same in just a few months. There is no immediate financial pressure for landing a job. I pressure myself, compare myself to others, and I’m afraid to be that “stay-at-home-Army-wife”.

In general I’m very excited about whatever opportunity will come my way. I know that God has called me into education, and Spanish, for a reason. And it totally makes sense that I would be tempted to doubt myself. Don’t we all at some point? We are human. But God is God, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (II Cor. 12:9).

When I went to Honduras, I was asked to translate another team member’s testimony to a beautiful group of girls. I was so incredibly nervous. Here I was, newly graduated with a BA in Spanish, scared to translate when I had been doing it all week! However, I was able to somewhat graciously get the point across and their lives were touched, and one of most lovely prayer times followed. Why should that same manifestation of His strength in my weakness not happen again? Over and over?

“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His…”

Another translation says that He will show Himself strong on our behalf. I think this verse is a keeper.

“Porque los ojos de Jehová contemplan toda la tierra, para mostrar su poder a favor de los que tienen corazón perfecto para con él.”

2 thoughts on “>Hi. Me llamo Elizabeth y I speak Spanglish.

  1. >Very interesting, Elizabeth. I have also pondered how challenging it may be to find a Spanish teaching job out west, which is where I would want to live if I had my druthers. When is the prime hiring period for teachers? Do you think more positions will open up when the school year ends? Don't knock being a "stay-at-home-Army-wife", haha. If I had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home dad in the future, I would be thrilled!

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