I am typically a verbal processor and that helps when you have friends around, but when your husband and best friend is traveling and your other peeps live around the world or are consumed with their own family and life issues...well, I find myself talking to myself in the mirror. Don't laugh. Well, okay. Go ahead. It is a funny mental picture. Besides talking to God, who doesn't typically give me immediate feedback, talking to Him and myself in the mirror helps me work through some things. That old adage, "Get it off your chest," was probably meant for people like me. So, I talk out loud to God (and to myself). I'm sure there are people around who think I'm weird, but after all...I am a foreigner to them so who's to say what's normal? Nothing seems normal anymore.
Having said all that, I've been careful not to talk about and/or blog things that probably shouldn't be blogged, but in the process have missed a few opportunities to share where I am in this journey. I have tried and been blocked with internet and/or computer issues. OR I've had internet and no motivation or no words to articulate because I'm still processing. OR it needed to be kept to myself. Am I making any sense?
Whatever the case, I just wanted to say that I appreciate you stopping by to check on me and mine. Because we try to keep this blog relatively anonymous, there are stories that can't be shared. I am considering a change, but just considering at this point.
So, TODAY, we are looking towards the weekend when the Prince is home for the Christmas holiday. Two weeks.
We are homeschooling the Princess and trying to help her stay motivated in her class of one.
We are ever learning and using this language, but it seems never correctly. :)
We are thinking about our loved ones at this time of year and praying for them.
We are trying to share the TRUE meaning of Christmas in a foreign culture that only understands Christmas= Santa and gifts.
We are daily looking for the blessings that God gives and thanking him for them.
We are enjoying some cooler weather and wearing more layers of clothing.
We are entertained by the orphaned kitten that has taken up residency with us. He brings joy and laughter in the most unexpected moments. Thank you God for the feline gift.
We are looking to next year when we will probably add two more children to our home.
We are looking to next year when we will return to the states for a visit longer than a vacation.
We are preparing to have a senior in High School and all that that entails...
We are soaking up this time with just the Princess at home and pouring into her life like never before.
We are LEARNING to be content in all things. Maybe it's a life lesson that keeps cycling around. It seems I've been here before, but the scenery looks a little different. Different season of life.
I discount how difficult it is to live in a foreign context...how difficult even the most mundane things seem to be and then question why I'm frustrated or tired or weary. The truth is, I often try to do things in my own strength. I know I can't, yet, it's my first impulse to try. Only after some frustration do I turn it over to God and find peace. Then I can continue to lay things at his feet and bask in his peace. But at some point, my self-centered-ness thinks I'm the one doing it and I stop placing things at his feet and quickly find myself sinking in the quicksand of self. Ug. A never ending cycle.
The worst part is when I realize it, but am tired of fighting the same battles and in my selfishness decide I don't want to fight anymore. That's when it gets really ugly. We've been given SO MUCH and yet, I find myself grumbling. Yuck. I hate that attitude. I want it to disappear. Is that possible? One moment at a time, it is.
There's been much talk in my circle lately about a book that's been out for a while: Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts." I've read blog posts and heard conversations about this thought provoking book. She is a gifted and poignant writer. She talks about living fully in the moment by giving thanks in the way that Christ gave thanks, following his example of EUCHARISTEO. (Search it out for yourself.) I am usually a fast reader, but I choose to read this book slowly and let God speak to me however He wishes. And He definitely does. He keeps pointing me back to His own word that says to "rejoice always" and "count it all joy" and "in everything, give thanks" and SO MANY others.
Ann says, "...when we give thanks in this moment, we stay in this moment with the God Who Is Here, I AM."
I love that. I KNOW He is here. I've been a Christian for the majority of my life, but I'm daily learning what it means to be a "Christ follower." I don't always FEEL like he is here, but he is. So, I give thanks in this moment that I can sit down at a computer that connects to me my loved ones when I am physically as far away as possible, and say what's on my heart that my FATHER has been teaching me and know that you'll read it and smile. Not for my lessons necessarily, but for the Father who loves me and faithfully teaches me...and you. And in that sharing there is the feeling of crawling up into my "Daddy's" lap as he wraps his arms around me, loves and comforts me, and speaks my love language of time spent with him.
What are you thankful for today?