Five Minute Friday (FMF): Work

It’s been a long, long time since I last wrote on here.  I remember when I first came to the missions field and I had no lack of things to write about.  I also didn’t have children or a husband and did have such a thing as “me time” outside of my work responsibilities.  Somewhere along the way, it became work to carve out time for things I used to enjoy doing.  I guess life is like that.

My Mom has been sick for a while now, although we only found out in June.  It’s a job in itself to be caring for someone else, even when that someone is one whom you dearly love and it is actually a joy and a gift to be able to serve her in these ways.  But that shift from daughter to caregiver is a hard switch.  It’s a flip that is too abrupt and liable to cause whiplash if there was even time to think about it.

Five Minute Friday (FMF): Help

Help late in the evening while on the road for work.  Help with a baby fussy in your arms.  Help with a toddler challenging you at every turn.

The Lord is near.  He is mighty to save.  He is my Helper, my Strength, my Wisdom, my Friend.

On the edge of a village, I feel like I could be on the edge of the world sometimes.  Who can hear my cries for a friend?  Who can hear my cries for help?

I called to the Lord and He heard my cries.  He sets my feet upon a rock.  He gave me firm place to stand.

I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from?  My help comes from Him, Maker of Heaven, Creator of the earth.

Five Minute Friday (FMF): Surprise

It shouldn’t have been a surprise for me this morning when we all accidentally slept in and grumbleness followed.  My firstborn takes after me – when I’m hungry, I’m grumpy.  It’s the sad tale of the sleep-deprived Mom who would like very much to sleep in but is too hungry to do so.  Not really so sad.

But when my 2 and three quarter year old whined her way through breakfast, I thought to myself, “I really do need to get up earlier each day, even if I am tired.”  Getting food in our bellies sooner and food in our (my) soul in quiet before the house wakes up.

Our family are night owls by nature, but I want to be a morning person.  I feel like it’s a necessity these days.  Wake up with the sun (6:30am) and sit with my coffee and Bible and Saviour.  I need it.  My soul needs it.  It won’t be a surprise to me how much more awake and alive I’ll feel after persevering to make this change in my life.

This sleep-deprived Mom needs it.

[Note: About Five Minute Friday]

The Beginning of Our New Term

Jet lag is over, the suitcases are nearly unpacked, and we continue to ease back into life and ministry here in Chiang Rai.

Tawee had his first full week back at work this week.  Our work week (not the normal Thai work week) runs Tuesday to Saturday, so he still has one more day to go to finish off his first week.

While I’m happy that he’s back doing what he loves, I have to admit that Kate and I missed him an awful lot the first few days.  Now, towards the end of the week, we’ve been finding our groove at home.

I haven’t started learning Tai Yuan yet as I wanted to get unpacked and give Kate some more time this week since we’ve gone through such a major life transition.  Plus, we have a conference that starts on Monday and lasts for a week.  But once we get back, I’ll be learning my husband’s heart language (not to mention the heart language of the majority of those around us!).

Moving back to Thailand is familiar to us, but not to Kate.  She was just over a year when we left for Canada, and is now two years old.  She remembers Canada and everything there but not so much of our life here.  She’s doing really well though.  She has moments where I think she’s sad and misses Grandma, or various Aunties back in Canada.  But, for the most part, she been pretty happy.  She is thrilled with the food options that we put before her, although she relentlessly asks for strawberries nearly everyday (which are really only available in cold season and are definitely not as delicious as the ones in season right now in Ontario!).

I’ve been sick since arriving back in Chiang Rai, and am limited to a very small variety of food right now.  I’m discouraged by this and am praying it clears up soon.  Thankfully, Kate and Tawee are still healthy though!

Earlier this week, Kate and I took a walk with the stroller in our village and talked about the various things we saw, and prayed for the people in our village.  It’s interesting to explain to Kate about the belief systems and worldviews of the people around us, but it also helps me to have a fresh perspective on all that we see and experience and use these things as fuel for prayer.  We saw idols and spirit houses and Kate commented that they’re, “cute” (because a miniature elephant and horse (the idols in this case) to a two year old ARE cute).  But the meaning and purpose behind them aren’t.  Try explaining THAT to a toddler!

But it’s in all these things that I’m thankful.  Thankful that God has called us here, thankful that we are his witnesses in this region, thankful for the grace of Christ (present and future grace!) and thankful to teach our daughter to love others in such a way that they will hunger for the Lord of Lords and King of Kings alone.

Here’s to our new term on the field, to all that it holds, the good, the challenging and the grace of God that will sustain us through it all.  Here’s to the answers to prayers we’ll experience, the souls saved, the children and families encouraged and empowered to reach for more, the relationships built and Christ honoured and worshiped by more and more of the Tai Yuan around us.

Reflections of the past week – August 6th

63. Twilight over water-filled rice fields.

64. Discovery that friends from our favourite coffee shop became believers 5 months ago! (We’ve been gone 4 months so it’s new news to us!)
65. Reflections of His creation in light.

66. Raindrops falling into puddles like someone plucking a tune on a piano.
67. New found friends.
68. Being present with children needing love and affection.
69. Feeling the cold clay of a dirt road with barefeet.
70. The grooves in the road made hard from heavy machinery – a different kind of art work.
71. The way sunlight makes an ordinary cement building brilliant.

72. Discovery of mushrooms in our neighbour’s yard to help feed their family.
73. Opportunities to lean more on Him.

The weaker we feel, the harder we lean. The harder we lean, the stronger we grow spiritually, even while our bodies waste away – J.I. Packer

74. Answered prayers in the works after 3+ years.
75. Generous friends offering shelter, hospitality, love and friendship.
76. Celebrating memories of our first year of marriage.