Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Too Hard Basket

I have this basket.  You might have one too.  It's labeled "too hard".  And in it I throw things like learning Thai, speaking in public and getting to bed early.
Mostly the things I throw in there stay in there.  For good.
But just recently I began to wonder what would happen if I looked in there and rescued a couple of things out. 
If I gave them another chance and tried them one more time.  What if…
What if I dug down deep and forgave that person one more time... what if I started Thai lessons again... what if exercising became a part of my daily routine... what if I kept praying for that break through and didn't give up?
Well, it's been 4 weeks since we've been back in Thailand now and I am happy to report that some of the things that I had previously deemed too hard have recently been salvaged and re-examined.  
I am pleased to say that I have completed three weeks of Thai study, attending three mornings a week and I have signed up for the next block of lessons too which {surprisingly} I am very excited about.  
Thanks to those dear friends in Australia who offered to pray about this for me. I actually have a really fun- yes- fun teacher, which is what I needed and a new enjoyment for language learning! Whoowhoo!!
I have also started exercising daily.  I have an accountability partner and I feel good about it staying as a realistic part of my daily routine.
Whilst it all seems to be going well at the moment, I do know that it is "early days"… very early days so I am being honest and saying that there will be days I don't exercise and some weeks that I might not complete all my Thai homework but with determination, accountability and the prayers of those who know me, I am hopeful!
It sounds like everyone is pretty busy right now.  With Christmas and concerts and parties and the end of the year rapidly approaching.  
Whilst there have been some really challenging days lately, I have to say that I have enjoyed so many individual moments these past few weeks and the chance to reflect on God's faithfulness, mercy and grace.
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving with our dear ZOE family.  We are all really looking forward to this and I am hoping to do a trial-run of my pumpkin-snicker-doodle recipe in the next day or so.   
Other highlights have included leading kid's church as a family last week.  Our three children were such great helpers and eagerly acted some skits we'd prepared at home to illustrate various parts of the lesson from Revelation.

I have also enjoyed helping with some reading assessments at our children's school.  It has been great to be able to assist in this way.
Tobi, Eli and Spencer continue to grow, learn and change.  It never ceases to amaze me.  
We had such a lovely time celebrating Spencer's 6th birthday earlier this month with his friends coming to a Hot Wheels party at our home.  

I have also enjoyed having timetables races with Eliana (me having to answer in Thai) and watch as the children improve their skills in various areas.  Tobi is enjoying learning the guitar and Eliana has recently begun having a private Thai lesson after school.  
We recently had two new field workers join the ZOE team, Lori and Brad.  We had a fun day with them on Friday helping them to finalise their rental agreement and showing them around the local area.

Our kids are also loving getting the chance to play with our Thai neighbour.  There is a sweet 9 year old boy next door who enjoys coming over for a game of drive-way soccer, freeze tag or hide-and-seek.  Yesterday more children had joined in too and there was quite a crowd gathering!
This morning we headed to ZOE.  Dave was sharing this morning and we had a quick lunch with some of our co-workers before attending a baptism for some of the ZOE children and teenagers. 
Well maybe you don't have a too hard basket like me, but if you do, let's both go grab something else out this week and give it another go!  Shall we?  What will it be?  Befriending that neighbour? Making that difficult phone call? Staying calm in the face of a distressing situation? Apologising?
I already know what I am going to be pulling out and it's a big one!  
Well I'm not sure what's in your basket but I do hope that each week I can take things out of mine bit by bit and not just keep filling it full of life's challenges.  
I know if I really grasped Philippians 4:16, my basket would soon be empty!!