Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Full & Good

I can tell already that this post is going to be messy... I have so much to share and yet it seems like too much time has passed now to cover it all. Sorry if I jump around!

Life is full. God is good.

Recently I wrote a post over on the ZOE blog called The Gift of a 'Work in Progress'. 
As an Enneagram Type 7 person I like to experience life to the fullest, but I avoid pain. So the idea of entering into chaos and mess is often not natural for me. But God is helping me to enter in more fully and “be” with others in the same way that He is with me. 
As a Type 7, I also get bored easily which is why I like excitement and trying out new things. Sometimes it might mean that I leave things unfinished though as I move onto something new... which is why I started this post a while ago and it was never completed. 
Yes! I'm sure this explains a lot about me :) 

Life is full.
Way back in September I had a quick trip back to Australia for the Geography Teachers' Association of Victoria (GTAV) conference in Melbourne. Sharon and I were representing ZOE handing out and sharing with teachers all about our updated Year 10 curriculum. We passed out 100 USB sticks to different Geography teachers from schools all over the state, and heard many positive comments from teachers who were already using it in their schools.

At ZOE, I work as part of the International Communication Team, which means I collect and share stories about what God is doing. As ZOE grows, our team aims to be able to support our coworkers in Australia, Thailand, USA, Japan and Mexico.  I love this role because it is quite diverse. From developing guidelines, collaborating on projects, to collecting stories, writing creatively etc.  The role entails meeting with local and foreign staff in order to gather information and news to make posts for the international website. I am also working on tasks like the Thailand Quarterly Report, International Annual Report, Australian social media pages etc. amongst other things.

During the times when I'm not at ZOE, I am still attending Thai language classes two mornings a week (slowly.... slowly).  I have also enjoyed serving at our local church a bit more. For the past few months, I was able to help on a committee for the annual women’s retreat here in Chiang Mai. It was a wonderful experience. I have also helped out by writing a couple of devotionals for our church's Christmas Advent devotional, as well as ushering/ serving communion once a month.

God is good.
The women's retreat was a wonderful opportunity to spend more time with seven other women from ZOE who also attended. It was a peaceful weekend with periods of restful meditation, times of learning, many hearty laughs and sweet conversations with friends. It truly was such a joy-filled time and a real blessing.

Our family is growing (upwards). Our eldest son was shorter than me in June and then taller than me in July! And it happened that quickly. Our daughter will be 'officially' a teenager next month and our youngest is becoming more and more independent with each passing day -despite the fact that I keep trying to hang on to 'my baby'. 

11 year old boys making pizza!
These past months for our kids have been full of sports-tryouts, birthday parties, auditions, youth group, games, rehearsals, tournaments, projects, lots of homework, friends over and rich discussions about as much as possible. These times are precious and tiring but oh how proud I am of the people they are becoming. I go to bed late and exhausted but with a full heart of thankfulness for all God is doing in each of their lives. I am blessed.

Really - I have no idea how to parent teenagers. Seriously!! It is the most wonderful and challenging of experiences. But these are very precious times not to be wasted. What a joy and honor to have this job.  I often have this feeling like I'm fumbling around blindfolded and I have to carefully find my way around in the dark.  It's causing me to have to rely on my other senses more. Even when I can't "see" what God is doing, I am learning to tune in and hear His guiding voice more. And I know that His goodness and love surround me. Even when I'm not sure where the path ahead is, I can step out in faith knowing He will lead me as I trust Him.

See! I told you this post would be messy! But hey, life is messy... and marvelous all at once! May we fully enter in. 

"I’m so thankful that God gives us discernment and sensitivity to the needs around us so that at those times when we just want to walk around, go a different way, or avoid the chaos, He helps us to enter in and “be” with others in the same way that He is with us." 

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