Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Lately I've been trying to focus myself on appreciating the little things that happen during each day. It's the end of a semester at school, and as a teacher it's a time of year where I become so tired. Not necessarily the "so sleepy because I'm staying up too late at night" kind of tired. More like the "I really really need a break" kind of tired. When I get tired like this, it's so easy to complain and let the negative things take over in my life while at the same time completely forgetting anything good that happened.

So, for this post, I want to simply list off some things that have happened recently that have made me pause in wonder over something, or have caused me to be intensely thankful for something, or simply have touched my life in some way. 

1. This:

In church this past Sunday, a group of kids from a refugee camp in Northern Thailand came to visit. The visit itself was a first in my experience - many times our church sends people to Mae Sot (the name of the district as well as the refugee camp), but I don't remember seeing a group of students from the school there making their way to us. These kids belong to a school that is in Mae Sot, and most (if not all) of them are Burmese refugees. They shared some testimonies of what God has done in their lives and also did a number of different songs and dances. It was so cool to see how God is at work in another area of this country, and how he takes the faith of these children and turns it into a blessing to other people. 

2. I've had a couple of chances recently to just speak truth and level down with some of my students lately. In one instance, it was a response to a students' presentation in a different class. This student came to me and asked me how I thought the performance went. I could see in this student's eyes the desire to be praised, and knowing how much this student needed encouragement, I was able to take the time and describe just how amazing I thought the performance was. It really was fantastic. I watched this student walk away, and thought about how important it is to be lavish with compliments and encouragement. In another instance, I talked one-on-one with a student about what life after high school is like. I know lots of my students are frustrated with how small our classes are, and they just want to be free (much like I felt at their age), and I find it encouraging to have opportunities to let them know that there is freedom on the other side of this time of their lives. 

3. I've been taking part in a fun aspect of the GES community this year. The women have arranged something called "Secret Sister"...which is basically the same thing as a secret Santa. Those of us participating have been assigned a person to encourage and dote on a bit over the course of the last few weeks of the semester. I've really enjoyed finding ways to be sneaky in deliveries, writing notes to my secret sister, and putting little gifts together that I know she will enjoy. Taking part in this aspect of community has made me feel much more a part of it than I ever did last year, and I'm really enjoying the camaraderie that exists among my female co-workers and friends.

4. Gerrit. Like: just him as a person. Any mother can attest to this for her own children, I'm sure, but oh my goodness, the kid just makes me laugh every instant of the day. Michael was making granola the other day, and Gerrit wanted to help, so then this happened:

 Michael put some of the granola in a pan for Gerrit, who then 'cooked' it with a scooper (or whatever it's called). Gerrit was pretty happy with that for a few minutes, and it gave Michael the chance to finish what he was doing (and me a chance to find my phone and take a few pictures).

Then, what do you know? Michael showed Gerrit he could get the granola out of the pan to eat. So Gerrit tried it.


Gerrit (not unlike his mother) likes anything sweet, and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious granola is. After finishing the little bit in the pan, he continued asking for "More? Please?" with his cute squishy face and big innocent eyes and mop of white-blonde hair...all of which make it very difficult to say no. 

Seriously. It doesn't get any cuter than this, does it? (Maybe it does with a bit of a haircut - that's on the "to do very soon" list, for sure!)

Alright. I'm done bragging about how cute my son is. However, this is my blog, so I retain the right to post pictures and gush about my child whenever the mood strikes. Haha! 

Anyway, the point of all this was to remind myself (and all of you) that even though the holiday of Thanksgiving is over, we should be living our day-to-day lives with the kind of thankfulness that overrides anything negative that happens during the day. I hope that you can do just that, and that through being thankful you will find the joy and peace that come along with it.

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