Merry Christmas from Thailand!! We are working really hard around here to make it seem like Christmas. It is cooler and windy, but definitely not cold and snowy. I have heard the children on and off, murmuring this or that about the weather and how the season just doesn't seem like Christmas. Then, how no one tells them 'Merry Christmas' around here. We are still practicing our 'kind' hat wearing around the home. Seems as if we are all busy trying to do school, but wanting to be in 'holiday' mode, and that is hard. Who gets excited about working when it's Christmas time? I am just trying to hang on for 3 more weeks, stay focused, and diligent and in the meantime, BE KIND!
Why is it so hard? John and I were discussing this very question just a few days ago. Us being here in Thailand, makes for excessive amounts of time WITH one another. So, we have to practice kindness during 'at home' hours, which are 24/7. This is unlike America, where you have various outings to go to, with OTHER family and friends. We are TOGETHER ALL THE TIME...except our date night, which is 3.5 hours a week.
This is challenging, at the same time I am very thankful for this test. It is teaching and showing all of us our weaknesses. John and I were saying how if we can't be kind and show love in the home, what is the point of trying to spread the love of Jesus to others we don't know. We can't be too hard on ourselves when we fail 5, 10, 25% of the time. God forgives, children forgive, we forgive. The point is, we have to pick up, turn around, and do better the next time. Lord, help me today to continue to walk in kindness and love towards those VERY close to me :).
This is just a little of what is on my heart today, wishing I had time to write more, post pics, etc. The two babies are down and I need to run. Time to go read aloud--Story of the Greeks and Our Island Story to the oldest.
Merry Christmas to you all!!!
Wish you could see all my lights on the tree, or the plug-in, it is such a sight. I have 11 plugs in one strip outlet!!! It is hysterical, but I believe it is safe, just a little red-neck. At least I have lights, right?
...'but the greatest of these is love'. 1 Cor. 13
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I love to wake up around 5:30 or 6:00 am, the house is calm and quiet...maybe I can get my Bible study in and take a nice walk. Lately, most mornings around that time, I hear the pitter patter of little toesies, and then a climb into my bed. On to preparing breakfast, then school, then lunch, then school, then naps, then dinner, and a lot in between :). In the midst of the spills, the cries for 'mommy', the questions about school, the trying to read aloud to the oldest while the youngest are dropping bombs and flying planes all around us...sometimes my brain feels extremely overstimulated. To say it nicely, this week I have had to repent over and over for a raw tone of voice, for a lack of patience, for a lack of smiling. It has made me so sad. I laid in bed last night, tossing and turning, unable to rest due to my 'rotten' attitude. I love this time of my life, why is it so hard to not get emotionally involved in my chidren's childishness. Instead, I begin acting childish myself! And then, wonder where they get it from. I happened to stop by http://flourishingmother.blogspot.com/, just before writing this...and was so blessed by one of her post. So, I will paste a small section of it. Hopefully, it will bless you as it has me. And, Praise the Lord that His mercies are made new everyday!!
Putting on kindness:
1. Practice kindness.
2. Recognize that whatever comes from my mouth is born in my heart.
3. Allow no corrupt talk, in any form, to come out of my mouth.
4. Learn to love kindness.
5. Recognize the difference between childish immaturity and sin.
1. Smile at your children.
2. Demonstrate constant affection toward your children.
3. Never speak in tones of sarcasm.
4. Do not raise your voice.
5. *Practice* speaking gently.
6. Adorn yourself with gentleness and a quiet spirit.
7. Utilize your husband as an accountability partner in helping you grow in gentleness.
Be especially cautious of your words, tone of voice, and countenance as you speak to your husband. Your words should be wholesome and edifying. Your tone of voice should be gentle and calm. Your countenance (a smile or pleasant expression) should show respect even when you disagree with him or he is obviously sinning. God will help you if you turn to Him. He is the "help of your countenance, and your God." (Psalm 42:11)
Be blessed this week and may God be with us all as we strive to always practice kindness in the midst of every storm, no matter how big or how small!
0 entries so far... you're next!
Posted by sandy at 11:05 PM
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Today is Friday, I love Fridays. Mainly, because it we have group day and it is so much fun. We have been working on Egyptian Pyramid replicas all week and today we will add some more finishing touches. Of course, I will have pictures of the whole thing soon :). We have recitation, hymn study, folk song, corrections from math, science tests, and several other things.
( Moriah is sitting here in my lap nursing on and off. I have to admit, some days I think to myself, 'enough already'). I am trying to stay focused and on task today. We have had a busy week. As I am working on our Term 2 schedules, which we begin next week, I have realized that I have not been consistently reading our 'Handbook of Nature Study' on Fridays. I just forgot! So, today-HONS!! I will not forget. And, nature hiking---definitely on the schedule. The weather is wonderful, so we will head out on bicycles soon.
We started "The Ten Commandments" last night, made it to intermission, so we will finish that. And, working on some ornaments, as I can't wait to get the tree up! Needing to plan out Thanksgiving Dinner...yippee!!
Okay, just a quick post to let you hold me accountable to my plans :). Just remember, nothing ever goes as planned, but it is better to have one- a plan :), expect the worst and HOPE for the best!!
Happy Homeschooling Day!!
Posted by sandy at 4:39 PM
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
There is such a stirring in my spirit...with all of the disasters taking place around the world, one can't help knowing that God is moving among us all. Expectancy is high! I just can't wait for the presence of God to fall so strongly in Thailand, for revival to come...for the lost to come to Him! Devastation is all around, desperation is on every corner...please continue praying. Pray that the hearts and visions of missionaries around the globe and especially in Thailand will stay on fire, filled up, and ready to pour out to the people. Pray for strength that missionaries will not grow weary, complacent, and content but, that we will stay hungry, expectant, prayerful and mindful! Pray that the hearts of the Thai people will be softened and eager to hear the word of the Lord, salvation, grace, and love.
Much love to you all!!
Posted by sandy at 6:41 AM
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
LIFE AND MINISTRY: As you all know, this has been a year of testing for our family. We have survived and 'we are singing'!!! Praise the Lord...God is good and faithful! We are moving into the 'winter' season in Thailand and, of course, CHRISTMAS. So, celebrating Jesus, family, friends, cool weather and cozy nights around the fire pit= EXCITEMENT!!
Ministry is going good. God is in control, we are continuing to pray and believe God to shake this nation. Lately, we have had the privilege of going deeper into relationships with friends from all over the world! I finally feel like the whole 'culture' difficulties have lifted and now I am living!!! I have been surviving...now I am LIVING! Yeah God. It has been a trying 3 years and I am thankful to have 3 years behind me :). The children are always full of questions concerning Thai language. If they hear a new word, in English, Gabe says, 'Daddy is that Thai or English?' It is so cute to see Moriah as she 'Y's' the Thai people (that is their greeting). Glad to see everyone still growing in the language.
Please continue to lift up the Thai people in your prayers! The floods that have hit have been devastating to so many...(I will post some pics of flood relief efforts). We were able to help some friends move last week. The water line in their apartments was up to their neck!!! Thank God friends were able to move their things as the water rushed in. Clean-up continues around our city...we even received another care package yesterday. Amazing job the gov't has done!
HOMESCHOOLING: Going absolutely wonderful!! Having a blast! Lots of 'outdoor' school days right now. We have an aquarium full of snails and two fish on the picnic table, we had 3 'sea' snakes at the beginning of the week for 2 days (set them free), and an oversize turtle. Needless to say...everyone is in an outdoor mood. So fun! I love seeing the excitement in my children's eyes as they learn. They are taking in all that is around them and asking a gazillion questions :).
The best for last...
HEALING: Isaiah 44:22 says "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
Praise God! This has ministered to me so much this week! God redeems us from all of our mess!! I have been carrying with me, STILL, sins from my past...from my childhood on into adulthood. And---NO MORE! God has swept them away like a cloud...they are like the morning mist! Hallelujah!!! I don't have to walk around full of shame, doubt, insecurity, low self-confidence, and all the other mess the enemy likes to see me in. I am a princess of the most HIGH God!! He loves me as I am. So easy for some to wipe the slate and move on, so difficult for others...causing pain, deep- rooted pain, bitterness, and resentment. Let's be free!
God is good- His mercies are new every day-
paraphrase: my sins were red like scarlet, He washed me white in His mercies!!! YAHOO!!!!!
AFFIRMATION: I am forgiven! God thinks I am beautiful! I am strong because Jesus lives in me! I am confident in who I am because I am who God made me to be, I am not walking alone, I am following His every command...so, why lack confidence?
Love you all!!!
coming soon....furlough April-August 2011 :)
Posted by sandy at 10:51 PM