I have been reflecting over the past year, well, the past four actually. The time we have lived here in Thailand. It has not been easy. Having four children, living in another culture, the heat, the changes, etc... Those are all factors that can make life somewhat challenging. This is a new year, and I am so thankful for 2011! I feel that I am 'Sandy' again. Seems like forever since I have felt normal, like I do right now. In the midst of these past few years, I didn't realize how difficult things really were. I look back on them now, and thank God, those times are past. That I will not have to be a 'first year' missionary again. Thankful that seeing raw meat, snakes, live frogs tied with rubber bands, and much more at the market, daily, is old news. Thankful that the scents of incense burning, the dangerously piled up phone lines above the streets, the pig head sitting on the spirit house, are not things I am having to see for the first time anymore. I feel more relaxed, finally. Our house feels like home, the kinks of creating and meeting the needs of our family are finally smoothing out. Figuring out the plan, the structure, the way things work around here took a while. I feel like at some points throughout life here, the vision God has given us for our personal lives, the callings, the visions were put to the test. It's hard when you are no longer surrounded by those that share the same heart as you do, that encourage you and speak into you. Then, when you have very few people to 'talk' things out with. You start to doubt.
I don't know where I am going with all of this, but I just felt like writing. Sometimes it is hard to not let 'outside' influences change the way you think!! Even if they be 'good' outside influences. God has called each and every one of us, He has a plan for each of our lives, and no matter what the cost...what the sacrifice, we have to hold on to that vision. It doesn't matter that there is no one around me LIKE me or no one around you LIKE you! We are still called! We must listen to the voice of the Lord and keep walking the walk. We can't let naysayers get us to second guessing the call, the vision that God has put before us. We can't let time, difficulty walking the vision out, lack of faith, doubt, etc...begin to steer us the wrong way.
I am so in love with my Creator, and so thankful for His patience with me as I walk out life. I love the way He gently corrects my wrong turns, wrong attitudes, my lack of patience. It is always so gentle and so loving.
Lord, help me to correct my children the way you correct me, and love them the way you love me!
Be encouraged today to continue to walk out the vision for your life that the Lord has given YOU! Don't just follow what others are doing, make sure you are following what YOU are suppose to do. You are an individual and unlike anyone else on the face of the planet. That is GOOD and that is GOD! And, if you do not know what that vision is, seek His face--You are called!! He will direct you!
Hosea 10:1 says, 'Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself.' Let's don't bring forth fruit unto ourselves, it will only bring emptiness. Psalm 128:3 calls us to be a 'fruitful vine'. A PROLIFIC vine! Where are you called to bear fruit?