Neglect…Passion…Find It…

I know, I know. I’ve neglected this. 

I don’t really have much of an excuse…which I guess is a good thing. Excuses are lame. 

Adjusting…that’s an interesting term when you think about it. Adjustment: meaning adapt or become used to a new situation. It could be different for every person, and every situation. It might take forever in one instance, and be in minutes in another. It can be hard, it can be simple. One way or another, it must happen. Sometimes we force it…and then it isn’t “truly” adjusted. Sometimes it just happens, and we don’t realize until after the fact. One way or another, it must happen. 

I’ve been here nearly two months…and can still say I am adjusting. Slowly…and sometimes painfully…but it is happening. Little by little things begin to fall into place, and I can begin to see “my place.” Honestly? It’s rather a long and stressful process. They warned us all about this when we were in training in the fall. They said, “there will be days that you just won’t feel like doing anything, or even leaving your home.” I have experienced a few of those. They said, “there will be days when you just love everything you lay your eyes on…and more.” I have experience this too. One way or another, adjustment must…and will…happen. 

One thing that was said in training that has stuck in my mind ever since…and will hopefully never be “un-stuck” is this, “No matter what happens in your day; no matter how you feel or what you think you have to accomplish that week, there is only one thing that HAS TO BE DONE….meet with God, and be with Him….meet with God…and be with Him…meet with God…and be with Him.” 

I’ve told myself this phrase over and over…and over again. And strangely enough…it reminds me that nothing is too big for Him, nothing is too petty for Him to recognize as difficult for us, nothing is out of His reach, and nothing can escape His knowledge. Understanding this…I know that I MUST meet with Him…and be with Him…for ANYTHING else to work. No need working myself loopy on things if I don’t do this…if I don’t meet with Him. So, when I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed…this phrase comes to mind. If I don’t do anything else “productive” that day…I know that the one thing I have to do and the one thing that I can do is to meet with God…and be with Him. 

I’ve also been pondering what it means to be passionate about something. What are you passionate about? What brings you the most joy? What (something that you do – not a physical object or person) can you not live without? As I’ve thought about these things…this really hard question for me…I’ve tried to think about an event, a moment, or a thing that made me the happiest in my life and tried to remember what I was feeling. In this thought process I’ve realized how easy it is to forget your past…making me want to journal and document more than ever. As I continue to process my thoughts…I encourage you to think about what you are PASSIONATE about…(I know…it’s a really strong word…and frankly sort of frightening to me…but I encourage you to do it). What brings you the most joy? 

What’s the point in doing this? Well, besides giving yourself a trip down memory lane and back…to help discover what He has laid on your heart to LOVE. I’m searching…looking for the one thing, or couple of things, that have been given to me as a special gift…something that helps define my character and soul. What is it that God bestowed upon me (and you) for use to further His kingdom? What is that He has given me to LOVE? And why don’t I pursue it? 

Given time to think…one can come up with lots of places of needed growth…and I have been finding those while I’ve been here. Amazing what a little time away from the familiar can do…

Blessings to you!

Just A Short Note…

Still “adjusting,” if I can still term it as such. Things are becoming more and more familiar…and I can actually recognize places…and know a tiny bit better where things are located. 🙂 

Looking forward to getting to know local people better…and enjoying the process so far. 

Language classes are going really well. Khruu Panida, my new teacher, is a stickler for tone and pronunciation. She’s great…and I think I’m really learning a lot with her. Granted, I still mess up a ton…and can’t remember some words for the life of me, but I’m enjoying it, which I guess is half the battle. I’m excited for the day when I can speak to those around me, without having to use so much English…hope that day comes anyway. 🙂 

Heading to Sunday Walking Street Market tonight…I really like the atmosphere and enjoy the company. A large group of both Thai and American people get together at a local coffee shop, Wawee Coffee, and just chill for a while. It’s nice…and hopefully I can use my new camera tonight and test out it’s movie capabilities. Fun fun…look for something of that sort up here soon…

Oh and wanted to share these lyrics with you…they make me laugh. As a friend so wisely put it, it talks about something pretty serious in a really humorous way. I love things like that…

 

All I Need by Sarah Groves

Newly married, new apartment
All our furniture was saved from the dump
Yes dear maybe we can afford a trashcan next month

All I need is my love for you and a seat for two

New baby new life
We will teach him to speak French
We’ve got no money so we’ll make it all ourselves
I’ll make the curtains and you make the shelves

All I need is a power saw and a new sewing machine

Honey, this house needs a little something
That bare mantle doesn’t look so good
Someone told me of a man
Who makes animals from driftwood

All I need is your monthly bonus for a wooden walrus

Honey, the Colbaughs are coming over
This house needs some renovations
Just a wall or two, just a little room 
And a few new decorations

All I need is a sectional and a satellite TV
and dark-wood cabinets that were custom built for me
and a painting by that guy that paints with his feet…

That’s all I need…for now

 

Hope you (and I) can learn to live without a wooden walrus…

Around Town…

I went for a little “adventure” the other day. Because of the holiday’s, I’ve had a bit more time off, and am trying to use it wisely…as in…go out and explore! It’s actually very useful…I’m able to learn the area and hear lots and lots of the language. I went to a day market today, actually it was the same one I went to in my first few days here, however this time I explored it much more. It was like a huge other world market…HUGE! Several stories in this one building, which before I didn’t even know existed. It was loads of fun and as I passed by the flower section, I couldn’t resist…the flowers were just too beautiful to pass by…

Above the market, looking down. It looked like a sea of fish…all swimming about…

abovemarket

She was making small Buddhist strings of flowers. People here hang them on their mirror in their car…for good luck. 

making_flowers

Birds for sale…to offer at the wat’s (temple)

birds_incage

Bags of various things…most of which I had no idea what they were…

bags_in_market

A whole stall committed to things to use as shrines, offerings, or other Buddhist practices…this was not the only stall…

shrinethings_market

A tree wrapped…to protect it from being cut down. Also, way in the back is a life size portrait of the king…he’s everywhere…

wrapped_tree

Measuring up some goodies…I think candied cherries…or something like that…

lady_market

More shrines to buy…

temple_to_buy_in_market

Spices! 

spices_market

Such characters we have here…they are everywhere right? Not just in America…

man_walking

Lunch time…orange slushy thing and kaphraw kay…chicken with basil leaves…

lunch

Flowers that were too pretty to pass…and a little fun in photoshop…

flowers

And this one’s just for Sam and his family…”the mug” by a wat here in town…Wat Santitham…

mug_temple

This was also a little experiment suggested by my boss…go out and shoot only at one setting of your lens. These, except for the flowers, were all taken at 35mm…I am going to try to continue with this little experiment, in hopes of learning my lens’ better…and what they can actually do…thanks Big Brother Bill…

I was able to meet a lady named Nera at a local jewelry shop. Please lift her up…I am hoping that I can be blessed to form a relationship with her. I am so excited to meet some locals here and become familiar with the area. It’s such a large place that it can often seem a bit overwhelming. Familiarity and continuity can certainly help. In order to share anything about faith, one has to form relationships first. I hope I can do that with Nera…

Blessings to you!

Leading to the “9”…

Happy New Year! It has been almost a full day in the year 2009 for me…and so far…it’s a good year. 🙂 I was blessed with some fun time with friends and team members…and quiet time with the Father. 

A group of 10 people went up the mountain, Doi Suthep, and spent one night in a cabin. It was…literally…like paradise. The most beautiful view, gorgeous trees and colors, lovely weather, and…quiet. It took about 2 hours to get to this “paradise,” but it was well worth it. Many of the roads became a “roller coaster” for those riding in the two trucks…these roads were not things that one could go on in the wet season…they were rough enough as it was…but the dirt roads would turn into piles of mud with all the rain. There were 5 Thai and 5 American’s on the trip. We made Thai campfire food, pork with seasoning, sticky rice, and vegetables. Yum! We had coffee afterward and some corn on the cob for dessert…very sweet corn here. 

The next morning was gorgeous…the sun rising and perfect temperatures in the low 70’s maybe. I went for a little walk and found a rock “calling to me.” I sat there…soaked it all in. BEAUTIFUL! I just couldn’t help myself…I sang…and sang…and sang. Nothing much more wonderful than sitting in the middle of His spectacular creation and praising Him for it. I’m grateful for the chance to do so…

front_of_cabin

cabin

Cherry blossom tree…the Thai’s said that they normally don’t bloom for another 2 weeks…I like to think they did early just for us…

cherryblossom

You can see the really faint outline of the mountains in the distance…

cabin_view

Time for dinner…pork on a stick…

cabin_cooking

Night time and the power is turned off at 10…out come the candles…and guitar still plays…

cabin_night

A little covered area where we had lunch on our way back to town…right next to the lake.

lake1

Oh this is exciting…my name in Thai…it’s the small thing in the center…pretty, huh? 

myname_thai1

And just for fun…here’s a Coke sign…I have no idea why there’s a chicken above it…but hey, I think it’s cool. 

coke_sign1

New Year’s in the city. The lantern’s, and fireworks, were going up all over the place. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a large group of people, all huddled together playing with fire and small scale explosives. Thankfully…no one was hurt. 🙂 

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Hoping your New Year is a blessed one…