Its hard to believe another year has come and gone. And it is November again! It dawned on me while cleaning my apartment earlier today that it is November 2nd and I'm behind already. Whew!
I always start my month of thankfulness looking back over the past year and thinking about all I am thankful for. This year is no different. So much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same. New friends have come to Wuxi and some have left. We made a trip back to the states and have come back.
In thinking about all of this today I am thankful for China. I know this is a very broad topic, but as much as I have learned during my time here it is fitting to start out with this instead of ending. It seems like all of my 30 days of thankfulness each year the topics tend to be the same, but the content changes over time as I have. In thinking back to our first year here in China and the things I was thankful for then, I know we have come a long way. Some days it feels like two steps forward one step back, but we are learning.
We have only been back in Wuxi for about 3 weeks now and I confess that at times I feel like this country is trying to kill me. I have lost my temper more times than I care to admit when dealing with unreasonable people or people cutting in front of me in line. A lot of this comes from not being able to fully communicate properly, but still it is a flaw of mine. This I well know.
So where does the thankfulness come in from this?? Good question. I ask myself the same thing as I am really working hard on 1 Thess. 5:18 "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". Soooo….here it goes. And though I say these things, it is still a daily battle to really be thankful for them, but I pray daily that the Father will help me truly be able to be thankful in all things one day.
I'm thankful that these situations show me that I am flawed and the areas of my life that I need to work on. I'm thankful that God doesn't just leave me in my own craziness, but allows me to see my sin for what it is so I will confess and act differently the next time in HIS power, not mine. I'm thankful for the fact that I know this is temporary and one day I will be back in a place where I know the language and will better be able to communicate. I'm thankful that I'm not the same today as I was yesterday. I'm thankful for forgiveness when I fail. I'm thankful for friends here in China that battle the same things and we can deal with it together and empathize with each other.
Whew….that is a crazy list right? It is a daily journey.
So join me in the rest of this month and lets all be thankful. What are you thankful for these days?