The book I am reading talks a great deal about finding your own rhythm. Taking time to find out what God's purpose is for you as an individual and as a member of a family. I feel like I have known for awhile what my purpose is, but I was always waiting for a someday.
This trip has taught me that taking a chance is good. It really is a little unnerving to do something like we did (or I thought it was.) I look back now and laugh that we thought it was such a big deal. It was only a month out of our whole life. I gave certain things way too much control over our decision. Why was I so afraid of what the principal of the school would say to me?!
I don't know if I can find words for what I am trying to say.
I think what it comes down to is that we should not be afraid to live. To do something completely different; to not live like we think we are supposed to. We are afraid to step out of what is easy and what we know. We are scared to move because maybe our kids won't like it. But what if they would? What if moving is the best thing that could happen to them? We often say things aren't worth the risk, but by staying safe we never really experience all there is out there. We deprive ourselves of new experiences, gaining more friends, and stretching ourselves.
Something else that I have learned here is that there is magic in giving. I have always known that. I have been taught that since birth, but there have been so many examples around me here that have shown me what it REALLY means to give and serve our fellow man. I am learning that doing things every so often really does not count for that much. My eyes are just being opened to what it really means.
If we don't sacrifice for it, is it really giving that much? The window's mite is a perfect story for what I am learning here. We have always helped in different ways and I do believe a meal to a sick friend, taking someone's children for them when they need help, writing a note to someone, or simply giving a compliment truly are great acts of service. I know when I am the recipient of that it literally melts my heart and endears me to them forever. But, giving to those in need on a regular basis is important too.
There is a man from Denmark that comes here a couple of times a year to help at the Home and Life Orphanage. He is retired and has been saving his money and fund raising to help the orphanage get enough money to open a proper restaurant on their property so they can support themselves better. He took that upon himself. He raised and donated thousands and thousands of dollars. HE did it. They are starting to build it next month because of this sweet man. Matt had a good chat with him. This kind man said that all his friends think he is crazy. They ask him why is he wasting his retirement days and money doing this? He says it is selfish really, it makes him feel good. Another life living for others.
Have you ever learned something in life through the example of another, through adversity, or life experience that brings you into a different world? You look around and suddenly see that there are people all around you already living that way and you say to yourself, "Ah, I get it now."
That is what is happening to me here. My eyes are being opened to people who are giving of themselves daily. They are not doing it only when it is convenient. They are not doing it only at Christmas time. It is their way of life. They are sacrificing on a daily level to help others.
A wealthy family could donate $50,000 to a charity, but is it the same as a Hispanic family going on Christmas day to help prune a vineyard as service to their church? When that is their only day off and when that is what they do by profession every other day of the week?
(to watch the video on this story go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzjvE0ehnEI --if this link doesn't work go to you tube and type in "They gave up their Christmas"-well worth a few minutes)
Last night we were able to attend a dinner for my friend's father that lives here in Phuket. He was so gracious to invite us and we were able to meet people from all over the world. There was someone there from the Czech Republic, Hungry, a bunch from Sweden, Thailand, New Zealand, and some fellow Americans. These were no ordinary people. The couple from New Zealand was absolutely fascinating to talk to. They have been living somewhere new for the past 13 years--moving every 6 months. They bring 12 bags with them and they are a family of 5. They have no home and no stuff. They have lived all over the world exposing their children to every culture known to man. They had some amazing stories to tell...WOW. What a life! He sold his software company and so they can afford to do what they are doing. 99.9% of the world could never do that, but what I like about them is that they found their rhythm.
After talking to them though, I couldn't help but think of Root and Rosa and their selfless rhythm of creating a home for 28 little bodies. Will they ever travel the world? No. Will they always have peace and happiness in their hearts? Yes. They are sacrificing, but to them it is not a sacrifice at all. Once our hearts finally make it to the place that theirs is, everything changes. We are not attached to things, but people. We are not measuring our life by promotions, but by how we have lifted another. There is contentment. There is peace. There is power from God. I have no doubt in my mind that God sends people to them to help. When you are willing to do what they are doing He will take you by the hand every step of the way and never let go. I don't think we have to sell everything we own and move to Thailand, but I am thinking we as a family need to do a little more sacrificing in order to help more. Give up things that we want and just put that money straight into a jar.
I have often wondered why there are so many people on the earth who do not have their basic human needs met. It is perplexing to me. They don't have running water, they can't feed their children, every single day of their life is a struggle. It occurred to me here that maybe it is really a test for us. Those people have already made it to heaven. They are the salt of the earth. Maybe it is a test to see how much we are willing to help.