“When your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:6-7)
Each year at (American) Thanksgiving time, I make a list of things I’m grateful for to act as my personal standing stones. I reflect and ask myself, what are the things that make me think “look what the Lord has done!” On this year’s list are some really obvious things and some unexpected things.
Living in China
I am thankful for the opportunity to live here, in my other home. I am thankful for the journey of getting here and all of the people I met along the way. I am thankful for how generally smooth the transition to Beijing has been. I am thankful for the new friends that I am making here.
In this year full of so many uncertainties and transitions, I am very thankful for friends who have walked with me through ups and downs. I am also very thankful for the many people who are committed to encouraging and supporting me in my life here. I am thankful for e-mails and cards and prayers and so many other encouraging acts.
Living With My Parents and Working at a Daycare
I lived at my parents’ house for most of this year and spent about half of it working at a daycare. Neither of these were really in my life plan, but they were both very important in sustaining me during the time of transition. And my parents and I even still get along.
This new hobby has helped me to pay attention to the world around me and literally see what God has done. I’ve had a lot of fun getting a new camera and slowly learning how to use it and improve my photography skills.
I’ve seen a lot of nature’s manifestations this year, from “The Long Winter” to Lake Michigan in all seasons to the tree’s colors at the Great Wall.
I feel especially blessed by my family this year. They were an amazing support through my transition. They were amazing at helping to get me to China. And they are amazing at praying for me and encouraging me. We celebrated my Grandpa’s 91st birthday this summer, and I am thankful for him and for his encouragement and blessing of my life here.
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow