Today, I am extremely grateful for my family. I am grateful for their safety in the midst of earthquakes and tremor replicas. I’m also grateful for technology because a silly texting app has allowed me to keep in touch with my parents when the phone line lands and internet cease to work. I know God holds my family and me in His hands.
Another year of life. I am grateful for an incredibly loving boyfriend and his awesome family–and by that I mean his awesome siblings, Martin included. I am grateful for loving housemates that decide to make cheesecake at late hours of the night. Overall, I am thankful for those people that are also thankful for me, and who choose to show that by joining in my birthday ‘celebration’.
Even though I have not written in over a month, there have been several little things that have brought joy to my heart. A couple of weeks ago, I lost one of my favorite earrings, but someone who works at the dining commons found it and gave it back to me. I am grateful for the kindness that people show to me every day; I don’t deserve how good people are to me. As usual, I am also grateful for a caring and loving boyfriend; I am specially grateful for the job he started today.
There are many happenings that can discourage us, but as my Dove wrapper reminded me, happiness is in the heart.
Today I was thankful for being able to attend a humbling service at Keller Park Church, and being reminded that we must not neglect any areas of our spiritual lives, but grow akin to the voice of the Spirit and follow where it leads. I was later blessed to talk with my parents and know that they are always there to remind me to cling to God and encourage me to move forward. I was also extremely thankful for Stephen. I am amazed at how he is able to keep up with me in my awful days. I am incredibly blessed to have a boyfriend who cares for me and who shows that care even in the small pleasures of life. Without the ice cream he got me, I don’t know how I would’ve been motivated to continue knitting my scarf.
Even though I have missed several days of posts, there have been things I have been thankful for each day. Nonetheless, I will not try to make up for the days I missed. Today, the weather was really slushy! So I stayed at home for a big chunk of the day and knitted. I was also thankful to go to the grocery store and get some lip balm for my chapped lips.
Today am grateful for many many happenings. I am thankful for a good devotional entry. I am also very thankful toward Lorena and the acorn for having my favorite panini.
Later in the day, I was able to get froyo thanks to Mary, and then Stephen surprised me with my favorite chocolate mints. Now I’m going to bed with a happy spirit given that I’ll get more than six hours of sleep.
I have forgotten to write for the last couple of days, but that does not mean I’ve forgotten about the things that I am thankful for. On Friday, I showed up to work at the art center, and it was freezing cold. Despite the weather, I still stood out sir some time taking a picture of another beautiful sunrise that welcomes me every day at 8:00 a.m. when I am walking either to the office or to the art center.
I am also thankful for the beautiful sunrises that I encounter on my way to work every morning; they are definitely a reminder of God’s great faithfulness. Even on a snowy day looked today, the sun still shone through.
It’s been four years since I’ve graduated high school and moved on to a different portion of my life. In 2010, I watched the first Google Zeitgeist and have been anxiously waiting for the release of new one every New Year’s Day. Four years have passed and I’m already bidding farewell to college and welcoming a new season of life. Although there are family and friends that could remind me of what has happened during my college years, I don’t think there’s a clearer way to remember it than through Google Zeitgeist. The news I hear everyday are easily thrown to the back of my mind and placed in much distant years. However, these videos remind me that there has been much to mourn for, but even much more to be grateful for. Happy New Year, friends.
While reading the book of Job, today, I found this passage that–while being read aloud–reminded me of epic poetry. Although, I know the book of Job is of the poetic kind, I don’t think I had ever read it and caught up with the beauty of its lyrics, its verses. There’s a rhythm to each line read, and there’s also something pretty marvelous about its diction. I especially like the passage because it centered on wisdom; it reflects on wisdom and understanding, and how different both are from the material and what is within man’s reach.
Here is the passage, and the bold type shows the verses I loved most.
28 There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.
2 Iron is taken from the earth,
and copper is smelted from ore.
3 Mortals put an end to the darkness;
they search out the farthest recesses
for ore in the blackest darkness.
4 Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,
in places untouched by human feet;
far from other people they dangle and sway.
5 The earth, from which food comes,
is transformed below as by fire;
6 lapis lazuli comes from its rocks,
and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it,
and no lion prowls there.
9 People assault the flinty rock with their hands
and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
10 They tunnel through the rock;
their eyes see all its treasures.
11 They search[a] the sources of the rivers
and bring hidden things to light.
12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
13 No mortal comprehends its worth;
it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, “It is not in me”;
the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
nor can its price be weighed out in silver.
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,
with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,
nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;
the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;
it cannot be bought with pure gold.
20 Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22 Destruction[b] and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”
After reading the foreword, I did not foresee that each discourse would be so packed. I imagined short discourses that would focus on one area of how love is displayed through our actions. Instead, I found the first reflection to be much more in depth than I expected. The first discourse was on love’s fruit and how it can be recognized. However, the piece did not only compare love to a tree that yields fruit but it addressed subjects such as hypocrisy and deception and how they are an obstacle to love yielding its proper fruit. Within the discourse, there were a few passages that I found to be the most revealing–at least personally.
I have had many conversation about short-term mission trips with my roommate. We always say what we think and comment on what we have seen and the experiences we have had with such trips, but we are always left with one question: is it really for the good of others, or is it for our own good? There was a passage in the first discourse that quickly reminded me of said conversations:
“There are, indeed, acts which in a special sense are called works of love. But, in truth, because one makes charitable contributions, because he visits the widow and clothes the naked–his love is not necessarily demonstrated or made recognizable by such deeds, for one can perform works of love in an unloving, yes, even in a self-loving way, and when this is so, the works of love are nevertheless not the work of love” (30).
It makes me ask myself, when I think I do something for the good of others, is it them that I truly have in mind or am I acting to make myself feel better, look better?
Now, the second passage that called me to reflect further read,
“For the divine authority of the Gospel speaks not to one man about another man, not to you, the reader, about me, or to me about you–no, when the gospel speaks it speaks to the single individual. It does not speak about us men, you and me, but it speaks to us men, you and me, and it speaks about the requirement that love shall be known by its fruits” (31).
How many times have I judged others’ actions by placing them as self-loving, as opposed to seeking the good will of others? Perhaps, I should stop wondering about people and short-term mission trips. Maybe I should let them carry on with their action and let the Gospel speak to the single individual.
There is one last passage I want to leave with you to ponder on: “To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity” (23-24).