Always Learning

I mentioned here that we’ve finally begun settling into a routine. School is happening again and I’m so relieved.

But the truth is, even when the books weren’t being pulled out, learning was happening. So, so much learning.

Things like not stepping over someone, or their things, even if they’re sitting in the middle of the floor. And the fact that green peppers are hotter than red peppers here. Or that getting your laundry hung later than 6 or 7am means you’re waaayyyyy behind your neighbors.

I’m trying to save face and get that laundry out earlier now and I’ve even managed to get it pulled off the line before the sun sets the past few days.

Small victories feel so good.

Our Thai language class (via skype) is in full swing although just this week we switched it from 3 days a week to 2. Each class is 2 hours long from 10am-12pm. Three days a week of that was just too consuming with everything else we have going on.

From the time the sun crests the horizon around 6am until Wind and Sky are out the door for school at about 7:30, it is a literal frenzy of activity. Some mornings it’s tempers flying as they express their frustration that they aren’t getting enough snack money, or because we haven’t yet bought them the goggles and swim caps they so desperately need want, or because the table is brown and the grass is green.

Because if there’s not something to complain about, sometimes you just gotta make something up.

This morning wasn’t too bad. They were on a kick that they needed medicine sent to school with them because they’re apparently very sick. But they specified that wanted us to make sure it was sweet medicine because that’s obviously what makes them well again.

I guess with the language barrier we didn’t effectively convey to them that we’ve dealt with children before. They seemed genuinely shocked when we called their bluff. We told them that if they’re so sick they need medicine at school, they need to stay home and rest in bed.

Very nearly speechless (which is RARE!) they stared at each other and then conversed in Thai about how to handle this unexpected turn of events. They obviously decided to accept defeat because their malady healed suddenly, they finished their breakfast and didn’t so much as whisper another word about yaa roong riian (school medicine).

Anyway, by the time they’re off to school each morning I’m ready for the nap I don’t get. And I cannot explain how or why, but it takes waaay longer to get this house cleaned every day than it ever took at home in the states. It makes no sense since we have so much less stuff.

We do, however, have white tile floors ALL through the house. So yeah, there’s that.

The maintenance of those floors feels like a part-time job and they still always look and feel dirty. I’m learning the art of letting it go but I’m not going to lie … I’m not learning it quickly or well. I’d really appreciate if people would just take their feet off when entering the house. Because since shoes never, ever make it past the front door of a house here in Asia, the shoes can’t be the problem.

It has to be the feet. Well, and the fact that people eat and live in here. Such nerve.

Anyway, our Thai teacher is amazingly sweet, patient and flexible. Some days we spend a chunk of time having her teach us words and phrases we need for parenting Wind and Sky. She just grins when we ask, seeming to understand our predicament.

“Thai children are naughty,” she told us one day as we went over some much needed vocabulary.

I think the truth is simply that humanity is naughty.

We want our way. We manipulate and whine when we’re denied. We look for the path of least resistance and the one of greatest pleasure. We’re naturally repelled by that which requires a sacrifice of the will.

Those things describe me and I’m not a child, nor am I Thai.

Every day we learn a few more Thai words and a few more things about ourselves we hadn’t known before. Some of it good, and some bad. We learn how to live together and grow with Christ. We learn how to have an open door and a willing heart. We learn the need for a gut check when passions rise because we’re each learning to look for the gold in others while asking God to sift out the dross in ourselves.

It’s a process and it’s slow but I’m 100% convinced that God didn’t misspeak when He said, “… he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

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