2012 The Year of ...
Last year I was inspired to put one word to what I wanted the New Year to be about. 2011 was the year of Discipleship. Rereading the post from last year, I see I didn't quite hit all the things I wanted to but I think I made progress. Reading the bible through in a year was hard for me. Between getting sidetracked by another study or taking a day off here and there, I still have some pages to go. The kids and I have been memorizing Colossians which has been a challenge but rewarding. It has been a simple way to begin our day and work on a Christian discipline. We have made it through the first chapter. Speaking the local language is better but still has a ways to go. Over all, I could use another year of discipleship but after much thought and prayer, I have decided that 2012 will be the year of Seeing.
What do I mean by seeing? One of my favorite quotes from a former BSF teacher was about how important it is to have a high view of God and an accurate view of ourselves. So to start off with, I want to see God. I want to see His character as I read the scriptures and see Him working around me. I want to see myself as God sees me. To know that I am loved but to also remember that I am a sinner saved by grace and not be blind to my faults. Next, I want to really see those around me. I interact with students, teachers, local people, teammates, and neighbors every day, but do I really see them? This past year, I have been learning a lot about how I react to someone based on a preconceived notion that I have about that person. In those instances, I am not seeing that person as he or she is. I am responding to the stereotype I have of the person and not to that person. For example, my W makes an unkind remark to her brother at the breakfast table. How I respond to her can make the difference in both of our days. If I respond with a sharp attitude because I can not believe I am dealing with this issue again, it will probably just lead to more words. On the other hand, if I respond with kind words finding out about her day and what is going on, I will probably have better results. Notice I said probably. It is my responsibility to respond in love and see my daughter. I can not control the results but I can feel better about my actions. When I see those around me, I am making an effort to get to know them, love them and accept them.
Living in a different culture requires me to see those around me if I want to bloom where God has planted me. Our family is learning to value and respect much of the culture where we live and to understand our new friends. It is challenging at times not to judge when things don't go like we are used to. Seeing those around me means understanding who they are and what they have struggled with. It means finding out that one friend didn't go to school but learned on his own due to all the fighting in the country. Or learning that another friend's father died from a rocket that landed in their backyard. How do you relate? I am trying to figure that out.
So this year is the Year of Seeing. Seeing is a daily thing. It requires my attention on a hourly basis. To be successful, seeing will have to become a way of life.
Dear God, Thank you that you see us, truly see us. May I see you in all that you do each day. May I see your attributes and remember that I am in the presence of a holy God and there is no other God besides Him. Help me to truly see those I interact with each day. Help me to care for them as a person and not just as a name in my grade book or someone who can help me get a task accomplished. May you be glorified in each interaction. Amen