We spent Thanksgiving in Kentucky with my family, spent Christmas in Florida with Jady's family, spent 3 days in 1 Samuel during the Year End Studies, and spent New Years Eve asleep in our apartment after a post-holiday trek (by taxi, plane, bus, and car!) through 5 different states to see nearly everyone we know!
I cooked my first whole chicken and made broth (something that always sounded so intimidating!!), taught our ladies Bible class on James 5 (something else that seemed intimidating!), and shared Bible stories with our high school student each Sunday.
We hosted a talent show for the Christians here, enjoyed a study of the Law of Moses, spent good time with our church family, and reconnected with dear friends.
A few things God has been teaching me:
I'm learning that souls are fragile. New Christians coming from the world are fighting against so much more than I've ever experienced. It's taken me over a year to get used to living in a new place; I can only imagine it taking even longer to get used to living a new LIFE but in the same place. Building new friendships, rearranging schedules, breaking old habits, growing in God's Word... these all take time and patience!
I'm learning the importance of being in the Bible. It was so good to spend time studying 1 Samuel! It's easy for me to think that certain parts of God's word are boring and only slightly relevant... instead of trusting in God's wisdom in what He's revealed as providing ALL things pertaining to life and godliness. There are countless lessons in these stories about God's unchanging nature, how men find favor in His sight, what God expects, and so on. The more I study the Bible, the more I see that history is HIS story.
Jady and I recently looked at gluttony, self-control, and idolatry related to our appetites in the Bible. Fascinating, challenging, and sobering study!
Speaking of Jady, I'm falling more and more in love with him as I grow to respect and submit to His leadership.
And after living here over a year, I'm starting to develop a thicker skin as I interact with NY-ers each day at work, on the phone and in person!
I'm also developing a more international focus and appreciation of cultural diversity--not in a humanistic, Epcot, tolerance-touting kind of way... simply trying to be thoughtful and prayerful of souls all over the world, seeking to eradicate any ethnocentrism I may have, and desiring to be all things to all men.
So much more to write about, but that is sufficient for an update!
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant... Gen. 32:10