Thursday, May 28, 2009

According To Regina...

One of my co-workers sent this to me and I thought this lady had some pretty good life lessons!


Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion, Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone and everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Friday, May 22, 2009

"Slap Ya...."

I've mentioned before about what the team does on Thursday nights around here and last night was no exception. After a wonderful Bible Study, we all gathered around for the food. Now if you know me very well, you'll know that soup and I just aren't good friends. For some reason, I just don't gush and swoon over a bowl of soup:). But I loooove the smell of soup cooking. Kinda like I love the smell of coffee and can't stomach the actual drink. I'm a study in contrasts:).

Anyway, last evening, Bro. Tom made a big ole' pot of gumbo. For those of you who are as uneducated about gumbo as I was (until I met some people from Louisiana two summers ago!), Wikipedia comes to our rescue with this short blurb:

Gumbo is a stew or soup originating in Louisiana which is popular across the Gulf Coast of the United States and into the U.S. South. It consists primarily of a strong stock, meat and/or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable "holy trinity" of celery, bell peppers and onion. The soup is traditionally served over rice.

Thank you, Wikipedia.

The smell of the gumbo wafted through the Gaudets' house as well as mine because our kitchens are connected (I would show you a picture of our kitchens, but blogger is being a goober right now and won't let me upload any. Ahem). Everyone gathered around the food with anticipation and dove right in. I even took some gumbo, at which point Pookie asked me if I was sick as she felt my forehead:).

Earlier Bro. Tom had asked me to bring over some gumbo seasonings from my house since there used to be a girl from Louisiana who stayed here. So I grabbed anything that had the word "Cajun" on it and headed out the door. Well, one of my Thai co-workers - Berm - wanted to season his gumbo, so he reached for one of the seasonings and read out loud "slap ya mama." I started to laugh right away, not realizing that was the actual name of the seasoning and that all this time it had been sitting in my cupboard:).

With a look of confusion on his face, Berm turned to me and said, "Isn't that rude???" At that point, Pookie and I just lost it and I realized that once again, an Americanism had slipped through the cracks into Thailand and offered great confusion to a Thai person:). We finally got it all explained to Berm, who happily seasoned his gumbo with "Slap ya mama" and moved on with his evening.

Lest you think I'm making this up, I offer you the official website: "Slap Ya Mama". I highly recommend you refrain from taking that course of action though... maybe just do the kiss-on-the-cheek thing:D.

Just another typical evening in the Land of Smiles, thanks to some good Cajun cooking!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sights and Sounds Of The Soi.

As I take off on my early morning walk, the taxi motorcycle man -- Nyugen -- zoooms by me, intent on picking up his next customer. Across the little soi (street), my neighbor-vendor pours oil into a frying pan and soon the aroma of chicken frying in sizzling oil fills the air. I walk past the little vegetable store where the old man is getting lettuce, cilantro, and other such veggies prepared for the day. I notice the fruit lady's shop is closed and gated, a sure sign she's away for the week. Just before I reach the 5-story apartment building, I see two ladies squatting on the ground, having just given to the monk his morning offering.

Reaching the bridge that crosses over the khlong, I hear the chanting of the monk and see three people kneeling with bowed heads. The wheels of the monk's cart clatter on the pavement as his helper dutifully receives the food offerings. I pass by, always aware that the spiritual battle is never far away. I get to the gate that leads into the subdivision and smile as the four guards say "Sawadekap" in swift unison.

The rain storm from the night before brought down many branches and flower blooms. Three stray dogs roam around, the one with a limp casting me a wary eye. I steadily walk past the largest house in the subdivision, wondering anew when the pile of bricks is going to be cleaned up. The sound of a car breaks through these thoughts and a business lady on a bike quickly passes by. All along the way I hear the buzzing of insects and the chirping of birds. A cat cries out with a mournful cry while a pack of stray dogs snarl at one another.

As I approach a bend in the road, I glance to my right and see a beautiful house situated on a well-kept lawn. The carport is filled with expensive cars and the security gate stands ever watchful of intruders. The guard dog must be used to me, for he only growls rather than barking. I chuckle to myself as a I see a rooster strut across the manicured lawn. The rooster crows, albeit a little late for the sun has been up for some time and the soi has been abuzz with flurried activity.

I return home to my blue house on the soi and realize once again I'm grateful to the Lord for placing me in Thailand...

Good Thought.

"Every great movement of God can be traced to a lone kneeling figure."
D.L. Moody

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Ants Go Marching.

Are you all familiar with the song, "The Ants Go Marching"? Well, the lyrics say, "the ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah," but I've decided that in order to make this song applicable to our little situation here at the girls dorm, the lyrics must be changed.

To one hundred.

We have a serious ant problem. Or season. Or whatever. Not to long ago, we had a season with cockroaches <--- they were dying at the rate of 11 a day. Yep, eleven. Thankfully that season is over. We now only have one or two show up daily.

But back to the ants. I've found them in both bathrooms, crawling up and down the walls like crazy. I've found them frantically running up the dining room wall. Ok, we have discovered why they are in the dining room. Apparently these ants are sugar addicts. They just can't resist their little ant hearts some Pop Tarts and jello. (Who could?) But what we can't understand is that said Pop Tarts and jello are sealed. So we've decided those ants need to go to Sugar Sanctuary (a spin-off of AA) and say, "Hello my name is ANT ("hello ANT") and I'm addicted to sugar."

Carolyn has ants running across her dresser but thinks they are thirsty little buggers who must be dying of thirst and realize there is an oasis (her water cup) in the midst of their desert. They also have an excellent communication system in place because as soon as one ant finds a drop of water, he whistles (I'm sure he does!) for the rest of the gang to come and slurp.

I've also noticed a train of ants charging up to the second floor but I don't know why they are doing so. And I don't think I really want to find out either!

But the thing that made me laugh was the Thai cleaning lady who comes and cleans for the two missionaries. She told the one missionary's wife that her house is "very clean" (kindly disregard the 17 cockroaches on the floor) and that "Thai houses are worse. Muuuuch worse."

So I'm going to count my blessings and just be thankful that we don't have mosquitoes. Or rats.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Reminder In Laughter.

I was working on the Good and Evil project today, just like I do (most) every day. I was checking all the footers and making sure all the verses listed actually existed in the Bible, and not just in someone's imagination:). My anticipation of finishing was fast becoming reality as I flipped to the book of Genesis (I started at the back of the book... hence, in Revelation).

As I steadily worked along, one footer in particular caught my eye. Underneath the reference was listed a little p.s. ~ "The name Isaac means laughter." I thought about that statement for a moment and realized that Isaac was a constant reminder for the rest of Sarah's days that she laughed at the promise of God. God clearly said, "Sarah... shall have a son." (Gen. 18:10), but Sarah turned around and "laughed within herself" (Gen. 18:12).

I thought that was interesting to note that Sarah had living, visible proof right in front of her every day regarding the promise of God and how He did fulfill His promise. I also thought about how I tend to be like Sarah in that I'll laugh within myself over something God has promised. But God hears that laugh. And God is faithful - each and every time.

What a good reminder in the middle of my day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Riding The Circuit.

One of my favorite things we do here in Thailand is a weekly Bible Study on Thursday nights. Since there are two different missionaries and several team members that all live on the same street, it just makes sense to meet together and fellowship. Of course the two ministries run in different directions so it's a good time to catch up on what the Lord is doing, to share prayer requests, sing, hear preaching and (what else?!) EAT!

With the Gaudets out of the country, the other missionary has been doing the teaching -- that is, when he's in Bangkok:). Anyway, tonight's message was so simple, and yet so profound. I learned something when I was here in Thailand in 2007. I am responsible for my spiritual growth... without the weekly dose of three church services, Bible studies, visitation, and fellowship with brethren. I thought I would share with you what the Lord touched my heart with tonight (so glad I brought my notebook along!)


1 Samuel 7:16-17 ~ "And he [Samuel] went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD."

  • This cycle is to prevent spiritual burnout; I must make the spiritual cycle to Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpeh, and Ramah.
  • Bethel means house of God. (Genesis 28)
  • God wanted Jacob to dwell at Bethel -- to live there and make it his home.
  • Gilgal was a place of restoration, renewal, and being recharged.
  • This can be likened in my life to: camps, evangelistic meetings, revival services, Ladies' Retreats, etc.
  • Mizpeh was a place of repentance.
  • Samuel called a meeting at Mizpeh and the people got right with the Lord.
  • Ramah means heights/highlights.
  • Ramah was Samuel's home. Samuel built an altar unto the Lord there. Samuel had his Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpeh, but he also had Ramah. All four places were important.

I'm sure glad I typed that all out, even if no one else gets anything out of it... God sure is good!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Marking The Milestone!

I'm very sorry for your sakes that the senator post was the one you had to look at for several days! It's not (entirely) my fault though. You see, something called the phone AND internet being shut off at my house for over a week got in the way, although in hind sight it didn't really get in the way because I enjoyed the rest from instant communication. Carolyn and I were talking about it yesterday and decided that was the Lord's way of saying, "you need a break" because we really didn't miss having all that instant communication at our fingertips.

But as a result, there was no blogging done -- what can I say? inspiration hits early in the morning! -- and very little e-mailing done. I did manage to upload pictures on to Facebook, but that was about it.

For the record, the phone and internet are still down at the house. This post is coming courtesy of the office (*after hours! after hours*). But I felt as if I should wave at the bloggy friends who might still be reading my little 'ole blog with this little tidbit: you have been a captive audience for 500 posts. Yep, that's right! Five Hundred. Good grief, someone likes to talk a lot!

From my very first post (go ahead and read it! I'll still be here when you return:D) to those amusing moments (I'm easily amused; what can I say???), oh and let's not forget the Thailand section of this blog (124 posts? Maybe I should rename the blog to "From My Perspective In Thailand"!), I've said a few things along the way.

I've been very surprised at the post that has generated the most traffic and I've been known to do an embarrassing thing or two along the way, including almost dying of mortification. By now you know that family is pretty important to me and that I'm a big, and I do mean big traveller (did someone say "trip"?)

So since this is my 501 post, I would like to hear from you all! Tell me who you are and what part of the world you're reading my blog from! I would love to get more acquainted with my readers and what better way to do it than at a big milestone? :)

Oh, and for the record, I know you all are very jealous that you couldn't go to the Korean bar-b-que with us tonight... doesn't it look yummy??? :D

(My co-workers Pookie, Carolyn, and I)