I meet with my cell group every Monday evening. We always have great discussions and are always on the look-out for ways to go deeper with Him, and challenge/hold each other accountable. One way that we do this is by taking what we are studying and making ‘I will…’ statements. These are practical, tangible things that we can do every day to walk out our faith and learning.
This week, I have decided to actively look for joy in my day-to-day, i.e., look for the silver linings. As a tangible way for me to keep track of my progress with this, I have decided to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and use my daily joy as inspiration for my daily slice. I appreciate all of you who have been following coming along for the ride, and keeping me an honest person. 🙂
Joy comes in so many different packages! Sometimes it is obvious, and others it needs a little closer look. I am choosing to write about two joyful moments today…one from each end of the spectrum.
First, I found joy today in the enthusiasm and commitment to a difficult task that my students demonstrated today! We (my grade level team and I) did our provocation for our next PYP unit this morning, trying to get the kids thinking about how they work in groups and how groups need to work together in order to accomplish a task. To get them interested and thinking, we gave small groups of students the directions for how to make origami animals (also to connect it to the previous unit…). While the ultimate goal of the assignment was not to finish the animals, boy did our students work hard to get them done…and done right! In the end, we were not able to get all of the origami animals completed as the directions were not the easiest…yet, my students all asked if they could keep trying. Of course I said yes, and I even offered my help (which did not turn out to be that helpful) during recess (this was also a cleverly disguised excuse to get out of my classroom and into the sunshine!)…When we STILL could not figure out the directions, several of those students asked for me to send the directions to their parents via email so that they could continue to work on them at home! I was floored by their attitudes, and am happy to oblige!
My second moment of joy is a bit more disguised…a bit harder to find…and requires His help in re-adjusting my attitude! I occasionally have cause to send money back to the states in order to cover various costs without having to dip into my savings. I am coming up on one such time, so I headed straight to the bank after work (as they keeper harder hours to get business done than the states) to exchange some RMB into USD as I have done countless times in the past. Upon hearing my request for just such an exchange, I am promptly told that this is not possible as that option is now only available for persons looking to travel (even though another reason for my needing to exchange money is my upcoming spring break trip). I am not fully comprehending this decision or the reasons behind it, so I ask if they would mind talking to a coworker in order to figure out the reasoning behind the sudden policy change. They agree, I make the phone call, my coworker translates, and apparently this is no longer an option for residents that have an option of receiving partial pay in USD. I am now out 45 minutes of my day, and have no USD to show for it. After getting home and reflecting on this odd (and apparently fairly recent) development, I found my second joyful moment: I am thankful that He has provided for me enough that I don’t have to send money home on a regular basis. I am in a place where I don’t have to worry about this…so I am grabbing ahold of that perspective, and choosing to count my blessings instead of grumble about being inconvenienced.
It also gives me the challenge of how to be creative with my time so that I can get to another bank in order to exchange and send home money before next month! 🙂