It’s been two months exactly since the day I left America to come teach in Taiwan. It’s been a time of learning, of gaining insight and experience into another culture and my own capabilities, and a time to learn to trust God to see to my needs. For one thing, I haven’t been sick, really sick, at all since I came. Sure, the food sometimes turns my stomach, but overall I have been abundantly blessed with good health and supernatural levels of energy. (If you could see these kids, the mere fact that I could keep up with them is cause for celebration.)
Why did I call this post “peculiar joys?” Because during this time of teaching, especially these first months, it’s been a time of stretching and doing things I don’t always want to do. It’s hard to make yourself get up and teach and be on call for ten or twelve hours a day (when we have night class, even if we’re not teaching a solid amount of time, we’re in the office, on work mode, from about seven in the morning to seven or eight at night.) It’s tiring. Exhausting sometimes. I can get pretty tired. But there’s a peculiar joy in knowing that this is part of adult-hood. Knowing this is making me have a better work ethic, a better outlook, a better dedication to duty, a higher tolerance for unpleasant things, and a resilience whenever I think I’ve had it, is terribly satisfying. Like the peculiar satisfaction that comes from denying yourself something you shouldn’t have but want: it’s the same. I can look back on the day, knowing I’ve put in hard work, and whether it’s gone well or not, I’m happy about that. I’m happy when I have an experience, good or bad, that gives me experience. When I’m old and wrinkled, I want to be happy and full of stories about things I’ve done and things I can do. I won’t get those stories unless I push myself to do everything I can, hard or easy, whether I feel like it or not.
This year will be a growing year. It will come gradually but greatly. Everyone has certain years that weigh more in their lives. This year will definitely be one for me.
Keep on smiling!