Aware |vii

sleddingIn the fall I asked my students if anyone had a pink hat, we were trying to find one for our costume party because we were being the girls from Despicable Me. No one had one, my friend bought one. But Christmas week, my student comes up to me and re-tells the story of my search in October. Since she wasn’t able to find one, her mother MADE me this hat. Though the hat was not really for my costume or for me, my heart gushed at the sweetness of all of this. I don’t like hats. I hardly ever wear hats. But this hat, this hat is one that is big enough to not ruin my curls (on the good-curl-days), and so I wear it proudly with my hand-me-down earmuffs and northface (forthface) jacket that needs a desperate cleaning. My students are a blessing.

The other aspect of this picture that I want to explain is sledding. Sledding with a dilapidated piece of cardboard as my sled, on snow-packed stairs. My heart was light and giddy. I don’t think I’ve been sledding at all since moving here, and this was just a delightful experience, even though my rear froze and we were still outside for a long time. Oh well.

So here goes:

Cheers to 2014, a new year with many unknowns (even in the next few weeks!). Cheers to not making a bunch of lists and goals and just taking life a day at a time asking the Lord to change me. Cheers to the family that I belong to that hasn’t been all together in 5.5 years and will get to have exactly one breakfast together where we all overlap. Cheers to the friends that stick with me and want to see me when I’m in the states, even though I live on the other side of the world and sometimes stink at being a great long-distance friend. Cheers to local travels with neighbors and friends and the fun adventures of talking to taxi drivers over confusions in a dialect I don’t exactly speak. Cheers to the greatest customer service a hotpot restaurant could ever have, I’ll gladly take two more glasses of hot soy milk, thankyou. Cheers to grace and learning how much I need God to be transforming my selfish heart and the confidence that HE is the one who will do the transforming work.

What are you grateful for today?