I got a job!  I’ve been working for the past month and a half in an amazing International School with a group of Dyslexic children that I have grown to love.  The job came as an answer to prayer…literally five minutes after praying about finding a job with a friend, I received a phone call from the school asking me to come in for an interview!  I’m working as a teaching assistant in the specialized program for Dyslexic children and loving it!

The school is only five minutes from my house and looks like a castle!!  Someone told me the design was inspired by Hogwarts…and I can definitely see that!! The students come from all over the world and range from kindergarten to high-school.  In our program we have seven children from Germany, Norway, the UK and beyond!  Many of these children have spent their lives travelling with their parents, moving from one country to another for work and they adapt and make new friends just like I’ve been doing.

My amazing husband, John, drives me to work each morning on our trusty motorbike.  We first turn left out from our condo, then take the first right onto Soi (street) 14.  There are certain Thai words that even when speaking english, we still use…like “soi” meaning “street”.  Soi 14 is usually pretty easy to get through.  There are often people outside cooking chicken skewers on a grill and selling other hot treats from their food carts.  There are homes and shops and while the road is narrow, there is a lot going on!  There is even a patch of land that has chickens running about and looks very rural.  At the end of the soi, we turn right onto a busy street with crazy morning rush hour traffic.  There are taxis everywhere, and in every colour – green, yellow, red, pink, purple, motorbikes scooting about and squeezing through every spare inch of space on the road, mini red buses with people hanging off the back, and even elderly women on bicycles riding against the traffic!  It is a sight to be seen!  In Thailand we drive on the left side of the road, so a right turn is a tricky thing sometimes, but John always manages to make a safe and quick turn (don’t worry Dad – we’re staying safe!!) and then it’s off to our next soi.

We pass a gas station on our left, and then make a left turn onto the next major soi marked with a big yellow arrow.  The corner has an old worn down couch that never seems to be picked up by the garbage truck and could very well be used by someone awaiting a taxi…but there is an interesting, not so pleasant smell at that corner, so i would avoid it.  I like this half of the trip, aside from the smelly corner of course, because there are a lot of green trees and plants in this area so the air feels more fresh! There are some larger homes along this soi and other office buildings with signs I can’t read.  We make another right turn, and then another quick turn again and then just around the bend, past the trees and behind the tall iron gates is Berkeley International school!  It’s amazing how much land they own!   I always feel like I’ve travelled through different worlds and eras to get to school in the morning.  From chickens and food-carts to a castle like Hogwarts!!

Each morning I walk down with the class to the flag ceremony where we sing a Thai song, raise the flag, hear the announcements and enjoy a little chuckle from the super enthusiastic Headmaster as he sends us all back to class with a spirited “Keep on learning!!”  It’s a great way to start the day.  But of course, that takes second place to my husband making me homemade cinnamon and sugar sprinkled doughnuts for breakfast before work…now THAT’S a great way start the day!!!!

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Working at the school has really been helping me to get back into the swing of things, and feel more like myself again.  With all the changes going on this past year, I have been struggling with my identity.  I didn’t even realize it at first, but after some good reflection time with close friends and family I have had the word “identity” come up a number of times.  For many many years of my life, things were pretty consistent.  I played piano regularly, worked with children, was surrounded by the same core group of friends for many years, had a steady job and was single.  Without even realizing it, I had been defining myself by the things I did and the people I knew.  God’s been really helping me to stir that up and teach me what it means to have my identity wrapped up in Him, and Him alone.

It amazed me that my husband John, upon first meeting me, didn’t love me for my talents or my friends or any other accomplishment of mine.  He had never heard me play the piano or seen me work with kids.  He didn’t pursue me for my talents or my reputation.  I almost felt upset at first, thinking “how could he possibly love me without knowing all those things about me”.  I was so set on defining myself by all these things I’ve done whereas he saw past that into my character and my heart and loved me.  John was showing me God’s love which goes beyond all those surface things and looks into our core being.  God says to us “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).  God is so in love with us, His children whom he created perfectly, that nothing we do or say can add to or take away from that love.

Being here in Thailand, learning to be a wife, finding new friends and a new job, while adapting to a new culture and language is not always a cup of tea, and has often got me feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed.  Each day I need to remind myself that I am His daughter first, and everything second.  A daughter of the King; a princess that now gets to work in a castle 🙂  And as His daughter, I have no need to worry or fret about the coming days. “She can laugh at the days to come,” are words describing the godly woman of Proverbs 31.  A woman whose identity is so safely found in God that laughter flows out instead of fear and anxiety.

God is working all things together in a beautiful way, beyond my imagination.  As I feel my life changing more and more, it is all the more reason to dig deeper in my faith and fall deeply in love with God again and again.  My amazing friend LJ reminded me the other day to fall in love with God and since then those words have been stuck in my head.  The world tries to convince us to focus on ourselves and love ourselves…but the truth is that we need to fall in love with God.  Loving Him brings us closer to His heart.  It’s like when you first meet someone and fall in love with them, you hang on every word they say.  You long to hear them say your name and tell you sweet things about you.  Because you trust them, and love them, those words pierce your heart and even challenge you to see yourself in a new way.  With our loving Father God, as we fall in love with Him, spending time with Him and hearing His words, our own ideas of who we are are challenged.  We begin to see ourselves clearly, not through the world’s lenses of insecurity and superficiality, but through His perfect sight.  We let His comforting words of Psalm 139 fill us and define us leaving no room for the lies of this world.

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I think my life is sometimes like my drive to work.  I can often start off as a chicken – afraid and clucking about.  But as I continue my adventure through winding roads, God always brings me to the castle and reminds me that I’m part of His Kingdom, a child in His family.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”1 Peter 2:9

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