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Giving Thanks for All Things

"But awakening to joy awakens to pain.
"Joy and pain, they are two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don't numb themselves to really living....  Yet I know it in the vein and the visceral:  life is loss."
--Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts

Monday-- I'm thankful for a new outfit.  The tailor promised I'd have it in two weeks and it was more like five.  She was sick and in the clinic, and then I had to have her re-do part of it.  John got me this cloth for Christmas.

Tuesday -- We were given a lot of potatoes.  I love potatoes, so I'm thankful!  We've been eating a lot of potato meals such as potato soup, potato salad, and scalloped potatoes.

Wednesday -- This week John and I were able to attend a Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills seminar.  Attending one of these seminars is considered professional development by SIM.  It was well worth the time and cost.  I'm thankful we could attend.  This picture was taken during a break.

Thursday -- We dealt with a host of subjects including handling conflict, stress, open communication, and encouraging others.  We worked a lot in small groups, did simulations, had Bible studies, and had lots of homework reading to do.  I loved how we were taught with very little lecture.  

"Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because the Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, 'I know.  I know.'"  --Ann Voskamp

Friday -- Out of 24 people in attendance, only six of us work with SIM Niger, so it was good to meet some new friends.  One of my favorite aspects of the seminar was the cross-cultural insights we gained.  My sister on the left works here in Niger and the one in the center is from Nigeria, but works in Burkina Faso.

Saturday -- Rain!  What?  In February?  That doesn't happen often, I can tell you.  When it does, it's just a few sprinkles.  But we got enough to make a few little puddles. 

Sunday -- I love how they were dancing together during worship this morning.  I'm thankful for the joy of music in this little church.

"...Eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things--take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fills all emptiness.... The hard discipline to number the griefs as grace because as the God chooses to cut into my ungrateful heart to make me whole."  --Ann Voskamp

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