I've been chilling out a bit in Bangkok; not rushing into the smog of the city or galavanting down Khao San Road, but taking a few days to reflect on my time in Phuket, and to be with the family we absolutely adore out here. Isaac and Mapring took us in the last time we were in Thailand, and yet again they've been nothing but attentive and kind. They've shown us the ropes like last time, including warning us about the high levels of air pollution here - it can reak havoc for people with allergies like me! Isaac and Mapring have three children, all of whom have been just as welcoming as their parents. Observing a young family is always fun and Isaac says I need to be learning for the future (I'm imagining my own parents getting giddy reading this at the thought of more grandchildren...) Anyway, more on all that later, this blog starts with perspective.
It's a bit of a classic line, or maybe even bordering on a cliqué, that traveling gives you perspective. I'm currently reading the fourth in The Seven Sisters Series by Lucinda Riley called The Pearl Sister. A massive shout out to Emma from my old job for not only recommending it to me, but gifting it too! So at the start of the journey for the fourth sister, she, CeCe is travelling to Thailand. Very apt for my situation and this line jumped from the Kindle screen:
“Labour was so cheap here, it was a joke. I immediately felt bad for thinking that, then reminded myself that this was why I loved traveling; it put things into perspective.” - CeCe, The Pearl Sister
I am conscious of not being sensitive here and I don't want to encourage anyone to play the comparison game. Many of you reading this may be going through something tough, no matter how "big" or "small" it is along the spectum of "perspective." However, meeting people in Thailand and spending time in their homes has given me a new perspective and heart for those who have less than I do. I wanted to share one particular circumstance.
Last week, I met a man named Mana (at least I think that's how you spell it.) He is blind. He lives in a house in Phuket with very little in it and no mosquito nets on the windows. I went along with Mary to bring him food, for he struggles to get to the shops alone, and we spent some time with him. It was so unbelievably sweet. Especially when he asked me how he could pray for me and then went on to pray for my Mum's health. I came out of that place, which I'll say it plainly, was not a place I'd usually feel comfortable, but I came out full of joy, because I saw the happiness our visit had brought to Mana.
And here is where I'm going with this - people and faith can be your anchors.
In Phillippians 4, the apostle Paul said he'd discovered the secret of being content in every situation, and that was that he could do everything through the strength that God gave him. There's no greater anchor than that.
And throughout the bible it also talks about the strength other people give us too.
So to finish this blog, I'll say this - traveling has given me perspective, but more than anything, its showing me to not neglect the people in my life and that if there's something I need to face or "unpack", there are people around me who can reflect the anchoring of the love of God. Both of those things can help me through.
I hope this helps someone, and if you need an outlet - hi! Let's chat.
Have happy days,
Oh and p.s. Stephen arrived safely. Yay! He's settling in and getting used to the extreme change in temperature.