Patience is a Virtue
Whoever the heck said that is on my annoying list. Seriously, patience is a virtue? The only way I have ever heard that quote said is in a snarky-toned voice usually intending sarcasm or exasperation. Granted, most often, it’s my voice I’m hearing it from, but that is beside the point.
Patience is a virtue. And it is such because it does not come naturally. You have to develop it. And just like Paul says in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
I need it for this year. Did you know I have almost been in Taiwan for six months? For five of them I have lived in the same apartment in Ximen, floor five, number 3 with Justin and Brittany and their three-year-old, Kennedy, my immediate roommate Andrea, and another roommate named Michael. For much of the time, I have been looking towards the end of the time. Unfortunate, maybe unhealthy, but true. I do not want it to be that way, but it is. I like Taiwan, really. I do. And I love ministry, but, agh! Teaching.
- Please pray for me to be patient this year. To keep my eyes on Jesus, not a finish line that I do not know is rightly mine. Who knows? God may change my heart completely in the next six months.
I need it for myself. I am becoming increasingly aware that I am hard on myself. I think I am not doing enough with my students, not speaking about God enough. Then I the other side of me says, “I can’t stand this job anymore! I’m going to quit.”
[It’s 11:11– I wish (well, I wish I didn’t have to teach) I could find a way to like my job… All the time and not just sometimes. Amen.]
I need to have patience for myself to grow enough to be able to give God everything, and to grieve without also belittling myself for feeling the way that I do. It is a weird thing to be in this “in between” place. Now that I think about it, we talked about something like this in a class I took at Crown. It was about cultural transitions, and we discussed how there is a transition stage for culture shock where you feel like you are burning the gas but going nowhere, trying to pick up a thread of continuity. I guess you could say that is exactly where I am. I hope to come out on the other side fairly soon, cuz…
- Please pray that I would have no ears for the devil’s attempts to confuse me or bring me further into introspection that only leads to disliking Taiwan.
- Pray that each time I am wishing for home or that I could quit my job, God would distract me with something meaningful. A conversation with a friend here, something to do, an unexpected request from someone to do something with/for them, or for Kennedy to want to play or something.
- Pray for grace and favor at work from my bosses, coworkers, and students.
I need it for my students. The end of the semester is here, and everyone in my 6th grade class is squirrelly. 🙂 It was a struggle last week for a couple of the days just to get through the two hours and then I wanted to get the heck out of there. I also am realizing that I need to change my style of classroom management next semester to make it more enjoyable for everyone. I have been giving stars for “Friday Free Time,” but it is not enough of a motivator, and there are not clear reminders to follow the guidelines until Friday comes and they want those extra five minutes of break, so a lot of the times it feels like pulling teeth to keep a good learning atmosphere going.
- Please pray that I would do right by my God and my students in class. That I would give them a structured, inviting, and safe place to learn and make progress regardless of their level.
- Please pray for wisdom in lesson planning for the final few days.
O, patience, patience, patience. Wherefore art thou needed? Oh, I know. “Love, joy, peace, patience…”
One Sentence Updates
Tutoring with Eddie, Chen Jie’s son: I tutor a youngster named Eddie every other Saturday night for an hour, and I have been invited to eat with his family next Sunday; I am praying for his family’s salvation.
Jennifer: My 1st grade co-teacher is back and forth like a Jekyll and Hyde, so pray that she is saved from her angry life by God’s kindness “that leads to repentance.”
My new 6th grade co-teacher: Shelby, is now sick too, so I have had several subs in and out and it has been hard on the kids to have that uncertainty–God also seems to be sending me the teachers who are sick–maybe to pray for.
Contentment: The other BIG thing I would like prayer for is to have contentment, which has become my prayer.
Piano: I am so thankful to God for my piano because it is a source of endless new worlds consisting or not consisting of notes, and which always blesses me when I can travel to them.
Kennedy: She has been sick lately with a virus similar to a cold, but also giving her rashes on her feet and mouth–please pray for her.
My Chinese: I am learning a lot more Chinese now, and I am getting to the point where I can have a somewhat competent conversation with non-English speakers about at least things that I like and do not like or that I need.
Mom’s Visit: My mom is coming in February!!! I am saving up money for mom to come and visit for ten whole days, and I am so excited. Please pray for safe travels for her (she’s also going to India for three weeks before visiting me).
Me: I am missing everybody but I want to make the decision to make better friendships here that can fill some of the gap, knowing that Jesus fills everything I need regardless of who I am friends with.
Winter Break: My break is coming soon–in five days, to be exact– and I will have a whole month off of school.
Home life: Justin would like prayer for more video-making jobs; Brittany would like prayer for wisdom in deciding on a contract for next semester that will be good for her and the family; Andrea would like prayer for health; Michael would like prayer for his new roommate coming soon (and by extension, mine) and him to share space well; and I would like prayer that they would all be blessed.
Justin and Brittany are great house parents, even though they are only about three years older than I am! Pray that God blesses them with grace and language-learning skills.
New Babies: Miki and Caleb just had a baby on Dec. 31st, and they are now full-time baby watchers again, after their other son just barely started sleeping longer and needing less attention, and Jamie O’Dell (pastor’s wife, my mentor) is expecting soon this month! Pray for their health!
All in all, I hope that I can start to give you a better picture of what Taiwan is like. Soon I will be doing some more cultural blogs and some photo-intensive posts to give you a glimpse of the streets here and the people.
I pray that God will stir in you a heart of patience, and that you can trust in God for all your needs. I believe that he will. As Gabriel told Mary in Luke 1:37, “No word of God will ever fail.” And you can take that to the bank. God said I should not make plans to fall when I came here. So I won’t.
Keep the Faith!