Daily Life / by Joshua P Jacks

Midterm craziness is over, the fire boat festival has come and gone.  We are now doing the living part of Lao.  It is all starting to settle in with us.  Difficult times have started to show their head a little.  As the holidays approach I have found an inner battle going on.  I am very thankful that I have a place to lay my head, but we are in limbo as to where home is.

During our two years here we really desire to make the biggest impact we possibly can.  In the process it calls for a lot of dying to self and changing of our ways.  This creates a challenge in my heart.  As I sit in my room I hear many of my neighbors chatting and laughing only a few feet from my window.  I wonder if there will ever be a time where I will be sitting alongside them doing the same thing. 

Intimidation of the language has really caught me off guard.  I notice myself retreating rather than jumping in when it comes to conversations.  Initiation is something I need to develop and face the fear of anything that might come with it.  They may seem like silly fears to those that are outgoing, but for me who has become rather shy over the years; it proves to be very difficult. 

This has become Noah’s normal and I am very thankful, that at such a young age he is able to understand some of the great values that the Lao people have for us to learn.  I just desire for my heart and my ambition to be fuller for these people, that it would drive me past the limitations I have put on myself and push me forward into a culture that I desire to connect with.

I understand that the key to my desire is allowing myself to be lifted up out of my own perspective and into His perspective.  I was talking with my friend, Lauren, the other day and we came to the conclusion that we are suppose to live in full joy, even in the mist of our struggles and sufferings.  I know the path to reach my goal is giving fully of myself and doing so at inconvenient times.  That it is laying down my life in simple ways such as giving up a night of reading to play and make cookies with my neighborhood kids.

In the end I know it is an accomplishable desire, and it can be accomplished full of joy. As I kill my “me” mentality fullness of joy will come unexpectedly rather than staying focused on myself and my woes. There will be better use of my time, which will leave a more fulfilled and more useful Jacks family!

Please be thinking of us as the holidays approach.  Maybe I am anticipating something worse than what will happen; this will be my first holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year) away from family.  I desire to look at it as a great opportunity to experience it in a way I haven’t before.  Also please be thinking of my family during the Holiday season, my sister will be having her first child, my nephew Levi.  He is due in December! 

Thank you again, I don’t think I will ever be able to say it enough.  Thank you for walking this journey with us!