Hello! We're right at the beginning of another quarter, and we're still ironing out plans for what will be coming up. It looks like it will be a slightly quieter time, but there will still be plenty to read through and interact over here each week.
We recently moved to our first house. After 12 years of living in apartments, it's a dream come true! Really, I didn't even know that it would be this nice. I'm still walking around grinning most days, just thinking about how nice it is. It's actually half a house, though. We have very close neighbors living in the other side of the house, and I'm glad of that, too. I was afraid living in a house with a fenced off yard would be lonely for me. (Hah!) But... how do I put this gently? Our neighbor is a little hard to please.
Other neighbors describe her as "вечно недовольна," which is literally "eternally unhappy." When I heard that I started thinking about what they might say about me. Do people think of me as generally happy or unhappy? How can I avoid complaining, and avoid it so much that I could earn the opposite label: I'd love to be known as "happy with everything" or "eternally happy"!
Then, the next thing that hit me was that word "eternal." Obviously, they didn't mean it literally, but it just might be. That's when the compassion started to flow in me. It's hard to be irritated with her when I'm thinking about loving her and remembering the "eternal" part of the equation.
So, I can be happy because my eternity is settled, and I can love someone who seems a little difficult, because I'm remembering her eternal soul. At least, that's what I'm striving for. It's been good for me to actually think this out and repeat it to myself often over the past few weeks.
What about you? Surely I'm not the only missionary who has to be reminded quite often about why we're really here! And how can we pray for your relationships with your neighbors? (Please pray for grace and wisdom for me.)