“Our pencils are our friends—we keep them till the end.” This cheer was given by a group of primary students in the film, The First Grader produced by National Geographic Entertainment, BBC Films, and UK Film Council in 2010. The primary school, in a remote area in the Kenyan bush, expected its students to come to school in a uniform, with two writing books and a sharp pencil. This was a hardship for some.[i]
My desires, my priories, and my agenda have so often gotten in the way of giving God the praise and thanksgiving he so greatly deserves. He gives us a love greater than anything I could ever offer.
God takes pleasure in praise and thanksgiving. He asks for it. Isaiah 43:21 states, “The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” Hebrews 13:15 confirms it, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.” And the Psalms are filled with it.
Being in Nepal gives new meaning to the idea of putting on the whole armour of God. At times, I wanted to put on my whole contents of clothes to get to a desired fashion or comfort effect. As a woman always prone to carrying excess weight: read “a chubby child,” “heavy set,” and “rubenesque.” So, I have generally avoided layering my clothing. Who wants to add extra bulk to an already ample figure? I have often looked admiringly, even longingly, at taller and slimmer women sporting sweaters and coats and swathes of scarves knowing full well that I would be dwarfed and ridiculous in such attire. My looks tend to be a thin t-shirt and a light, snug-fitting jacket.
I love to run. I love to run at 5:30 a.m. in the morning. I love to run after my kids at a beach. I love to run along the Pacific Ocean on a perfect afternoon or on a slippery, rough, and “rooty” West Coast wilderness trail where there could be a bear just around the next turn. I love inspiring people—to run, to move, to be active. I often am frustrated by my 6-year-old son who has more energy than he knows what to do with, but I know exactly whose genes are flowing through that beautiful body. We love to run together.