Wednesday, November 22, 2006

things that make me go hmm Glasses in Taiwan are CHEAP. I love shopping for glasses here. In fact, for the past 7 years all my glasses have come from Taiwan. But, I have always used a prescription from the States. And, in fact, my prescription hasn't changed in over 10 years--right at -3.50 for both eyes. (Oh, yeah, just FYI, here in Taiwan--everyone knows their eye glasses prescription. It is often a small talk conversation starter. They are always shocked that I am like "I don't know. I don't care. As long as my Doc knows it's all good.") Anywho, for a few months now, I've been feeling like things are getting a little blurry in the distance. I've just kinda blinked a few times, then ignored it. But, these past two weeks it's gotten even more noticable. My eyes are constantly adjusting while I am driving. I can't read street signs until I pass them. All neon signs (and trust me there are tons of those here) all have rough, blurry edges around them. It's enough to give one a headache--oh right that's me--have had a headache for two weeks now. So, Friday I quit ignoring it. I went into an eye glasses shop. The eye doc (we'll call him ED) uses a machine to find out what prescription I might need, then uses another machine to find out the strength of my current glasses. ED puts the new prescription in those funny little eye doc glasses, "Is that more clear?" I, of course, say "yes," but then I add "but still not clear enough." ED changes a few of the lens, making it more clear. He then proceeds to tell me that my new prescription is only slightly stronger than my old one, implying I am being over sensitive about my sight. I tell him all my vision woes and that I really do think it is time for a new prescription. This is the conversation that follows: ED: "so, is this more clear?" Me: "yes. it is." ED: "so is more clear better?" Me: (in my head "uhhh . . . duh!" but instead polietly say) "the clearer, the better" He has me walk around the store and look out the window. I tell him that things down the street are still not so clear in my left eye. He changes a few more things, and we repeat the process two or three more times. Finally, when I am pleased with the clarity, we sit down to order the new lenses, he tells me something very complicated, and I don't get it. So, I tell ED one of my favorite Chinese phrases "ting bu dong" (which means, "I hear you, but I don't understand you"). ED then tries again, I get the idea better, but am still not completely sure . . . But, I do know that my glasses will have different prescriptions on each lens--I am guessing becuase I have an astigmatism. Anyway, because "[I] like to see clearly" he...
happy thanksgiving When I was depressed, I was numb. I felt nothing--I wasn't sad; I wasn't happy; I wasn't angry. I just had no feelings at all. When I was coming out of depression last spring, thankfulness was the first emotion I felt. I rememeber it very clearly. Some stanger helped me find the room I needed--in fact it was her job (she worked at the help desk)--and thankfulness flooded my heart. I remember thinking, "wow, so this is what thankfulness feels like." I celebrated the fact that I had an emotion--it was a powerful moment. Psalm 107:22 says "And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!" Psalm 50:23 says that "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies [God]." Scripture even commands us to "offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving." We are to enter his gates and come into his presense with thanksgiving; we are commanded to "magnify him with thanksgiving" and "proclaim thanksgiving aloud, and telling all [His] wondrous deeds." Paul tells us we should be "giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." But a thankful heart--one that is always offering the sacrifices of thanksgiving to the Lord for everthing--does not come naturally. It is like the proclaimation signed by Abraham Lincon in 1863 says: To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. I like Thanksgiving. I like that we, as a nation, set apart one whole day "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens" and offer "up the ascriptions justly due to Him" for "the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy." But, as I begin to list the things I am thankful for . . . I begin to realize--all over again--that it is a a list that never stops. Everything I have and all that I am is because of God, who He is and all He has done. I have nothing, am nothing, without Him. Tokens of divine grace fill my everyday, and I take them for granted since I am constantly enjoying them. I am prone to forget their source. I am not going to list here all the things I am thankful for because the list would be OH SO HUGE. I'll keep that list in my paper journal. But, I will be back tomorrow to list the answers to prayers that I have seen in this past year so far. Happy Thanksgiving (even if I am a day late in telling you on my time)!!

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