This New Years’ I spent my time in Yasothon, a province in the Northeastern part of Thailand, with my closest friend and her family.
I could’ve stayed in Bangkok with all the glitz and glam New Years promises us… I’m so glad I didn’t.
For two whole days my schedule looked like this: eat, read, sleep, repeat. A month ago I would’ve felt so guilty for living this life of do-nothing luxury, but at that point I wanted to soak in every second of it.
Within the last two weeks I’ve wanted to pack up my bags so many times and hop on a plane to anywhere, anywhere far from responsibility and waking up at 5:30 AM. So many mornings I just lay in my bed enduring the sound of my alarm clock, then I’d return home ignoring the long list of “to-dos” in the back of my head. I felt like I was crumbling, like I was completely giving up.
I learned fairly quickly the language of love in my friend’s family–food. Good food. We ate huge, warm, delicious meals three times a day, and snacked in between. Every time I slept it was always on a full belly. We made a joke on the way back to Bangkok that all we did on this trip is eat and eat! Surely, if we stayed a month long we’d be rolling ourselves back to the city.
It was all okay though because everyone was too busy enjoying themselves to even consider their waistlines. Food brought us all together in laughter and happiness. We made plenty of fat jokes, but none of it was ever taken to heart, no one, not even for one millisecond, thought about turning down a second helping.
I’ll admit, I didn’t do a ton of praying up there, but I did spend each night staring at the moon and stars. That to me, felt a lot like praying.
On the last morning though, I did actually pray, a thankful prayer. I’ve been constantly asking God, “How to be a good Christian?” For numerous months now I’ve felt like I’ve been sucking at it. That morning he finally led me to the folly in my endeavors of following him–my entire motivation had been about escaping hell. Before getting on a motorcycle or on an airplane, before going to sleep, I constantly feared something bad happening because of where I might end up next…
The moment my motivation changed from love to fear is the exact time I started misunderstanding the whole reason and purpose of following Christ in the first place.
I am a complete sucker for love stories and anything romantic, so finally having the time to submerge myself in a good novel was like heaven. “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell, I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of YA books and could use a little escape.
I’ve read so many times–in a hammock, in the back of a pick-up truck with the breeze kissing each strand of my hair. I’ve laughed and cried, had my heart burst into a billion butterflies–all things my body forgot how to do.
Between reading Eleanor and Park’s sweet love story, I’d take the time to dream about mine… well, my nonexistent one that is, but that’s for a later blog post. I’m just so thankful that my weak heart was able to experience someone’s love story, even if it is fiction; the emotions that sprinkled over me felt very real.
I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. Sure, I didn’t have the fireworks, but I had family. I didn’t have a countdown, but I counted the stars. I wasn’t decked out in some fancy wardrobe, but the perfect weather draped itself over my skin.
For the first time in a long time I was at peace with myself and the world around me. The countryside has a way of making you slow down and appreciate life again.
I try to center my life around a line in one of Mary Oliver’s most famous poems, When I Am Among the Trees, this holiday I think I finally lived it in full…
Walk slowly, and bow often.