We had a rather rough 'welcome back' to Tha Rua yesterday. About 4 a.m., music started blasting from some temple or other, announcing the celebration of a young man going into the priesthood. Not particularly nice for us when we're trying to adjust from jet lag. I was kind of frustrated, but knew I wouldn't get any sleep, so I went downstairs to do some work on my computer. The hard part, though, was when my son came downstairs a few minutes later, really grumpy about the music, and declaring how much he hated Thailand. Mind you, it was already hard enough for him to leave grandparents and so much he enjoyed in North America - he had reminded us about 20 times over 4 days that he did not want to go back to Thailand.
Thankfully, by then I had regained some equilibrium, and was able to spend some quality time with him. I asked him, "Do you want to help Daddy make breakfast?" and he was quick to say yes. We have a tradition of having omelettes on Sunday mornings, so Nate helped me chop up the onions (his favorite food!) and bell pepper and cook up the Chinese sausage (kunchiang). During one break, I suggested we take a few minutes to pray for the people who were playing the music, and he was quick to agree. I think in the end it was a bit of a healing time for him, even though he still misses grandparents and friends from NA. We even took a few minutes to write an email to "Grampa Bakes".
Often, we face various frustrations and (especially in a cross-cultural situation) can slide into really negative attitudes. By God's grace, we can still choose our response. Our responses aren't limited to "I hate ______" or "Oh, it doesn't matter", but we might need to say something does matter, but also turn the frustration into an opportunity for God to work on us and to pour out his overcoming love to others, such as we can do through prayer.
I must say that Sunday turned out to be a really good day - being back in church with the brothers and sisters, seeing God at work in them, visiting with Jeff and Mervil in Ayutthaya, and making breakfast with my boys. :) I was exhausted by evening, but it was all good.