Writing Challenge #7

Day #7–List 5 things that make your day.

brown canoe on calm body of water

By Lanita Martin

1) Last week my Khmer landlady, who knows no English, was at my house to register me so that I could get a new visa. We finished the lengthy process, and I communicated that I was happy it was done. Still she stayed on my porch bench and we made a little more conversation. I couldn’t figure out why she was staying, until she took us across the road to my neighbor’s food stand. We had discussed food and I had told her that I like Khmer food. So she led the way to some good food: beef kabobs roasted over charcoal, pickled vegetables, and soft bread to make a sandwich. We ate and enjoyed it very much, while talking in English to the man who lives there. I asked, “Thlai bonman?” to pay, and my landlady had paid for us! That kindness, from a stranger with whom I can hardly communicate, made my day! 

2) Going on an adventure makes me happy. Something new with an edge of unknown brings a smile of anticipation, unless I’m shaking-in-my-sandals scared. The other day Charlotte and I found ourselves on a boat ride down the Mekong River, floating by a fishing village of little huts and blue and red houseboats. One minute we had been strolling along the riverside with no plans of sailing, and the next we were talking to a little woman who would take us out on the boat right away. What fun!

3) Sometimes I want to be creative, such as finding my camera to photograph a scene, or tackling a pencil drawing. But I’m afraid to invest effort in what might fail. When I do tend to my creative streak and make the effort, and produce something of beauty, it fuels my day. Suddenly I have energy for more creation, even if it’s only making food and creating a clean kitchen.

4) Last Sunday we spent the morning with a family from another mission also doing quarantine in Phnom Penh. Sitting in the living room of their apartment discussing the Sunday School lesson on Solomon and singing together was a special time of connection. It makes my day to have that open, sincere worship time. Since my sister and I had no teammates in the city, the invitation to join them was a gift.

5) Compliments make my day. When someone notices my work and appreciates my effort, I am happy. This summer I took a class in preparation for teaching English. When I finished a presentation and a friend said, “Wow, that went so smoothly,” or “You sounded just like an ESL teacher should,” it reassured me. While I don’t always have the voice of a friend, I can always hear the voice of God. I want to listen for His “Well done,” because that’s the best part of any day.

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