In December, we finished A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Freidman. This book is about Leadership, was written in 1996, and it is probably one of the most influential books I’ve read. Although the author never states his religious perspective, the general truths and observations he makes parallel the gospel of the New Testament and help to set healthy boundaries for leaders while attempting to accomplish the tasks they’ve been chosen to do. I can’t recommend this book enough. We have now begun Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God’s People (an excellent book that shares part of the journey of Plant With Purpose, a Christian NGO who pursues justice in the developing world by using agricultural methodologies). And there are many more books from our reading list for The Charis Project (the non-profit we’ll be volunteering with)
Shannon has chosen to read Letters From Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi for her next book club meeting. She’s brilliant(!) since this will fuel more interest for those reading in what we’re doing and inform us about Burma’s history of oppression.
DIYtheGoodLife is gaining followers weekly from friends to coworkers. I’ve been overjoyed to hear about everyone’s excitement for us as we prepare for the adventure awaiting us in Thailand. A new addition that we hope will be mutually helpful is our Amazon Store. It includes items that we have influenced us in deciding and preparing for our journey to Thailand. Every purchase made on Amazon following one of these links will give us a 6% commission. So you get a proven tool and we get funding for our trip. It’s a win-win!
Most of what we hope will fund this adventure will come in the way of financial giving from friends and blog followers. Think of it like mission fund-raising. So far we have $150/mo promised prior to us officially asking people to help and our goal while there is only $2,000/mo because the cost of living is so low. Anyone wishing to support us and be a part of the mission that The Charis Project is working toward is welcome to comment or email us, however, please continue to follow us and enjoy our journey regardless of whether you support us financially or not.
We still need to get our house ready to sell in about two months after Beren is cleared by his surgeon (more on that in another post). We mainly need to touch up interior walls and paint the exterior. We’re trying to clear out more stuff since we’re attempting to bring everything we need with us on the plane in keeping with our minimalist lifestyle. And… in the evenings we’re now scanning all of our paper photos (at least I can watch Dr. Who while we do this…). All this is hoped to be completed by the end of June of this year when we hope to make our way to Chiang Mai while we get our grounding and an apartment for rent in Mae Sot.
The kids are doing awesome as we homeschool. Michael is learning to actually like reading. Tali (4.75 years) told Shannon she loves reading and is doing very well even though she isn’t formally a student yet. We’re getting into the swing of things with one of our dear friend’s teaching material recommendations combined with Kindle, Nook, Khanacademy, the laptop and tablet, and our online calendar. I love this integrated approach.
Language acquisition has been slow, but we’ve also starting listening to Thai Pimzler CDs. We hope to have all the 60+ letters learned by the time we leave for Thailand.
Day by day we’re getting there. We hope you continue to follow us in the New Year, learn for our journey, and stay connected.