From Gabriel & Jeanette
There are many things happening around us and in our lives that can take us away from being thankful. But the faithfulness of the Lord helps bring us back to that path of gratefulness when we see others who are worse off . . . and yet don’t complain. Or, we see others with much less and are yet so full of joy. The Lord weaves hardships in the tapestry of our lives to bring us back to being grateful for what we may have taken for granted.
When we see those who go through difficulties that are worse than ours, and yet are joyful, we are thankful for their courage and spirit of accepting it as part of life while others trust in our Lord to exhibit that kind of faith. There are others who have been inspiring to us despite being in a wheelchair and have gone beyond their limitation and impacted others when we would have been tempted to give up. There’s one story that comes to mind: in a city in the Middle East, one handicapped lady collaborated with others to provide 3,000 ramps in her city to make things a little easier for those in wheelchairs!
At times a lack of something helps us realize how much we can take things for granted. It could even be in our everyday life (health, job, home, etc.), which opens our eyes to see if we lack even a right attitude! We could also be taking friends or our own family for granted. Regardless of the situation, what has been important to us is that the Lord is always there to help us experience His presence as Provider, Sustainer, Shepherd, and Comforter to bring us to and reveal more of Himself through our difficult circumstances. For this, we are most thankful to the Lord! We are so grateful also for all of you, our dear extended family, and all of you who have come alongside us to work together!
Gratitude is a strange thing, especially when it comes to being grateful for lessons that God has taught you. I find that I’m never grateful for something until long after the event has happened. Last year, if you told me that I would be grateful for the opportunity to teach makeup classes, I would have laughed hysterically in disbelief. You see, I was the type of person that hated makeup with a passion. I didn’t understand why anyone would want to submit themselves to the torture of waking up two hours before you actually need to, only to slap some colorful goop onto your face in the hopes that you might look prettier. I was very vocal about my dislike for makeup. Yet here we are, one year later, and I have already taught four makeup and skin care classes in 2018 alone!
Why am I grateful for these classes? Because I had to learn humility. You see, I am a very proud person. I take pride in the knowledge that I have and in the things that I do or don’t do. I was very proud of the fact that I never wore makeup. It was something that I thought made me better than everyone else. I took pride in the fact that I wasn’t a “girly” girl. So when my mom tasked me with the job of teaching skin care and Savvy Minerals classes, God had to humble me a lot. First, I had to acknowledge that maybe I was wrong in my perceptions of cosmetics and people who wear them. (Shocking, I know. How could my perceptions possibly be flawed?) Then I had to humble myself even more by having to learn how to be good at something I didn’t care about at all.
At the 2015 Young Living Convention, the keynote speaker Jon Acuff made a remark that really impacted me. He said, “Care about what the people you care about, care about.” This was a hard lesson for me to put into practice when it comes to cosmetics. I really don’t care about makeup at all, but there are a lot of people I care about, who love and are passionate about cosmetics. So I had to start caring about makeup, too. It was really difficult, but as I started to learn and practice, I developed a great admiration for people who can actually do makeup well. It’s really an art form!
In the end, I’m grateful to God for stretching me way outside my comfort zone and for giving me more opportunities to be humble. To everyone who has asked me to teach these beauty classes, thank you for helping me learn humility! To everyone who has attended one of my skin care and Savvy Minerals classes, thank you for putting up with my lack of knowledge and for encouraging me to teach more classes. Knowing that people are excited to learn about these products helps me to be excited to teach these classes.
This past year I had several transitions in my life, the main one being that earlier this spring I moved back to be with my family in Indianapolis. To recount extremely briefly where I’ve been in recent years: after spending about a year with my family in South Korea, I had a sudden, unplanned return to the Chicago area, where I worked for about 3 years. During that time, I had always been planning to come back to Indianapolis at some point, so I kind of lived in a nomadic state during that whole time, never truly unpacking. Well over the course of last winter and spring, God really changed my mindset about my life overall, and gave me peace to enjoy wherever I was working or living or surviving at the moment. Through that, I finally was able to change course and rejoin my family again in Indianapolis.
Over the last several months I’ve working toward getting more involved with the Young Living business, especially helping my mom with classes and teaching some myself. Although I’ve done some teaching in other areas before, this year I taught my first health/essential oils classes, and I’m so grateful to all of you who attended some of those classes and were a big encouragement to me. I was originally only planning on teaching one class on brain health, but it turned out to be unexpectedly popular, and we ended up expanding it to three classes! That may not sound like a lot, but it was pretty stretching for me! It was a great experience to study, prepare, and present this material that I’m very passionate about to such an enjoyable group of people!