One of my favorite things we did as a townhouse was roomie family dinners. These always happened by candlelight in our dining room and were cell phone free :) At each meal, we always did "highs and lows" since most of us had some sort of camp background. Highs and lows, peaks and pits, pows and wows, call them what you want, I find to be both a great way to process your day and hold you accountable throughout the day. At camp one summer, it was explained to me that if you are thinking throughout the day what will be the thing you are most thankful for and what will be the thing you most regret, you will recognize the things you will most regret as they happen and will work to change those situations as you can.
I was really good about journaling when I got here, but as my schedule has gotten busier and busier, unfortunately personal refection time has been something I've done less and less. But today, I was reminded of this exercise I committed to in my journal of asking myself each day what I was most thankful for and what my biggest regret was. I thought about this today after I left the kindergarten concert rehearsal. I realized that I let my tiredness get the best of me and I wasn't as engaged with my kids as I would like to have been. With only a week and a half left with them before the end of the school year, I need to be taking in all the time I can with these precious nuggets. Then later in the day at Cheshire Home, I was standing around in the office after our meeting got out with about 10 minutes before I got off for the day. I realized that it had been 2 days since I mingled with the residents and I hadn't talked to the girls I teach english to about why I hadn't seen them. I didn't want this to be another regret of the day, so I walked outside and found Kura Kura and said something along these lines, "Maffkan saya kami tidak pelajar bahasa english hari ini. Saya ada meeting. Esok boleh?" (I think I said: "I'm sorry we didn't learn english today. I had a meeting. Tomorrow can?"... Is that even correct BM? Probably not...) She put her hand on my arm, smiled, and told me it was ok, that she understood, and tomorrow we would learn. This, friends, was what I was most thankful for today: the reminder that as we have regrets and fall short, that there is grace surrounding us and always a chance to try again.
So while "highs and lows" may seem like something you did as a kid at camp, I'm still finding that the practice can spur you on throughout the day to move toward more thankful moments and fewer moments of regret. Tonight I'm thankful that God uses both the moments of thankfulness and the moments of regret to teach us.