Decided this week that I would send THANKFUL THOUGHTS from across the ocean…
One of my deepest desires is that no one in my family falls prey to our American predator: ENTITLEMENT. He is constantly chasing us telling us that we need and deserve more than we already have. Sometimes we prevail but often are overtaken by this monster.
Having plenty of time to reflect here in Uganda, I think one of the ways you can steer clear of this enemy is by having a thankful heart.
It has been SUPER fun to ask my kids to eat their veggies in Africa. They have tried things here that would have immediately been snubbed in the US. They have eaten things here that would totally have made them gag or stonewall me at the dinner table. But all I have to do is remind them of the children not thousands of miles away, you know, the ones “starving in Africa”…but name the ones that come running up the hill to greet my children each day. The ones in rags no bigger than 7, but carrying babies with bare bottoms on their backs. Kids who do have food–but not much. They saw the children in the orphanage devouring their bowls of beans and rice. Then examining the floor for specks of rice dropped. My kids have seen street children covered in dirt and no bigger than age 3 cup their hands for a coin and then make the “eat” sign. My kids know that many children they have met would do almost anything to have a morsel of the meals we have and would fight for the scraps we throw away. So eating veggies works better in Uganda.
A bigger world perspective on all that we have has cultivated a heart of gratitude in my children more effectively than any book, Bible lesson, or well prepared speech I could deliver. I pray that it STICKS!
Today at the beginning of this Thanksgiving week I want to give thanks for things that I TRULY have taken forgranted on a daily basis in the US…
I am thankful for clean water.
I am thankful for running water that doesn’t have to wait to be filled by rain or a pump service.
I am thankful for HOT water. (Gosh I didn’t realize I would have such a thankful heart concerning water!)
I am thankful for electricity–and well lit homes.
I am thankful for generators and solar power sources that back up electricity.
I am thankful for everything clean that we experience in the US…I am far from a white glove kinda girl but I am grateful for clean: streets, bathrooms, everything clean.
I am thankful for food. In abundance. I am thankful that I don’t have to fear when I will next eat.
I am thankful for medicine and doctors. I am thankful that I don’t have to bring my own bed linens to the hospital, or do my own laundry there, or prepare my own food when I am receiving medical care.
I am thankful that I can afford to take my kids to the doctor–not just for something serious–but also for the sniffles and a sore throat.
I am thankful for a roof that doesn’t leak.
I am thankful for air conditioning.
I am thankful for traffic lights, signs, and other things that make traffic move more effectively.
I am thankful for roads without potholes. (Like non-swiss cheese roads.)
I am thankful for unlimited wireless internet connection that doesn’t require a “stick” or insane data package.
I am thankful for FAST internet connections where you don’t have to wait 5-10 minutes to pull up your email.
I am thankful for credit card machines at the grocery store that don’t require you to leave your groceries, go to guest services to authorize your card, then return to swipe your card and pay for your groceries. (At least a 5-7 minute process.)
I am thankful for washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.
I am thankful for clorox wipes.
I am thankful for a variety of milk…soy, almond, coconut.
Oh…and coffee creamer…not powdered coffee creamer…the liquid kind.
We are finding it is easier than we expected to live with less. Though I miss many of our modern conveniences, I am thankful for this place and the perspective, as it reminds us of how the majority of the world lives. Hollywood is not real. Stop believing you need a house like the Kardashians. Or any of the other HGTV shows that makes you feel like you don’t have enough. Keeping up the Jones’ is SUCH a waste and pushes us directly in to the arms of the American predator.
This week when your tables are full of abundance and blessings…pause and TRULY TRULY be thankful.
These are some of the little ones at the bottom of the hill from where we lived in Fort Portal. The little girl in the mustard colored dress was my favorite. She was NEVER seen without her baby sister on her back. She is 7. One day the kids were playing and so I offered to hold the baby–but the baby began to cry. This little girl spends the majority of her day caring for this child. Her attitude is NOT entitled. She is humble and sweet and knows nothing but the love and care for her 1 year old sister. I would like to grow up and have a heart like her someday.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Thankful!