when i want to keep saying thank you

now that i’ve been out of liberia for eleven weeks, i feel like i’m finally starting to fall into line with the rhythm of life here at home. however, the pace is much different than that i am used to. days are hurried, though not necessarily busy, people preoccupied, though not necessarily productive. i’ve had to fight for quiet moments + be intentional about filling my time with what matters most. i don’t want to lose myself in the ocean of meetings and appointments, full calendars, full schedules. i don’t want my fire to go out, don’t want to settle for mediocrity or the bare minimum, just to get by. i don’t want to live a life that is anything less than full and abundant. most of all, i don’t want to forget to stop + say thank you.

in liberia, i was completely aware of the gifts in any given moment. never having to go hungry while people all around you are starving? thank you. clothes to wear while the street beggars are dressed in dirty rags? thank you. medicine when i’m sick while children die from treatable illnesses? thank you. security guards and steel doors while the house next to me is robbed in the middle of the night? thank you. and there are more–so many more. for orphans who taught me what love looks like, for a people and culture who embraced me as their own, for the chance to have been a part of something bigger and more worthy than myself, i say thank you, thank you, thank you.

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[Photo by rustiqueart on Flickr]

but now that i’m home, life is so much easier. comfortable. convenient. and yes, i may weep with gratitude every time i take a hot shower, and yes, i may breathe a quiet prayer of thankfulness each time i lay my head on the pillow and pull the blanket up under my chin. but there are times when i feel myself slipping, when the blessings become less about His goodness and more about my entitlement, when i start to look at the gifts as something i deserve, something i worked for.

i seem to forget that “every good and perfect gift comes from above”, and that He gives because He is good, not because i’ve earned it. i forget the gifts aren’t mine to keep, but that He gives so i may in turn give away also. i have spiritual amnesia, and i forget. 

but today, now, from this moment forward, i want to remember. when i remember, i stop. i slow down. i say thank you, and i mean it with my whole heart, tears in my eyes, between shaky breaths. He is good, and He gives, and this is who He is, what He does.

may i never again become too busy to stop and say thank you.
may i never again become too distracted to stop and say thank you.
may i never again become too self-absorbed to stop and say thank you.

amen.

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