1994 names have been changed and or omitted in this post ***************
A lone mattress covered in a haphazard pile of colorful blankets lay on a hardwood floor. It was all that the room held. Bao and I each took a turn using the tiny grimy bathroom connected to his room then collapsed on the mattress still dressed. Both of us were exhausted. Bao took one side. I took the other. It had been an incredibly long day for us both. As I laid there watching him close his eyes and drift off, I thought of my nice bed at home on a bed frame with a box springs, white eyelet bed skirt, fluffy mattress and carefully purchased matching Laura Ashley blue and white bedding that my mother had scrimped and saved for. I had been blessed and never known it. I hadn’t realized everyone didn’t sleep in a regular bed. I went to sleep in my clothes thinking how I’d never gone to bed without brushing my teeth. I had no where to store my hard gas permeable contact lenses so I left them in and laid my head down wondering what tomorrow would bring....
That was me almost twenty years ago.
Not sure what the next minute, day, week or month would bring.
It was a reality check.
It's something no one should go through. No one should worry where their next meal will come from. No one should worry where they will sleep. No one should worry about their safety.
BUT IT HAPPENS
Everyday across America and the world.
What can we do to help remind ourselves of the little things we have to be thankful for? One way is keeping a thankful journal. I've kept one this past year and each day or so I jot down a couple things I am thankful for that happened that day or recently and it's really helped to remind me that even on the not so great days there is always something to be thankful for. It's such a quick and cost free way to boost not only your mood if it needs boosting but your level of thankfulness.
Often it's so easy to become focused on what we don't have....the latest gadget or movie. Maybe it's the blouse we spotted in a store window we are lusting after or a high end handbag. At the end of the day though if we are eating three meals a day, getting a hot shower, sleeping in a warm bed and not having to worry about adequate shelter we have more than many.
Are we making more deposits than withdrawals?
We can reflect on if we are showing God how grateful we are by looking at how often we are asking for something versus thanking him for what we already have...
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! - Psalm 107:1