Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cockroach Guts and Other Gifts

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I am so disappointing.

Sometimes I am a safe harbor for negative thoughts. Sometimes these cute kids drive me crazy and I raise my voice. (I think you call it yelling.) Sometimes people here, who I’m working on projects with, don’t feel like working and I get bitter. Sometimes I am email and “skyped” out and want face to face conversations. Sometimes when I’m in the kitchen trying to kill every cockroach, I want to be home, at my parents’ house, where things don’t creep and crawl. Sometimes I just want predictable electricity.

But something happens when you don’t get to predict the little details of your day. Something happens when the façade of control is even more exposed. You become more grateful.

Sometimes the limited capacity of my mind starts to wrap itself around these abundant blessings. Sometimes after a night’s sleep I wake up to angelic little voices laughing and singing. Sometimes, when I’m not worried about building my resume, I work on building relationships. Sometimes when I’m on skype it means I’m listening and not looking at my phone.  Sometimes when I can’t see out, I look up. At His sky and His stars. And how often do we forget to just “look up”.  In these moments, realizing how big the world is and how small I am, I am thankful.

Thankful for the timing in my life that allows me to be flexible enough to take this opportunity, His hand over my health, His persistence and patience with me.  I’m not entitled to any of it. And something happens when you realize you’re not entitled to everything, anything can become a gift. The endless knocking on my door. The cockroach crunch under my nice sandals. The predictable fried chicken dinner.  An unexpected gift from a childhood friend. Electricity.

It means He is using me. I have food to eat. I have clothes to wear. I am loved. There is Light.

It’s going to take a lifetime of practice. Too many times it takes too long for me to know I’ve received a gift.  But if I could give more gratitude, more love and think a little less about myself, I wouldn’t worry so much about myself.
I get wrapped up in details of my life. What I want. I want a lot. But I am beginning to really grasp how much I have.

Returning home for my Christmas visit is just a few days away. I know I will have gifts to unwrap. I know I will have cherished times with loved ones. I also know I need to remember to be a grateful as I receive the present of His Presence.

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