Overflowing with thanksgiving
I'm laying out in the sun by my family pool in Florida, going to the beach later today and just wondering how much better life could be. I feel like the luckiest girl in the word- and I don't really believe in luck- so I think what I mean is that I feel totally blessed by God.
I don't really know what else I need in life or could even want. I live in a great place, have amazing house mates and friends, I'm dating someone who's awesome, and I have a good job. I'm not sick, I can workout whenever I want too and I know Jesus. Gratitude seriously overwhelms me.
I think I'm so much more grateful for this- because I remember how it feels to not have it. Or at least to wonder if you've lost it because you feel so far away from it all.
Four months ago I remember feeling so totally alone in Kenya. I was surrounded in poverty, in broken relationships, I tried to love only to do it selfishly and experience such rejection and mistrust . I tried to give much but it ended in me feeling like I had nothing left. I felt broken and incapable of being loved.
But because of Kenya, I can have so much more joy right now. Because of Kenya, I count one thousand blessings from being a girl here in America and being respected and valued. Being able to have a job of value, being able to make money, and choose whatever I want to eat. Having the privilege every night of sleeping somewhere clean from bugs, and more importantly safe from danger. Having a family support system that in built upon love and respect instead of bribery.
I can see a thousand ways now that God has blessed me for going to Kenya. And I can look back and smile and laugh at all the crazy stories and adventures and experiences. And I can remember the people who I worked with at the clinic and the local Masai warriors and I can smile at them and hope and dream for them.
I love the song by Tauren Wells "Hills and Valleys" because I believe in each of our lives we're gonna have times where we go through something totally hard, and difficult and then we are also going to have times where we feel complete peace and joy. And I believe we get to choose to remember those mountains and those valleys and praise God through both of those times.
"On the mountains I will bow my life to the one who set me there." Any good thing that happens to us never happens because we deserve it. It happens to us only by God's goodness and graces towards us.
"When I'm standing on the mountain I didn't get there on my own." He is the only one who can heal us, who can remake us, who brings power into our lives. And He is the God who can take any bad situation and bring total peace and healing into it.
He gives and takes away every joy and every pain and through it all He will remain Sovereign. Guys I don't know about you, but I'm so thankful to God and the way He's been using my life and healing my life and teaching me about life. And I just encourage you, whatever your going through- if it's something really great- praise Him; but also if it's something really hard- still praise Him. Because He has perfect plans for your life, and you can trust Him. =) So happy thanksgiving. May we give God our gratitude for everything He has done in us.