so today . . . between eating bar-be-que chips and molasses cookies, i've been thinking about being thankful. i was going to post a top ten list of things that make me thankful. that was my plan. but sometimes my blogs don't go according to my plan. sometimes i sit down and write so today . . . and something totally different comes out. that's what happened today.
lately, i've been having a tough time. i've been sick. work has been frustrating. my band has been in turmoil. my stuff is disorganized. i feel gloomy. and yet, even with all that, my life is so much better than many others. this fact has smacked me in the face more than once lately.
our church has a food bank. it started out pretty small and mostly helped people in our congregation for whom money was tight. and then it grew. now on any given sunday, food is given out to probably 50-60 people--many of whom are homeless. and lately, some of those homeless people have started coming to church and attending small group bible studies. it is really cool to see the more affluent members of our church having real conversations with people who live in the park or under the freeway overpass.
this has made me very aware of how much i have. a few weeks ago i met richard. he had just been to the food bank, and in addition to his two bags of food, he was also given a blanket. he was so excited--because even though it is still nearly 80 degrees in the daytime, it gets cold at night. he couldn't wait to show me his new blanket, and tell me how much he appreciated getting it! last week i had a conversation with richard on my way out of the parking lot. i was driving my cute car and the top was down, because it was a nice day. as i approached him, i slowed down, took off my sunglasses so he could see it was me, and said hi. i felt somewhat conspicuous in my car, but i didn't want to just drive by and act like i hadn't seen him. when i waved, he smiled, said hi, and then added, "nice car!" so we talked about it for a while, and then i went off to lunch. i left richard waiting in the shade of a tree, with his bicycle, for his turn to go into the food bank.
i have so much, and yet there are always things that call to me from the other side of the cash register. and it is ok to buy something new--even if i don't necessarily need it. (which is good, because my plan for tomorrow is shopping.) but in the midst of it all, i want to remember to be thankful--not only for all the things that i already have, but also for that frustrating job that provides me with income, for a body that is healthy enough to work (even when it isn't completely well,) for a church that lets me "rock out" during worship on sunday mornings and makes homeless people feel like they belong, for friends who read my blog for a laugh but "feel my pain" when life isn't funny, and for a family who loves me whether i cook a thanksgiving turkey or not.