Okay, so maybe I'm strange, but when I get hungry…I REALLY get hungry. The only reason I am telling you this is because this hunger madness just happened to me. I am gobbling down sticks of cheese and a piece of homemade bread as we speak. My hands are shaking, so if something is misspelled, or a sentence structure is wrong, or I miss any punctuation marks, or if this post completely doesn't make sense at all, I am blaming it on the hunger. I'm famished, I tell you.
I started to write today's post on my garden, but alas, decided to save that for another day. Today, I want to count my blessings. While I was driving down one of the main streets of my hometown the other day, I noticed a gentleman sitting on the side of the road. It wasn't the first time that I had noticed him – he sits in the same spot, each day, propped up in a little ragged chair. Each day, he dresses in the same coat, and holds a cardboard sign that says “Please help”. Because I'm a woman and because I have emotions (as previously confirmed from multiple posts) which easily become entangled in compassion, seeing this makes my heart ache.
I was (and continue to be) overwhelmed with thankfulness that the Lord has chosen to bless this unworthy, sinful servant with the simple life we lead. Stuart and I both had parents that saw to it our diapers were changed, our teeth were brushed, and that we received an education. We were both brought up in loving and nurturing families, full of encouragement – and yes, discipline. Both of us have been chosen by God to receive His undeserved grace, through the gift of his Son – and we delight in this fact with joy. But what if.
What if I hadn't been given His grace?
What if past sins I have committed had longer lasting consequences.
What if my parents had left me alone, to fend for myself, at a young age?
What if they didn't care if I went to school or not?
What if they hadn't cared about my health? Or happiness?
What if I hadn't been shown the “right” and “wrongs” of the world and was left to decipher “good” and “bad” for myself?
What if they did drugs? Or instead of teaching me to tell the truth and work hard, they taught me to lie? Or cheat? Or steal?
My point is this: there is nothing, not a danged ‘ol thing, that I could possibly have done (or will do) to earn the millions of blessings I get to enjoy every day. I have a warm meal every night and a cozy bed to lay my head down in. I have fresh running water, indoor plumbing, a car, a home, a washing machine, clothes, food, entertainment, shoes, money, family, a healthy baby, a job, a garden, animals, and even a refrigerator! We have the means to pay our bills each month and even have enough extra for special treats sometimes. Truly, each and every unique blessing in our life is a gift from the Lord. While it is easy for us to pass judgement on individuals for their unique and challenging situations in which they may find themselves, it is only by the grace of God that we are not all in that same position.
Because someone took the time to teach us. To care for us. To nurture us. To discipline us.
This is a far more elaborate topic than I will delve into today (rest assured sister, there is an end to my words!), but I want to leave you with this idea:
The way in which we raise our children is important. We are building a foundation for their life that they will utilize as a tool for all their days. Let's raise them wisely, with purpose, and teach them in the way they should go. Let's care for them, as the Lord has cared for us.
And in return, teach them to care for each other.