Practical Gratitude


I just want to write. I miss writing more frequently…or at all.  The previous post to this one was a sum up of our fifth year on the field…sixteen months ago. The words for Thanksgiving 2016 never came together and once 2017 rolled around, all bets were off the table.  I started a year six sum up a couple times and I think the fact that we hit six years in October and it’s February shows about what 2017 was like for our family. The mind-boggling, faith-stretching, intense, learning-filled, blur of a year that 2017 was could possibly have done me in. But it didn’t.

The mouse here in July not long before we left for home assignment ALMOST did me in and then the one in a house in the US where we stayed for a couple months during home assignment got me just that. much. closer. to. losing. my. mind. But I didn’t! I’m still here! Alive and well! Yes, let’s say well.  Fake it ’til you make it, right?

In all seriousness, I’ve missed sharing bits and pieces of our life here.  I have ideas pop into my head, but I don’t write them down and lose them before I do. I sit down to write and the words just don’t come or they seem wrong some how. I’ve thought a bit about trying to write posts about things I’m grateful for, big and small, so I’ll give it a whirl and see how it feels.

You want to know what I’m grateful for? Super practical, but useful things. I’m very thankful we have an automatic washing machine that has hot water functions AND an electric dryer. The dryer can be super noisy at times, but it works and it means the 5-8 loads of laundry I do in a day don’t have be dragged down a flight of stairs and hung out to dry where I hope the laundry doesn’t end up getting used as a bat toilet or rained on. Though I guess the rain might wash away the bat guano….

I’m thankful that we have a system for making sure we have drinking water without having to buy it. We bought all our drinking water when we first moved and we only had four people drinking water then. Drinking water is fairly inexpensive, but when you start adding up all the gallons of water we go through in a week it’s nice having filters and a large water boiler so we have that money to spend on cheese. I’m thankful for cheese.

We have four bathrooms, which means we have four toilets. I’m thankful we have four toilets. We’ve needed all of them at once before. Our bathrooms are not fancy, though I will say that one of the things I liked about this house over others we looked at was the black and white floor tiles in the bathrooms. They’re wet bathrooms, so it’s just a tiled room with a sink, a toilet, a mirror, and a shower.  And they’re not air conditioned, so I have to really decide if locking myself in the heat is worth a few minutes of personal space. Most of the time it is.

Speaking of air conditioners, I’m so thankful we have air conditioners in all of our bedrooms and our couple living spaces.  God even provided over the last year for us to replace units that weren’t working well. We’re much more used to the heat and have areas of our house that aren’t air conditioned (aforementioned bathrooms, the kitchen), but we’ve found we get better sleep if our bedrooms are a little cooler and the kids have an easier time concentrating on school when it’s not 85 degrees or more in the school room.

I’m thankful God has always given us food for our bellies and the flexibility and creativity to learn how to figure out where and how to buy ingredients and then prepare them in our little kitchen. I’m thankful He has always provided funds for the times we’ve needed to stock up on clothes and shoes. Our girl LOVES shoes, so that clearance sale at Crocs a year and a half ago and super clearance sandals from Wal-Mart and Target bought us a couple years of shoe joy for her.

Man, these days I’m thankful if I get all our sheets washed the day they’re changed or if all the dishes are washed by the end of the day. Can I tell you how thankful I am to have a husband who washes most of our dishes without complaining, even though the sink height would be better for hobbits and not full grown men? He’s grateful for the fan we bought for the kitchen to use when we aren’t trying to cook on the stove. Oh, yeah, I’m thankful for our oven. It’s not huge, but it’s an oven. Many a King birthday cake has come out of that oven (even the year I had to make three, yes three, rounds of batter for Isaac’s birthday because I forgot the water in the first two rounds).

I’m thankful we’ve lived in the same house the whole time we’ve lived here and have good landlords.  They’ve been kind to us and even reduced our rent all those months we were in the US during our first home assignment.  Our kids love this house and are really enjoying spending more time playing with kids across the street.  We don’t know how long we’ll get to live here, but we’re thankful for the years we’ve had and know we’ll have almost two more for now.

Well, there you have it-a fresh glimpse into the daily life of our family. Thanks for reading while I’m trying out some new things. Who knows what I’ll come up with next…

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