Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankfulness

Last day of November seems to be an appropriate time to write out something that has been on my mind for the last week.

Last Saturday, I started cleaning out my drawers.  I had been meaning to do it for quite sometime, but between an active 10 month old, a busy job, and all the other demands of life, it hadn't quite happened.

From just my dresser, I put aside an overflowing box of assorted socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc. that I wanted to get rid of.  Then I moved onto the bathroom and cleaned out my makeup stash/hair products/etc.  I got rid of a bag full - and I mean FULL.

Wow. Talk about an eye opener.  Even with as much as I got rid of, I still have plenty.  I got rid of socks that were perfectly good because I couldn't find the mate.  Or I had one that was very similar, but maybe the seam was a different color, so I knew it wasn't a true pair.

In the middle of my day of cleaning, I took a "break" to go to the gym. As I left my warm house, I was shocked by how cold it was. It was not a day for anyone to be outside. The wind chill was only 5 degrees.

And it hit me- I live (and work) about 10 miles from one of the poorest cities in Michigan.  20 miles from an even bigger and poorer city.  There are so many homeless people who would love the things I got rid of for not being perfect.  People who were outside in the 5 degree weather who would put the warm, thick socks that I viewed as garbage on their hands - anything to protect from the biting wind attacking the region.

It was on my mind all day. How blessed am I that I can get rid of a t-shirt because I don't usually wear it because I have so many and I think the picture on it is ugly. (And we're talking about wearing it to the gym - not a fashion show.)  How thankful I need to focus on being for ALL my blessings - not just my family, friends, etc. but the little things - toothpaste, socks, etc.

It also struck me - how much money was wasted on all the stuff that I didn't need or want?  How many slaves could have been purchased out of slavery with that? How many homeless people could have been fed?

It's so easy to get caught up in the conveniences of life and spend money on them. It's so easy to lose sight of how blessed we are.  My worst days at work? Far easier than so many peoples' lives, not just all over the world but even here in the USA.

My challenge to myself is to find the gratitude in every day. And, instead of wasting my money on things I'm going to get rid of next time I clean, use that money to help someone else.

For the month of December, I'm going to be intentional in my gratitude and intentional in my giving - maybe beyond that! But for the month of December, you will probably be seeing a lot on my blog about this subject!

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