Monday, October 15, 2007

Grateful For What We Have

I have been spending quite a bit of time lately worried about money and the upcoming holiday season. It's not just the holidays. After the holidays, overtime historically drops at work and is much harder to find. That means my paychecks will be even smaller as gas and electricity bills rise. This isn't a post about how hard my life is though. It is about how grateful I (and most of you) should be about what we have.

I received two envelopes in the mail I have been waiting for. The first one is a new coupon book for my mortgage payments. The second is my renewal notice to pay the yearly sponsorship pledge for a little boy in Ethiopia. Looking at both of those envelopes led me to think today. I was dreading both envelopes. The coupon books because it is my largest monthly bill but also my most important (in regards to living comfortably). The second I dread because it is money that I just don't have.

So why do I still pay it? It's simple. Even in my toughest and most frustrating financial months, I still have more than this child and his grandfather have. I may not have as much as some of my friends or neighbors, but I have enough that I can still dig a little deeper to help this child.

K lives in Ethiopia with his elderly grandfather. K is an AIDS orphan losing both of his parents to the dreadful disease. It is a disease that they most likely never received the life saving medications available to AIDS patients here. It is also the disease that not only made K an orphan, but caused him to have to quit school after only one year. His grandfather is too ill to take care of their fields and produce enough food for them to survive. By giving a small amount of money to K through Wide Horizons For Children, I am able to help him attend school and have enough food for him and his grandfather.

It is a small thing to me but a huge thing to K. So I pause today and look around me. I have a nice car that is almost paid for, a nice house with food and heat, clothes on my back and medical care available when I need it. So why do I worry? I don't want to lose those things I am accustomed to. I don't want to suffer. Why do I give? In hopes that K and children like him will suffer less.

Today is a day to pause and be grateful for what I have. Tomorrow I can continue to worry about money, presents and trying to make ends meet. Today and tomorrow I remember to thank God for the many blessings I have. Including the one in the back bedroom crying because he doesn't want to go to sleep.

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