Saturday, December 22, 2007

We Are Blessed

Lately, our kids have been proving to us that they don't realize just how blessed we are. How could they? They have everything that they need and most of what they want also. Suffering, to them, is eating a home-cooked healthy meal consisting of food they don't care for or waiting six months for that cool new toy they really want. We've been increasingly bombarded with "gimme" and "yucky". So, we took drastic measures to ensure that Christmas in our house is a little more thankful this year.

We went to Africa, Mexico, and poor America. Well, we took a pretend trip there. We woke up in the dark (we do have very short days here in Washington during the winter) and stayed in the dark. We had no electricity. No electricity meant no lights, no TV, no computers, and no heat (we turned it down to 65 so not to freeze us completely). We lit a couple of candles for light. We had no extra clothes. I chose older, outgrown clothes for the kids to wear and we cuddled for warmth. We did not have a large house. We confined the kids to a portion of the living room about 8 feet by 10 feet on the floor because we no longer had furniture. It was a bit cramped. We had no running water so we went outside in the rain with a soup pot for a bucket and drew water from our "well" (the outside spigot). Our feet got cold beause we had no shoes. For breakfast we at nsima, a staple in Africa, plantains, and mangoes. The kids and I did not like any of it nor were we looking forward to having it again for lunch and dinner. The kids each were allowed to choose one toy that did not require batteries and that was all they owned. Scott and I were prepared to go through this for the day, until night came at 4:30pm and we put the kids to bed on the floor of our living room. It did not take that long to get the point across.

At first, the kids thought it was going to be fun...living by candlelight. Mika broke down at breakfast. She, like her mom, is a picky eater. She left her food pretty much untouched and the thought of having nothing else but nsima and plantains for the rest of the day was too much for her. Sammy didn't take care of his one toy and lost it. Having no TV, computers, or toys was the hardest for him. That and he was cold. They were both crying and begging to be done within a couple of hours. We talked about our experiences and had them write about them as well. Mika hates to write so we stayed in our new life an extra hour. Turns out that writing isn't so bad. We're done now. We came home with the knowledge that we'll go back if we need to.

What are we going to do now? In a little while, we are going to attend a potluck at Sammy's taekwondo dojang and see his instructor break a bunch of bricks. Then we'll go to the mall and pick some kids from the Salvation Army giving tree and go shopping for them. We'll see Santa while we are there and then maybe going see a light display at a local park. We'll appreciate all of it too.

We are blessed to live here in America. We have a father who works hard to support us. We have a home, even if it is just a modest one. We have electricity. We have heat. We have a large variety of healthy food. We have people who love us. We have lots of toys and fun gadgets to entertain us. We get to learn and we have the right to do so from home, enjoying lots of fun projects and field trips. We have a good God who love us and provides for us. We have Jesus' birth and sacrifice on the cross. We have everything we need.

Check out my husband's blog for his post about our morning adventures. You can read Mika's essay here and Sammy's essay here.

1 comment:

Mika said...

Why did you post that?