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Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall Blessings

The sky is a brilliant blue with just a few clouds interspersing. The sunshine is a golden yellow.  Looking outside the window, I'm sure it is a warm summer day, but the chill of near-winter nips at my cheeks as I walk out of the hospital.  The last day of clinical for the semester... my whites aren't nearly as white as they were at the beginning of the semester, and my students aren't nearly as excited as they were then, either.  Assessments have become old hat and they are ready to learn how to try IVs, ready to do more skills and less questioning of their patients.  Thanksgiving, and then finals loom, and to say we are all a little burned out would be an understatement.

But the air is fresh and I breathe in deep as I unlock my messy car.  Caleb is in a good mood and we study for a Science test, and then I read and work on lecture notes and read some more.  I get a quick chat with Wallace, which is rare during the week.

And I'm reminded, again, that this is the week for Thanksgiving... but how can it just be a week?  The blue sky has turned dark and I'm sure the chill has picked up, but I'm snug in my pajamas with the heater going.  How can I so easily take these things for granted when I know that somewhere, someone does not have these things? 

The words of one of my favorite songs right now echoes in my mind right now. "If I'm so thankful, how do I easily forget... that You died for all of this?"  Yes, sacrifices were made, before I was even in existence, so that I could sit hear on this Monday night and pound out this blog on the keyboard and dread the notification on my phone that my stats homework has been graded.  And as I sink in the bathwater, let me not forget that somewhere, there is someone who doesn't have running water... and dare I think it? Could it be someone even nearby?

We tend to think of others during this Holiday season... but it is often a small, quick glance to quelch the guilt we feel as we run to and fro and buy and buy and buy... and too often we tend to imagine those who are needy as being in a country far, far away, on the other side of the world. And they are... but there are also those needy in our backyards.  Needs aren't always physical, sometimes the pain that is the hardest to bear isn't necessarily a physical pain, but rather one that rips from the inside out, and sometimes the hardest hunger to fill is the hunger of needing to be loved.

If you are loved, you are blessed.  If you know Whose you are, doubly so.  In the Bible, we are told in Ephesians that we were chosen before the foundation of the world.  In Jeremiah, we are told that we are loved with an everlasting love.  And in Psalms, we are given the commandment over and over, "Give thanks to the Lord. For He is good.  His love endures forever."

And that thankfulness... it spreads from the inner part of us to the outer and we live it by loving others.  On this Monday, thankful for Bible study and computers and time with my family. Thankful for days off this week and pajamas and warm bubble baths. Thankful that I am not alone... and that I have love to share.  And the gifts of autumn- a golden sun hitting the few remaining red leaves outside of my college office building, the smell of Pumpkin Spice bubble bath, and the crisp chill in the air reminding me that it won't be fall for too much longer. Thank You, God, for these things...

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