Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hot-pink pajamas

I have hot-pink pajamas pants. 

They were my mom's idea. Clearly. My mom is funny. But sometimes after a very long day, I put on my hot-pink pajamas and they make me happy, just because. 

When I was in college, my best friend and I once imagined where we would be in 5 or 10 years and I remember, so very clearly, saying that I would probably be a missionary somewhere in Africa. And 10 years later, here I am, living my dream. Some days I forget what a privilege that is.

And yesterday in the middle of trying to cook dinner for four on a little two-burner stove and a half-oven, and killing a gazillion flies at the same time while also trying to convert a chocolate pie recipe from cups to grams, I was reading emails with pictures of my brother in Italy and pictures of my sister with a giant ring on her finger and for one tiny fraction of a millisecond, I was tempted to complain.

It didn't help that everybody in the states is doing this stupid "30 days of thankfulness" thing on facebook. And everybody is posting about how they're thankful for such altruistic things like "family" and "smiles" and stuff like that. I'm not dissing the whole thankful month thing. I get it. It's great. It just that it seems to make the gap between my life and the rest of the "regular" world's that much farther.

And so for one tiny fraction of a millisecond I complained. 

Then in an instant God reminded me of why I'm here. He took me back to that conversation way back in college and reminded me that I'm living my dream. In a world where most people endure the daily drudgery of a job they despise with people they can barely tolerate, who am I to complain even for a moment or to forget the awesome privilege it is to love what you do.

And lately I am keenly aware of how fragile and temporary all this is. It is a season, a special season, and who knows what the future holds?

So tonight I put on my new hot-pink pajamas and pulled out some left-over chocolate pie (which turned out pretty good afterall) and decided that I'm gonna be thankful. I'm gonna be thankful for this tiny crowded house even though we have to sit on my bed and squeeze around a tiny table, because it means I am closer to the ones I love. I'm gonna be thankful that I get to watch podcasts of the news and old TV episodes instead of the real thing because there are no commercials. I'm gonna be thankful that I don't have a car because it means that I get to enjoy this incredibly beautiful place where I live. I'm gonna be thankful for long work days because it means I'm busy doing something I am passionate about. I'm gonna be thankful for the stressful situations and the worrisome students that give me sleepless nights because it means I get to spend more time talking it over with God. And I'm gonna be thankful for the privilege of living out my dreams in a place that I love with the ones that I love. Afterall, how many people can say that?

And if all that fails, I'm gonna be thankful at least because I have hot-pink pajamas and chocolate pie...and that's reason enough :)


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