a state of thankfulness

Today the rain decided to show up in Gulu. finally.  These past two month have been hot. And thats coming from a girl who's spent plenty of summers in Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and Azusa. There is nothing like a dry African heat. And I mean nothing. But today I realized something. After living 2 months in this wild heat, the rain felt more refreshing than ever before. It was the absence of the rain that made the presence of it feel like magic. It felt like an old friend was back to visit, and you couldnt wait to run out to give them a hug. You could smell the rainfall and the way it made the ground sturdy and solid. The dust settled and a coolness swept through the air. It truly was magical and I am so thankful.

I think thats a huge reason why living out here in Gulu has been such a blessing. Africa is teaching me to live in a state of thankfulness. Out here, we don't always have power or internet. The milk gets spoiled quickly and we eat rice and beans everyday for lunch. Our feet are never clean and the bugs never stop biting. We dont have laundry machines or microwaves or nice grocery stores or coffee shops. You learn to live without all of that. After a while a funny things starts to happen...you realized you never really needed any of that in the first place. You begin to see the value of thing shift. Those things, those posessions and comforts you once found so crucial to survival being to loose their luster and you start to forget how you ever needed them in the first place. Your priorities slowly begin to shift towards the intangible, and you start to weigh people, relationships, conversations, stories, community, sharing, patience - as a whole lot more valuable than you ever have before.

So today I sit here knowing that I have less than a month in this beautiful place. There is a part of me that is already feeling the anxiety of change, a feeling I've had a lot the past year or so...but then I remember what Africa has taught me and what Africa is still teaching me - be constantly in a state of thankfulness. There is no better way to live. To be thankful is to know the reality of God in everything you are a part of. The comfortable, the uncomfortable, the dry, the rainy, the beautiful, the broken, the hope, the fears, the anxieties, and the love - thankfulness comes when you accept the rain for the blessing that it is and pause to acknowledge the creator and king of all things.


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