I’m not feeling thankful. Today I just about burst into tears. I am worn out and there are just two more days left of English to close out the school year. I had volunteers but it felt like they tuned out while 13 fourth graders wandered around. This is an already busy week, as I finalize the details for the big Parents Night, and on top of that I was expected to make time to tutor two girls for a make-up English test, and cook for our mission’s Thanksgiving lunch.
Today I was tired, it was raining, my ankle hurt so much(I sprained it a few months ago), and I had to make an extra stop, out of the way of my normal route. I had already been to two other supermarkets this week, in search of creamed corn for a specific recipe–corn that my (tica) coworker promised was readily available, and that the recipe was super easy. Gratitude was definitely not foremost on my mind, and I didn’t care about the stinkin’ cornbread.
When I got home I just lay around for a few hours, since my ankle hurt enough that I couldn’t stay on my feet. Then I remembered that I had to pay rent–and went to get the money, only to realize that I had handed half of my rent money to a volunteer to pay for the dictionaries and cakes ordered for Saturday’s party. Sigh. I got up and went out in the dark, limping 10 blocks to the ATM and back. Turns out my landlord wasn’t home at all. Nothing to be thankful about here.
But somewhere along the way I started thinking about my English kids, and that made me smile. Remembering how Joshua burst in the door on Tuesday with a giant mango for me. Heiner and Hilary conspired to buy me a chocolate bar for a belated Teacher’s Day present. And Mauren whispered that her mom might buy me an end of the year gift, since they may be moving away next year. (Mauren’s family cannot even afford to pay the $2 monthly fee for English class).
It turns out I am thankful after all, it just was buried under so many grouchy complaints. The Bible tells us to give thanks continually, and to pray without ceasing. Easier said than done….I feel like I let criticisms rise to the surface faster and more frequently than I do with thanks. It’s time I got a grip on myself. Not because it’s Thanksgiving–frankly, I could care less about the holiday (especially when living overseas), but because it’s right to give thanks.
Giving thanks helps me to see past myself to the people and the world around me. It grounds me once again in the God who made them all. It lifts me above the grouchiness and makes room for praise.
(Cornbread’s done. Time to sign off.)