what my trip to liberia taught me about thankfulness.

Thankful-1I can’t stop thinking about Liberia today.

I keep thinking of the men and women that I met at Amani, and the first day we worshiped together around the little white coffee table. I handed out Good News Bibles to everyone, a small gift my church had graciously donated.

“These bibles are yours to keep. Now nobody has an excuse to not be prepared for devotionals!” Hannah joked.

As I looked around the room, the reactions overwhelmed me. They each held God’s word so gently in their hands, carefully running fingers over the cover pages with awe. They said thank you again and again.

On our last day in Liberia, Annie said something to me that I will never forget. She said, “I have prayed for a long time that God would send us Good News Bibles. I have two other translations at my house, but they are very hard to read and the women in my bible study cannot understand them well. I asked God to send me a Good News Bible and you have brought it to me. You have answered the prayer. Thank you for my bible.”

And then I cried. I cried so hard.

…….

Materialistically speaking, I have much more than the people I met in Liberia. I have a nice house, an expensive car, a solid education, constant electricity. I have beautiful things and good healthcare and resources at my fingertips. I have too many blessings to count, too many gifts to list.

I had a hundred times more than them, and they were a hundred times more grateful than me.

I need to say that again. Slower, and louder.

I had a hundred times more than them, and they were a hundred times more grateful than me.

During the two weeks I spent in Liberia, I’m pretty sure I heard the words “thank you God” more than anything else. Thank you God for our safe drive. Thank you God for this food. Thank you God for this weather. Thank you God for my family, for my work, for these clothes, for these children. Praise God, thank you God.

They stopped to thank God multiple times throughout the day, giving Him credit for everything under the sun. Their gratefulness was not contingent on having a lot—it wasn’t contingent on anything. For them, giving thanks came as naturally as breathing.

……..

Today, as we sit around our beautiful dining room tables with more than enough food and an abundance of clean water, may our thankfulness be as natural as breathing. May we inhale God’s grace and exhale gratitude as we give thanks for the big things and the small things and everything in between.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  1 Chronicles 16:34

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

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3 Responses to what my trip to liberia taught me about thankfulness.

  1. Becky says:

    “…may our thankfulness be as natural as breathing.”

    Amen. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Becky´s last blog post ..For those who love whimsy

  2. Renee / RLZN says:

    Oh, I love this post so much… every single word of it. Thank you for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Renee / RLZN´s last blog post ..Thanksgiving

  3. Katie says:

    This is such a beautiful reminder to be thankful for everything. Thank you for sharing this, Ashlee.
    Katie´s last blog post ..No Shame November!

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