Sunday, November 1, 2015

Toilet Paper Gratitude

I've traveled to places where there were stores, but no food on the shelves.

I've been honored to eat unwashed strawberries with dirt visible on them - it was the best that that family had to offer a guest.  I ate them with joy, even though I knew my system would deal with parasites for weeks after returning home.  

I've watched flies enjoy the food before we did at a picnic with abandoned children.  The food favorite was bread with meat grease spread on it.  Not a ice chest in sight.  

As we start the month of November - a month given to gratefulness - I have a vivid picture of the first time we went to Romania.  Things changed as the years went by, but the FIRST time we went - the toilet paper was so rough it had splinters of wood in it.  It was (dab don't rub) rough....and that was in the hotel we stayed at for awhile!  I took home a roll of that toilet paper to help my perspective stay in check.  

I'm a Costco toilet paper purchaser.  (I don't like to run out.)  Even at Costco, I stand and compare - deciding between namebrand and Kirkland - softer or larger roll.  Really?   

I have a challenge for you.  Will you deny yourself something - every day of November?  Not to lose weight and look better.  Simply to say "no" to your flesh and "yes" to gratefulness.  I am aware that it is a weird request - but as I write this, I really sense that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you what those 'deny yourself' moments will look like.  

Matt. 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."

"When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. 
 A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude."
~Elie Wiesel

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