and other reasons why I am struggling to have a heart of gratitude.
Avery needs two large bags of stick pretzels for school tomorrow, so I thought I would pick them up at Walgreen's when I picked up my prints and deodorant for Caleb tonight after dinner. Walgreen's doesn't have pretzels, so I grumpily get in my car and drive half a block to the grocery store to buy two bags of pretzels. Notice the ungrateful heart has already set in? How thankful I should be to have a car to get into and an alternate place to buy food a half a block away. But my attitude is not grateful. I grab my two bags of pretzels and get in the express checkout lane behind a family of four and their 10 items- 8 frozen beef tongues and 2 bags of sugar.
The problem... only two frozen beef tongues per customer. So while each family member (including their two year old toddler) purchases his/her respective beef tongues, I am disgusted that I live in this place where people buy beef tongues and my family is a million hours away and a 30 second transaction turns into 4 transactions, taking 15 minutes. I grab a Heath bar, thinking the chocolate/toffee combo will satisfy this grumpiness brewing, then was even more ungrateful as the checker slid it through the pool of melted beef tongue thawed grossness.
This has been a day of ingratitude, I sadly admit. My kids woke up really early...but they woke up. Then the trash truck woke them up from their naps 20 minutes in... but we have a trash truck that picks up our trash and we don't live in the slums. I am stressed trying to keep my house clean as it is on the market... but we own a house. I have an awesome new job- a perfect, divine gift from the Lord that comes 6 weeks before my fourth child is to be born... but I have a job, and the evening news continues to share the woes of our country's increasing unemployment rate. I came home this afternoon to prepare dinner for our family and the water was shut off, I groveled for 3 hours... but I have food to prepare and running water nearly every day of my life.
We had a young couple at our church this weekend, visiting from their mission work in Kenya. They shared the blessings in their lives, cinder block houses for orphans, new uniforms for these precious ones who still don't have a school building, well water that now runs clear instead of muddy, medicine for the children infected with HIV. And... hearts of gratitude.
My sister-in-law left for a mission trip to Kenya yesterday, she will be gone for several months. In all sincerity, I wish that I had a heart of gratitude for these two groups, but really my heart struggles with jealousy, desperately wanting to be with them in Kenya, struggling to be content in my situation.
I so desire to have the attitude of contentment and gratitude that Paul has in his letter to the Philippians, don't we all? Don't we all want to be satisfied?...
"Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need." Phil 4:11-12
Lord, please make this heart in me... and make me a little more tolerant of beef tongues.