Choices, Courage, Covid19, Endurance, Faith, laundry, Missions, Perspective

Silver Linings at 2:00 a.m.

You’ve heard the saying, “Every grey cloud has a silver lining.” I am, at this moment, finding the silver lining to waking up at 2:00 a.m. to do the laundry. You see, yesterday, the water was off and it was my daughter’s first day of 7th grade. I have been frantically trying to keep up with the never-ending mountain of laundry that builds up during these water cuts.

What does a water cut have to do with my daughter’s first day of school? Simply everything. She has been issued only two uniform shirts which apparently is enough to keep me awake at night washing clothes when both the power and water are on. Why only two uniform shirts you ask? Because there is only a limited supply of shirts at the school due to the pandemic. Border closures have made it very difficult to get goods in/out of the country.

So, I am looking at the silver lining of getting the laundry done. I’m lacing it with copious amounts of strong coffee.

Complain Or Be Thankful

If I can just look hard enough, I can always find something to either complain about or be thankful for. Complaining is easy. These days of pandemics, contentious elections, violence, racial tensions and, steep inflation makes complaining easy. It seems our tendency is to immediately look for the bad, rather than the good, in any given situation.

Have we become, as a society, so ungrateful that we forget that every experience, even the difficult ones, can work in us to change and mature us in a positive way? We only need to summon the courage.

Lessons Learned

I’ve written here on the blog about our experiences during times of violence and war in Burundi. I look back, and while I would never want to repeat those experiences ever again, I wouldn’t trade what I learned for anything. I learned patience, faith, hope and how to be grateful for little things like a quiet morning. In those days of war, we housed refugees, saw tracer bullets shot over our house. Rockets were fired in the mountains behind us and we swept away bullet casings that had scattered into our church property during nights of fighting. A fresh cup of coffee early in the morning, without the usual sound of machine gunfire, was something to be grateful for during those times.

This morning, I sit in the same rocking chair drinking my early (very early) morning coffee. I sat in this same years ago when the guns were firing. The only sounds I hear now are ones I’m grateful for: the hum of the fan keeping me cool and the sound of water filling the washing machine. Two beautiful sounds that, unless I had passed through hardship and wartime, I would not have appreciated. How wonderful it is to be grateful instead of hateful.

I much prefer life feeling this way.

2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 TPT “We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.”

3 thoughts on “Silver Linings at 2:00 a.m.”

  1. Dear Lea,

    A quick note to say that we are loving the last few editions of “The Cultural Misfit” they take us back to so many times we spent in Africa so we identify so much with what you are writing about. In reading your blog we find ourselves grateful for the times spent but also grateful for all that we have and saves us from taking things for granted. Keep writing it helps us to stay grateful!

    Lots of love,

    Norman and Grace xxx

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    1. Dear Norman and Grace, it’s we who are grateful to you! What wonderful days those were together; we cherish our friendship. Thank you for helping us grow and learn.

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