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, it was my daughter’s first day of 7th grade and 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 lacing it with copious amounts of strong coffee.

If I can just look hard enough, I can always find something to either complain about or be thankful for. Complaining is easy, especially these days of pandemics, contentious elections, violence, racial tensions and, at least here in Burundi, steep inflation. It seems that our human tendency is wired 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, if we can only summon the courage? Life is hard, but it is through the hardships that I have learned more than I have during carefree times.

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. You see, in those days of war, we housed refugees, saw tracer bullets shot over our house, heard rockets being fired in the mountains and 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 that I sat in years ago when the guns were firing. The only sounds I hear 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.”

2 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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