Here I am at  home after a week in paradise.  We had a beautiful, stress- free week  of being surrounded by beauty, of feeling inspired to write and to live and to just BE.   I want to bring that feeling home with me.  I want to be in that place where every day is a new adventure and everything I see is a miracle.  I choose to focus on the miracles in my every day life - they are many.  

Last night we had dinner at home in front of the tv - a guilty pleasure.  My kids are all off on their own adventures this week, so it's just Robb and I at home with Bella.  We watched a movie called "The Good Lie" - a story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their journey of 1000 miles on foot across the desert.   These children were faced with death and fear and destruction and starvation.    It is a story of loss - loss of family through genocide, loss of home as they transitioned as refugees into a camp in Kenya (for 13 years!), and loss of culture as they became refugees to the United States.  The story revolves around the survivors; three young men and one young woman.  They were not all related by blood, but called each other brother and sister.

These four young people were all they had left from their home,  so they were family.  Three were sent to Kansas City and one to Boston in a glitch, but all were reunited later in the movie due to the work of one person.  This woman, over the course of the movie,  was changed by these people.  She was changed by their spirits - so strong and joyful and loving in spite of their circumstance.  These boys howled with laughter over the "why did the chicken cross the road?" joke.  The simplest things were wondrous; they would sing when they were happy or when they were sad.  They despaired when the grocery store  THREW AWAY the "expired" food in the dumpster.  "Doesn't anyone want or need this food"?  was Jeremiah's response.  They knew hunger like the people I know will never experience.  They were overwhelmed by the change of temperature - what is this "ice"?   Culture shock came in  many forms - the mattresses they slept on, the incessant ringing of that "alarm" (telephone), the cars they rode in, the large building.  Our posh American lives must have felt so foreign and, at the same time, so ridiculously abundant.  

Perspective is a beautiful thing. My everyday life is a vacation.  My work is a breeze - I get paid to talk to people.   I have a fancy gadget for every task before me.  In a given day (and each day IS a gift), I take for granted 1000 different things.  I woke this morning to a freshly brewed cup of delicious coffee, an ice cold glass of water, a shower, a toilet, air conditioning cooling the 90 degree heat outside, books everywhere I look, a comfortable couch upon which to sit and write on this latest model (almost) MacBook Air, and a kitchen full of ingredients to make any breakfast imaginable.   My children are safe and loved.  I am free to work and play and worship and love and speak freely.   My list could go on for pages and pages and pages.  Let us never ever forget the beauty and miracles and gifts right in front of us in our everyday lives.   

I am thankful.