I headed out to the grocery stores today feeling pretty deflated-not excited about enduring another shopping trip full of stares, people yelling out to me, confusion about money (on my part, I can't seem to get that everything is in quantities of thousands, it gets frustrating), and looking for items that are usually not to be found. I am planning to make a roast chicken dinner on Christmas day with mashed potatoes and stuffing. I need celery for the stuffing, but that is an item that is hardly ever available. I wrote it on my list with little hope of locating it...but as I walked to the back of the fruit and vegetable store, low and behold, there it was, lovely fresh celery! A smile spread across my face as I gladly picked the bundle of celery stalks up and put it in my basket. I couldn't help reflecting that my life sure has changed from this time last year, when I am filled with joy at finding celery at the grocery store!
I moved on to the next store looking for a difficult-to-find gem, American barbecue sauce. I've looked for this item for weeks without any luck, but there it was, sitting on the shelf smiling at me! Hooray! I got one of the last bottles available.
Lastly, and most unexpected, they were selling bags of tiny clementine oranges at the fruit market. Every year that I can remember my mom would buy clementines at Christmas and put one in the toe of my stocking and my brother's stocking. I never thought I would find clementines here in Tarakan-I wasn't even going to bother to look. As I stood in the hot, dusty market I held the mesh bag of clementines up to my face and I could smell the fresh, citrus scent. I knew this was a special gift for me, a gift of familiarity, of home.
I headed home from shopping, certainly not all better or totally happy (I almost got hit by a huge sand truck, which didn't improve my attitude about living here-although I guess I can count it a BIG blessing that I wasn't hit!), but knowing that in the midst of the frustrations and exhaustion of life so far from home, the Lord gives me small blessings to help me through.
Keep your eyes open for all the little blessings-they are surely there in the midst of whatever circumstances you are facing.
|My Darling Clementines|