There are so many people in this world that are without. Things that I take for granted, such as the toothpaste I brush my teeth with, the hot water I bathe in, the clothes (even the unstylish ones) I wear everyday, the clean water I drink, being able to leave my house without fearing for my life, the fact that I have all my limbs, that my kids get to go to school safely, that my kids are healthy and well fed….there are people out there who do not get such luxuries, and cannot fathom the thought of taking such things for granted.
I praise God that my privileged life is now normal to me that I DO take it for granted at times. There was a time when I wasn’t so privileged, that to see me now would see me as rich (and I’m not, by any means). There was a time when the choice for dinner was a peanut butter sandwich or top raman with corn. That’s it. To turn on the light meant to make sure the microwave and the toaster were not plugged in. New clothes? Try Salvation Army…and THAT was a luxury if I could afford even that, especially if I scored on something that fit nicely. For the luxury of a morning newspaper, I’d turn over the couch cushions for change. No nice shampoos, sometimes we ran out of toilet paper, we used the same toothbrush for 6 months, I couldn’t wash clothes as much as I needed to, utilities were being turned off and notice was given publicly as it was taped to our front door, our car was towed away for failure to pay, we skipped birthday parties because we couldn’t afford a present for the child, we had to tell our kids over and over again that we didn’t have the money, Christmas was basically donated to us one year or we would have had nothing…. We did not invite anyone over to our house, for it was an embarrassment. We lived in a poor mentality of never thinking that things could be better…and never thinking we could MAKE it better. It was all humiliating. It all became normal.
I praise God that I do not live in poverty any longer, and never will again. I praise God that I do not need to submit income statements to the county, use food stamps at the store, count pennies to make a quarter, hide in a home darkened by shuttered curtains and no electricity. I praise God that THIS life, a life of happiness and comfort, is now normal. I praise God that my former life was brief, and mostly forgotten. And I praise God that some of it will never be forgotten, lest I take this life completely for granted.