Things have changed. Not like they change white/green coffee cups to a beautiful Christmas in my mouth red. Or the way that every year we know that the enormous oak tree in the front yard will swallow the street with her yellow leaves.
No, changed like we had Doritos for thanksgiving. After being gone for 11 weeks in Uganda. 22 hours on a plane with a toddler. And my nocturnal clock being ahead 9 hours more than everyone else around me. I had no choice but to say yes to Doritos on the thanksgiving table. Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving more than chips next to the gravy bowl.
You see, when you spend 11 weeks away from your blessings. 11 weeks of no goodnight kisses. 11 weeks of not making school lunches or leaving notes in every one. 11 weeks of missing birthdays and birthday parties. 11 weeks of not being able to hold them when they cry, are afraid, happy, excited, scared. You allow Doritos on the table next to the gravy.
And when you spend 11 weeks in a third world country your perspective on what really matters turns your world upside down. I no longer care if the dishes match. I no longer care that my sofa is worn. I no longer care if my kids have all the best toys for Christmas. I no longer care what kind of car I drive, what neighborhood I live in, what school my kids go to or don’t go to. I no longer care who decorates the Christmas tree. I no longer care of they put all the ornaments in one spot and put on elf on the star at the top. And hold your breathe…it really doesn’t matter who gets a freakin rose at any ceremony. Ever.
What I do care about though is this. Clean water. Orphan care. Family reunification. Sponsorship. Safe families. Fish Farms. Farming. Strong Women. Jesus. Mercy. Grace. Sustainability. Goodnight kisses. Hugs that last all afternoon. Laughter. Authenticity. My husband. HIV education .Relationships that make me better. Giggles. Worship. Late night conversations. Bedtime stories. Long conversations over coffee. People. Truth. Justice. Family.
Its amazing 11 weeks can change your perspective on what your Thanksgiving table looks like. 11 weeks can change what you decorate the tree with. 11 weeks can change what your heart really cares about.