I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…Ephesians 1:16
Today, not unlike most days, I woke up in my extremely cozy queen bed, snuggled up against my always-toasty husband of nearly 22 years. The alarm went off at 6am, but I was lazier than normal and stayed tucked under the quilt until 6:45am, when I finally marched into the bathroom.
I took a steaming hot shower, the kind that peels the wallpaper from the walls.
My husband, Mike, was downstairs already, making sure the earliest risers, Cady and Sean, had everything they needed to head back to school today. We’ve been out for spring break for 10 glorious days. I could smell the coffee brewing as I hurried downstairs, greeting them at the counter and doling out kisses and quick hugs. I grabbed a banana, my ready-to-go travel mug–filled with my made-to-perfection-by-my-husband coffee–and hit the road for work.
My 15-minute drive each morning is along one of the most scenic byways in Loudoun County–Harmony Church Road. Up and down hills I roll, passing pastures flush with goldenrod on one side and rustic stone barns and cattle on the other. I never stop marveling at the view, except of course to navigate that winding country road as oncoming traffic instantly resets my focus.
When I finish my half-day of work, I stroll out and collect my mail. I make myself lunch–today it was grilled chicken and a sprinkling of feta on field greens. Nothing fancy, but everything was fresh and delicious. Then comes the dogs’ walk, as I have a couple of rambunctious canines always itching to head towards the park for a romp in the lush grass of spring. And now, I’m sitting at my computer typing away, free to say or think or believe or post or pray whatever I want.
I don’t think I ever give that truism enough thought.
The innumerable freedoms I have. So many things I take for granted each day which for millions of people around this world are unattainable luxuries. Running water. Hot showers. A big, comfortable bed. Grass beneath my feet. A roof over my head. My husband and children with me, sending me off to work in the morning and gathered around the dinner table at night. A pantry and refrigerator teeming with foods from which I can choose. Electronics beyond yesteryear’s imagination. A car to drive anywhere I want to go, provided I can afford the $4/gallon gas. Do I have an attitude of gratitude at all times, in all circumstances?
How easy it is to forget that there is a war raging half a world away.
We push aside the unpleasant thoughts of the military men and women stationed at far-flung bases on dangerous foreign soil, with few, if any, comforts of home. For many, their lives are at risk 24/7. We don’t know the families they’ve left behind for three or four tours of duty, some of which last 18 months a piece. Nothing that we incredibly blessed civilians can do adequately expresses the gratitude we must have for the sacrifices military volunteers make for all of us. Yet we can do something, and it costs as little as 47 cents.
Correspond with a soldier and his/her unit. Send a card or handwritten letter. Have your children draw pictures. Assemble and ship a care package. We can make our thoughts and prayers tangible.
Here’s how: Visit www.anysoldier.com and request a serviceman or -woman’s address. Every branch of the military is represented, so you may choose by service branch, or the state from which the service person hails. Those listed have agreed to receive packages to be shared among all the members of their unit. Once you decide on a recipient or two, you can read their most recent posts, which typically include an update and a wish-list of items. Please, go to www.anysoldier.com today, and show your gratitude through a letter, care package, or donation.
Today, letters #12 and #13 of 52 go inside of two care packages, one for Shane and one for Joseph. both Navy men stationed in Afghanistan. Shane and Joseph, you are each in our prayers. May God protect you from harm, provide for and watch over your families, and return you safely to where you belong, the home of the brave, the land of the free.
Be blessed–and be a blessing,
Martha, Loudoun Crazy Mom