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Count your Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving, Liberia! No work today and most businesses are closed. When asked how they celebrate Thanksgiving, the Liberians just laugh and say they will “rest small and eat small rice.” Not sure how that is different from any other day, but nevertheless, Tim and I thought we should celebrate with some homemade sushi…

 A day at the beach…

and reflect on life’s many blessings…like electricity or clean, running water, things I never bothered being thankful for before.

Today I’m feeling especially thankful for my dad and mom…probably because I miss them so much. But more than that, I am more aware than ever of the uniquely fortunate circumstances surrounding my upbringing, particularly as I observe the stark poverty around me. I did not grow up in a wealthy home. When I was in the 9th grade, my dad was supporting us barely earning minimum wage at a tractor repair shop in rural Minnesota. I don’t know how my parents did it. We may not have even been considered middle class. All I know is that I was never hungry and never cold. In fact, I can’t think of much of anything that my brother and I went without.

Well, I guess I do recall a rather exaggerated dispute with Mom over some name brand shoes I wanted for volleyball that all the other girls had. She refused to buy them for me. There was also a certain, totally awesome (and ridiculously expensive) Tommy Hilfiger jacket that I was in love with that may have caused a scene at the West Acres Mall in Fargo. Today I am glad for a mom who did not indulge every impulsive whim of her, rather difficult teenager.

Thank you, Dad and Mom for serving Jerome and me so well! You’re amazing!!!

We are excited to spend American Thanksgiving with some friends in Vienna Austria in just a couple weeks! Europe does the holiday season so very well!

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7 responses

  1. Pati Walchle

    Leah, Pati and I hope you remember that we are Angie’s friend through our Thailand experience to see our daughter Bekah. We will be in Monrovia on 11/6 through 12/5; however Pati cannot stay that long. I hope to meet you somehow. Please leave me a phone # to reach you via my email (rw3953@comcast.net)

    November 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    • We’d love to connect! We’ll be out in rural Liberia Nov 13-16 and then leaving for Thanksgiving break on Nov 22-Dec 4.
      We should try to connect before the 13th or after the 16th.
      My cell phone number in Liberia is +231 076703653. We’d love to have you over for a meal or meet somewhere in town.
      Safe travels!

      November 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

  2. Your post made me cry. How do I say no to my kids to help them learn what really matters when I really want to give them everything. I’m challenged by that.

    AND I’m VERY HAPPY that you’re wearing my/your headband!

    November 3, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    • You were right! I love them!!!

      November 4, 2011 at 7:41 am

    • traci graske

      Made me cry, too. You’re an amazing person, Leah. God has blessed you mightily.

      November 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm

  3. Look URBAN HALOS are now in Liberia!

    November 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm

  4. Nonie Swenson

    As Leah’s mom this makes me cry….she is so kind. I do not remember these incidents, but do remember how terrible I felt many times. I remember asking them not to eat left overs so we could have them later or make something else. As I look back part of that was fear and not trust….two high school kids and protecting my frig seems so selfish from where I am now. The Lord was so good and gave us family and neighbors/friends that helped in many ways they do not even know about. I love being made to think back and marvel how the Lord provides and blesses in so many ways. My two children were so good in this time and I really do not remember them even in some of those negative times now (tho I know there were several/many). The Lord is working in all of us….Noemi, the heart of a mother is to give all she has, but the Lord has to be the One to help us in those times it is not good for them. Sometimes we can do it, sometimes we fail. He is the perfect Father and Mother!!!!

    November 4, 2011 at 1:20 am

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