Monday, August 15, 2011

blessed be Your name

I landed in Seattle after 18 hours of flying, 
and one of my sweet sisters was there to greet me.
What a sight for sore eyes.
I am profoundly thankful for the opportunity I had to spend precious time with my family,
grieving and rejoicing together.

My sister had brought with her a zip-loc bag of huge, beautiful strawberries 
for me to enjoy on the way from the airport to her home.

One bite was enough to make me cry.
You do not know
how incredibly wonderful a strawberry tastes 
until you've gone two years without biting into one.

My family laughed to see how much I relished my meals.
But the delight of the taste of familiar foods was truly staggering.

A succulent Arby's roast beef sandwich. 
A cool, smooth Wendy's Frosty.
A tender, fragrant homemade roast beef dinner.
A fat, juicy peach.
A gourmet burger.

My sister actually called  me a 'foodie' 
when I fully savored that first delicious bite 
of Panera's Broccoli Cheddar soup.
That would be the first time 
anyone EVER linked that word
with me.

One day as I was helping prepare food for a family gathering,
it struck me;

Blessed be Your name...
in the land that is plentiful
where Your streams of abundance flow
blessed be Your name
(from Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman) 

All of this blessing, 
this plenty,
this abundance,
is food for praise.

I know that many Americans, some of my family included, are suffering real losses as a result of the struggling economy.  I know that people are finding it hard to make ends meet.  
Yet despite the losses, America remains a land of plenty.

Blessed be Your name.

Today, after being back in Davao for two days, 
it was time for me to go and get some groceries.
I hailed a taxi,

and soon found myself in the produce department of one of the local grocery stores.

It's not exactly a Whole Foods,
but the selection is decent.

Yet when you look closely, 
the standard of quality is just...different.

I couldn't bring myself to buy any of the carrots today.
And it took a little looking to find a fresh bunch of broccoli.

The smell of the butchered meat makes me lose my appetite

and the selection at the deli counter includes meats
I'm just not brave enough to try.

The bread is all white flour, sweet...not exactly Panera-like.

A nearby local grocery even had a few peaches
(though hard and bruised) for about $10 per lb.

And a few hard nectarines for about $12 per pound.
I guess I've had enough peaches for the year.

After loading my bags into another taxi for the ride home,
feeling a little wistful over what I'd left behind in America,
the taxi driver made a statement
that made me jolt.

"If you have lots of money, you can buy ANYTHING."
"Walah," I told him.
"No.  You can't buy contentment."

And I knew that what I had said was true.
None of that plentiful abundance in America 
is what brings contentment.

Have you, like me, struggled today 
with what you don't have?
Is it robbing you of true contentment?
Let's purpose instead to give thanks.
Thanks for enough to eat.
Thanks for a roof over our heads
and shoes on our feet.

And most of all...
thanks for a God and Father Who is faithful and true.

These words from Habakkuk are startling:
"Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold,
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will take joy in the God of my salvation."
Habakkuk 3:17-18

Blessed be Your name.

Regardless of my circumstances.
Blessed be Your name.


Rosalie said...

Amen. Our Rock never changes. Our Provider never runs out of provision. And He knows exactly how to capture our hearts. May we never put the provision before our most gracious and generous Provider.

What a blessing to have you here, Barb! Love to all.

Carl G. said...

Barb, thanks so much to your family for sparing you for over a week - your presence was a wonderful gift to all of us! Hope everyone is doing fine.

us5 said...

thanks guys! i was so blessed to be with you. yes, everyone is well here now, thanks! :)

Kay Heritage said...

Ahhh...the foodie in you finally awakes! Never thought this day would come.... ;) Lovely post on contentment!

us5 said...

:lol: Kay! think you could come up with a recipe for me for broccoli cheddar soup using a Velveeta equivalent...? ;p

Judy said...


us5 said...

hey, thanks for calling me skinny!! :lol: you know how to make friends, Judy...great food and comments like that (!)

Lois said...

My heart will CHOOSE to say "Blessed be Your name"
I sure enjoyed spending quality food time with you Barb!

us5 said...

yes, right, Lois!
my attitude is a choice.

:grin: yes, it was GREAT quality food time with you, sis!