Thankful Thursday...Everyday Luxuries, and the Name

I've never cared much for summer.  As a lifelong Southerner, summer has always meant heat, humidity, and bugs.  Oh, and snakes.  None of which are happy things for me.  My favorite part of summer is air conditioning...the colder, the better.  Which is why I suppose that it is ironic that we've lived the last 14 years this month in a house without central heat and air. :)   We've managed to make it tolerable...most of the time...though, with window units in various parts of the house, and fans everywhere.  My favorite time of day in the summertime for the past 14 years has been bedtime...those first few minutes, especially, when I would lie down right in front of our main window unit and enjoy *ice cold air* in the minutes before I drifted off to sleep.  

In the wee hours of Monday morning, our trusty bedroom AC died.  We thought later that we had solved the problem...only to have our hopes dashed as we realized we hadn't.  I am SO thankful, though, for God's protection through all of that...we caught the problem just before we more than likely would have had a major fire on our hands.

In the meantime...it's been hot here.  Highs well over 100 for over a week now.  The "pity party" has threatened more than once.  Then I begin to feel like a wimp...thinking of the 20+ years my grandparents lived in this house before they even had a window unit!  I think about all the people who managed in all the years before air conditioning...and all the people in the world today who *still* live without such a luxury.  And I realize that we aren't so bad off after all. 

Tom Davis's post What Are You Grateful For? popped up in my Facebook newsfeed at just the right time on Monday, reminding me of all the things we do have to be grateful for.  Even when we feel "deprived", we are *so* much better off than so much of the world...and that is what I want my children to remember about these days, not how much Mom complained about the heat. (And trust me, I have done more than my share of complaining...but I am working on it!)  So...I'm trying to be intentional about being grateful this week, being thankful for what we *do* have, and realizing how very richly God has blessed us...not only with *needs*, but with *Iuxuries*:  

I am thankful that even though we don't have central air, we do have two working window units we can use in the daytime, and plenty of fans.

I am thankful that although our bedroom unit finally died this week, our house is still standing and our family is safe!

I am thankful that we have not one but *two* vehicles to drive.  Even with "air issues" with them also, it is much cooler to be driving than it would be to be walking!   

And speaking of walking...we've been reading about how many people in the world spend hours each day just walking to carry water for their families.  Talk about hot!   We are so blessed to have clean, running water.  

And ice.  Ice is one of my favorite things on earth right now.  I am practically tethered to my big cup of ice lately.  I had never really realized until this week what a luxury a glass of ice is!   Clean water *plus* the electricity to keep it frozen...and I don't even have to freeze my own..I can buy bags of it at the store.   I can even go to the drive through and buy Sonic ice...which is a luxury indeed. 

A house, with locks on the doors, electricity, and indoor plumbing.  I get so frustrated with this old ramshackle house at times, and the time/money required to do the work it needs...but even with all of it's issues, it's *so* much better than what much of the world lives in, and I am thankful for it. 

An abundance of food.  Food is a great source of frustration for me at times.  People always seem to need to eat just when I am really making progress in another area!  And then there are the dishes.  Always more dishes to wash!  Trying to keep the grocery budget down, trying to figure out how to cook while producing the least heat in the kitchen, racing to use up perishable food before the heat and humidity get to it.   But what a blessing all those little annoyances are.  I never have to worry that I won't have food to feed my family...and *usually* I am even able to cater to the taste preferences of the picky people around here.   More luxury...

And then the real luxuries, totally unnecessary, but how we depend on and enjoy them!...dvd player, cell phone, computer and internet service, and books, books, and more books!  And the list goes on....

Most of all today, I am thankful for the Giver of the gifts.  God has reminded me over and over lately (because I've needed a lot of reminding...*ouch*) of the wonder of Who He is...His faithfulness, His sovereignty, His sufficiency, His goodness, His love, His forgiveness, His mercy and grace...and the wonders that He has shown us of Who He is are just a very dim reflection of Who He *really* is...so much more than we could ever begin to imagine!

We're singing a new song in choir.  It's already become a favorite of mine.  If there were nothing else in the world to be thankful for today, the reality behind this song would be enough.  Wish I could have found a video...the music is beautiful, too.  But these words are just amazingly powerful in their simplicity, even without the music...

Jesus, Your Name

JESUS, YOUR NAME, Prince of Peace, 
Quiets my soul, treasures the least.
In perfect rest You will keep 
All whose hope is in You.
Jesus, Your name can silence the storms
The strivings that trouble our world.
Jesus, Your name reveals You as Lord;
Oh, powerful name!

Jesus Your name, Counsellor,
Wonderful Way, Life's Comforter.
Spirit of truth defending me
Though in me was the blame.
Jesus, Your name has stood in my place
And freed me from hopeless shame;
Jesus, Your name now fathers me; 
With joy I bear His name.

Jesus Your name, Mighty God,
All powerful One, ruling in love.
There is a King upon the throne
Earth cannot overthrow.
Jesus, Your name, great banner of hope
Steadies the knees of the weak.
Jesus, the name all nations will praise; 
Oh, glorious name!

~Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty & Ian Hannah

To see what others are thankful for today, visit Laurie's blog.


Kecia said...

AMEN! I have much to be thankful for. I'm thankful we reconnected online, and for the true friend you are. :)

Jennifer said...

I am so thankful for that, too!!

Denise said...

Such a beautiful post.

Redeemed1 said...

It is so easy to get caught up in what we believe are needs and forget to see them as the blessing they are. Thank you for this beautiful post.

Whidbey Woman said...

I love this post. I am praying that where you live, and other parts of the country, get cooler weather. It is so sad to hear about the impact it is having on health... some have died! And it must be so uncomfortable. I like how you found good in everything you are dealing with now.
God bless you.

Rita T. said...

Great post! It's been hot and muggy here this summer, which is unusual. Normally it's in the low 70's this time of year. Have a great weekend!

Gettymusic said...

Thanks for mentioning music by Keith & Kristyn!! Come and join the discussion on their page at facebook.com/keithandkristyngettyfans - posted by Team Getty

LAURIE said...

Loved your TT list! Living in the south where it is very very hot I can relate to your story about the a/c. Ours went out last month and we were without air for 2 days in over 100 degree weather. It was very unpleasant, but God reminded me of how we take the simple things for granted. Hope you are staying cool now. Thanks for sharing with us for TT this week! :D