Now when I say “Potato House”, what do you think of? I mean if you were in a foreign country where they do not speak English and you saw a sign that said “Potato House”, what would you think? Picture it, big letters, written in English; it was like a desert oasis. I was picturing a baked potato bar with all of the fixings. But like so many oasis, that is not what I actually found. Would you believe it is a Mexican Restaurant? (Yes, sorry to all my friends who were forced to eat Mexican food before I came to Ukraine.) The inside is sort of western style, with swinging doors and a map of Mexico, pictures of Mexicans in sombreros and Native Americans in traditional dress on all the walls. The dishes were beautiful they looked like stone pottery. For lunch I basically had some chicken, tomato, and cheese wrapped in a soft shell – kind of like a quesadilla - and French fries with salsa (instead of ketchup) – my potato item. It really was very good, but not what I expected.
Nicole Nordeman sings a song called “Gratitude”. In it she asks the Lord for simple things, things we all expect to have, basic things, but then she ends each of her petitions with “maybe not, not today, maybe you’ll provide in other ways and if that’s the case, We’ll give thanks to you, with gratitude”.
I try to be thankful in all things, but sometimes I really struggle to understand why things happen the way they do. I see a problem or a need, and it seems there is such a simple solution, and yet, things just don’t work out the way I think they should. So often, my first response is to question, not to be thankful, even when there is a lessons learned from the situation. Over and over, I am reminded, it is not about my plans or the solutions I am able to come up with. Sometimes, I think I should be in charge of so much more than I can handle and I am thankful the Lord does not really hold me accountable for all of those things.
Another line from the song that really speaks to me is “we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream in abundance and in need”. It is so true. I am so blessed and sometimes I get so caught up in my everyday needs, I can almost forget about the amazing blessings of grace and love and mercy and the promise my needs are only temporary. God doesn’t owe me anything, I owe Him everything. I need to throw my expectations out the window and surrender my sight and my plans fully to God. When I am truly able to see things through His eyes, I will more fully understand His plans are perfect. I must be thankful for all the ways He provides. I am blessed, in abundance.