Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bittersweet Thanksgiving.

All day I have been thinking about what to say that I'm thankful for.
I explained what Thanksgiving is probably a million times.
:) But truly I am happy. For so many reasons.

Here I go:
How lucky I am to be free.
To choose my own desitiny.
I will never take my freedom for granted again.
I can't wait to have a voice.

I was born in America.
Enough said.
Thank you Jesus for letting me be born in a place where I can have an education and everything handed to me on a silver platter.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to live in India.
I'm thankful that I get to see these kids everyday and show them what love looks like.
They teach me so much about life.
Even though sometimes it might be really difficult.

Honestly, I have had a LOT of best friends. Probably like 1,000. I have collections and categories of them.
But these two are more than best friends.
Kailtin Bowyer. She is my prayer warrior, my comforter, my listener, my voice of reason. She helps hold me together and pieces me back together when I'm broken. Even though we may be scary different, we understand each other's hearts, which I guess endless hours of car rides together might do to you, but really, thank you for being my best friend.
Thanks for the smushed cupcakes ;), oreos, skittles, and games for my kids. :)

Austin Greco. You know all the bad, nasty and ugly stuff... but you always point me towards what is beautiful, Jesus. :) Thank you for constantly praying for me when I was breaking down with my insides coming out. Your lame Pope jokes about his hat really do make me laugh. :)

I pray for them everyday, I hate being away from them. I truly am so thankful for them. Mom, Dad, Em, Rick, Chan, Gram, Popop, Aunt Bec (sorry you had to be alone doing accounting on Thanksgiving--please pray for her). I love you all so much. I wish I could be home with you guys.
They made a Flat Nat this week which pretty much made my entire life.
It's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me.

I know it may be difficult to share openly the depths of my heart with you all, but truly, you give me a reason to stay everyday. Your words of thanksgiving brought tears to my eyes tonight(and you don't even know what it is!). The thing is, everyone wanted to be my friend. I am the American, therefore, all want to be associated with Map. But you...You got to know Natalie. You know that I love to laugh and be silly, my favorite foods and drinks, you know the desires of my heart, when I'm pretending to be happy but inside I'm really crying. Thank you for knowing the real me. For giving me all you have, when I know you have so little...I love you all so dearly. Thank you for making a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for me even though we had no gas or electricity. I will never forget my Thanksgiving in India because of you.
God, please bless this family with things of Your Kingdom FOREVER.

FOR ALL OF THESE THINGS, for changing me. I had a friend tell me this week..."before you left, all you cared about was facebook, boys, and clothes..." That person was so right. God has completely and totally flipped my world upside down and made me a new Natalie. I like who I am...Who would have ever thought?!
Today on the way to my second family's house for Thanksgiving I was stopped so many times. First, I got word that my Dinesh and Robin were sick. So I found them and prayed for them. Then I heard Maryum was sick, so I stopped at the house she was at and prayed and sat with her for awhile...After not speaking for hours, she saw the tears in my eyes and got out, "I'm fine, Map Didi." :( My heart. I said, "You are not fine, baby." Please pray for my kids with malaria.Then I got stopped again by a bible college student. She was crying so hard. She is an orphan and she feels so alone in this world, without a home and a family. I prayed with her and told her that she's not alone, that she has a father in heaven who loves her very much. I continued to get stopped with people asking me to pray for them... Finally I got to my family's house, even though I was an hour late, I felt so grateful for so many reasons. I think God wanted to remind me how incredibly blessed I am. I have so many reasons to be thankful.

After the electricity and gas went out I texted my Aunt.
Her reply:
"TII...This is India."

One Grateful Girl

P.S. This week when I came to my second family's house, I found my eyes pasted on their wall. Weird, flattering, funny ("so this way you are always with us!").

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