Count Your Blessings


Before we left for Africa, I read Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.” It was a gift from a friend, and a good book to remember to be thankful for everything. Through easy and hard seasons being thankful keeps your spirits up and keeps your attitude from becoming bitter, grumpy & all about-self.

About two weeks into our Homestay, I started my own thankful list. I only got to 18 before I forgot about it 🙂 ha. But it was a good thankfulness check for my heart to stay positive about the things I did have and not get down and negative about the things I didn’t have.
*I’ll explain some of them for you so you can understand it all.

Oct-Dec 2014

Counting Our Blessings

  • No prego nose! God’s perfect timing. (We were supposed to move to Africa when I was still pregnant with Honey-Bear, but the dates go pushed back. Thankfully we didn’t, because the new smells of sewage, dead animals, live animals, etc. were a bit overwhelming.)
  • “B-I-B-L-E” (Bub just learned that song and was going around singing it and singing it. He even taught our host family how to sing it—though they didn’t know English.)
  • Lillian’s smiles!
  • Our Lamb’s sacrifice—after watching cow video. (Our family slaughtered a cow as a part of a big holiday. Watching that cow die made me so thankful for our Lamb’s sacrifice.)
  • Peanut Butter!!
  • Eggs!! Thank God! (Bub was not eating well the first 3 weeks of our Homestay. One evening our Host mom made eggs and Bub gobbled them down! What relief! He started eating after that.)
  • $ leaving home (As we left our goodbye party, many people gave us money on our way out.)
  • A friend’s call on Friday 03/10/14 (We do DD/MM/YY in Africa).
  • Our babysitter—Mia! She’s GREAT!
  • Homestay chosen—3x. (After arriving, we learned our first Homestay was given to another family. The second wanted to charge us more money, so the company said no. Then we were placed with a third family, which work out so well.)
  • Internet Stick (they sell Internet on UBS sticks. We were given one. It was SO nice to be able to connect with family and friends back home.)
  • Pinterest to connect w/ friends & ideas for here, like holidays. (I’m always reminded of someone when I see something on Pinterest, so its nice to just sent it and share it with friends.)
  • Hair conditioner (No, I didn’t have any for a month or two. I almost cried when I used it the first time…being able to run my fingers through my hair without tangles. It enhanced the Bucked-Shower experiences immensely.)
  • Crap-less toots 🙂 (We all had about a 3-4 day stent of bad diarrhea…self explanatory.)
  • New friends! (We met an expat family down the street from us. CRAZY world…my dad and her dad were college roommates!! WHAT!?!?!?! Needless to say, we became good friends!)
  • A & L—friends from Ireland
  • Big cup of coffee. (In any café here, you ask for a big coffee and all they give you is a shot glass size with double the espresso. Over Thanksgiving My Love had his first REAL big cup of coffee.)

My Love's BIG coffee

  • Shower!! (Also over Thanksgiving, we traveled to Work City & got to shower in a real shower!!! Wow—talk about refreshment. We apologized if the water bill was high next month.)

It’s funny to me now to look back and laugh at the ‘simple blessings’ we had at the beginning. What joy it is to remember where we came from and the journey we’ve been on!  Let Bing Crosby remind you to, “Count your blessings instead of sheep.”



  1. I love this and it just made me smile.. One thing I have said to people over and over is how grateful I am for FaceTime/Skype. I can’t imagine being so far away and waiting for long distance, (expensive) phone calls, letters and photos. To be able to push some buttons and talk real time is priceless to us!!

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