Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Moments of thankfulness...

A good friend of mine, who I met in Sierra Leone, has been an inspiration to me for a number of years now. She was full of smiles and encouragement. She loved to laugh and have a good time. Even after she was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, she kept a positive outlook on life. She used to laugh at my blog posts, especially the ones about the challenges of living in Sierra Leone, and say how it made her more grateful. She introduced me to the book “One thousand gifts” by Ann Voskamp and shared about the importance of embracing a lifestyle of gratitude. The last time we spoke, as she was packing up to go back to Canada for good, she gave me her copy of the book. I still read it often and remember Jen’s smile and I continue to be inspired to live a life of gratitude. It's not easy, and I still complain a lot, but I am trying!

In 2014, at the start of the Ebola outbreak, I decided to write down something I was thankful for every single day, for a year. I did this so that I would have a little bit of reflection time everyday and focus on the positive things in life during a very challenging time. My initial month of postings can be found here: The first 30 days of thankfulness...

This past Christmas, I was reminded of the importance of being grateful at all times and was once again inspired to create a list of gratitude. It’s in these very moments of thankfulness that we experience beauty, peace and grace.

Here are my moments of thankfulness in January 2018:
  1. I went on my first walk on the beach in 2018 - thankful for my parents & beach walks.
  2. I’m not crazy about going to the dentist but I am thankful for good dental care in The Netherlands.
  3. Thankful for slumber parties with my niece & teddy bears.
  4. Thankful for freshly baked stroopwafels - yum.
  5. Thankful for grapes, blueberries and strawberries - oh how I will miss you.
  6. Thankful to go on a city walk in Middelburg - tourist in my own city & for hot chocolate and apple pie.
  7. Thankful for an amazing missions weekend at church - inspiring, encouraging and such a blessing!
  8. Baking with one of my nieces is always fun - thankful for time with Zoey & making blueberry muffins.
  9. Thankful for time spent with my mom and sister - I will miss family.
  10. Yay. I’m back in Sierra Leone and very thankful for a safe and smooth return.
  11. Thankful that day 1 in the clinic went well, even though I was on my own since my colleague is sick. 
  12. I was thankful it was Friday :)
  13. Thankful to spend time with an amazing Dutch/Ghanaian family here.
  14. 38 years ago my parents left the Netherlands and moved onto the M/V Anastasis. I was 2 years old. I’m thankful for their courage and perseverance and the amazing childhood I had.
  15. Thankful to connect with an MPH classmate through WhatsApp- it’s nice to be connected a bit more since we don’t have face-to-face classes.
  16. Thankful to start up the Kroo Bay clinic again. Sadly our first patient was critical and died at the Children’s hospital 12 hours later. A stark reminder of the need for the clinic.
  17. Thankful to see all of my friends at Bible Study.
  18. Thankful to see Abubakar and Mbalu again - they finally passed the 5kg mark this week. Hurray for growth.
  19. Thankful for an amazing team at work and thankful that we completed all of the staff reviews today.
  20. Thankful for time at River 2 beach with friends to escape work and study!
  21. Thankful for the international church group.
  22. Thankful I survived 2x8 min of running 😉
  23. Thankful for electricity after not having it all evening/night on Monday.
  24. Thankful for tea and chocolate!
  25. Thankful I survived a 20 min non-stop run.
  26. Thankful for quality time with a friend and trying Gigibonta’s pizza for the first time.
  27. Thankful for a games night with friends - we were so close to saving the world too...maybe next time.
  28. Thankful for a Sunday afternoon beach walk with Suzanne - it had been a while.
  29. Despite a very challenging case at work today I am thankful to be able to support the patient’s family through the child’s illness and the difficult situation they are in.
  30. Thankful to have submitted another individual assignment for my MPH.
  31. Thankful that a plant I’ve been watering back to life for the past week has green leaves shooting up today - it’s a great symbol of new beginnings.
#momentsofthankfulness #somuchtobegratefulfor #embracingalifestyleofgratitude #thankfulness #bethankful #thanksgiving #January2018 #2018makeitcount #alwaysanadventure #actjustlylovemercywalkhumbly

1 comment:

Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning, how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys travelling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this, I would ask you one small favour:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Sierra Leone? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Sierra Leone in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Calle Valencia, 39
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~