I wanted to take a step back from posting about travels. I love to relive and preserve the memories of adventures through writing and collecting pictures. For some reason, I get nostalgic about experiences before they are even over sometimes. However, outside of writing, I routinely maneuver rapidly to whatever is next. My mind processes that since this is reality, there obviously is not enough time to wait around so I need to just go.
And while I hope to consciously overflow with gratefulness for the grand moments in my life, I realize that I overlook what is obvious far too easily before trying to jump to whatever is next.
It’s a small picture of a greater problem, but I lost a necklace that was very dear to me about a week ago. I wore this necklace everyday and took it off at the end of the day on my bedside table with my wedding rings and earrings. The piece was special to me for a lot of reasons. My husband gave it to me for my birthday while we were dating, and it was only a few days before I returned to the U.S. from Dubai – we did long distance from Dubai to the U.S. for a year and half, and I wore the necklace nearly everyday. Also, the necklace had my name in Arabic. Now, the necklace has been with me on travels all over the Middle East and beyond, and I love the smiles I get when someone is able to read my name from a necklace that hangs from the neck of one of the most clearly American girls you’ve ever met. When I wear it in the U.S., I feel like it’s like a sign to Muslims and Arabic readers that you are so welcome here, and I’m so happy you’re here. (Maybe that’s a bit overboard? But hey, I’ve had a few friends point out their hesitance in coming to the U.S. now, and I only wish that there was more each of us could do to eliminate those hesitations.)
Now, for days, I searched the entire home for this necklace – everywhere. I spent hours combing through the floor and shining a flashlight, hoping to catch a glimpse of something shiny. A few days went past, and this morning, I grabbed a tshirt out of my drawer to find my necklace flying out of drawer with it! Praise God! It was here at home, it didn’t fall off outside as I had feared, and now my necklace was back.
Stopping to think about how the necklace could have gotten there, it didn’t take me much time. I am notorious for not closing drawers after I open them. For some reason, after I have what I wanted to get, I just forget. And I know my necklace must have fallen in the open drawer while I had forgotten to close it, and I was grabbing my other rings.
And that’s the problem, I do not even stop to appreciate a closed drawer because I am too busy trying open the next one! Then, out of nowhere, even when I am most organized, one of my favorite pieces slips through the cracks. It’s no wonder. Oddly, I wouldn’t even say that I need to move slower, I need to simply fully recognize each step along the way.
My travels around the world stick out on the horizon like bright headlights, and I think often about what will come next. But it is so important, and I cannot forget, to be thankful and in the moment while I am back home in the U.S. This is my home, and it’s amazing. God can fulfill His purpose for me here just as strongly as anywhere else in the world – anywhere I am is where He wants me to be, no matter how strongly I try to set the course. And you know, I am so thorough when it comes to nutrition and fitness, and I am convinced of all the long term benefits that take time to show. Why am I not as concerned about the trends and patterns of my thoughts and how those will shape my life for the years to come? It’s a big deal.
All this to say, I really need to start closing drawers. And I want to start daily recognizing the less obvious things that I need to be grateful for and stop overstepping the less glorious things in life just to get to the next step. In wanting and waiting to do something big, I need to appreciate every, single step along the way – else, I could keep stepping over things that I should not miss. More importantly, appropriating gratefulness along the way is way more important to others around you than the next step anyways.
Categories: Life & Work