In 29 days we will visit the USA for 6 weeks.  We look forward to this trip.  We have been gone from the states for a year and a half, we are eager to see family, friends, and familiar places.  Josiah looks forward to an American hotdog.  Samuel dreams of Frosty Boy ice cream cones.  Hannah talks of campfires and goldfish crackers.  And Leah giggles with excitement to see cousins and best friends.  My perspective is a bit changed having just visited Michigan for my exam (no, no results yet).  One thing that happened to me on that trip was a reorientation of home.  I was eager to escape, have alone time, and shop.  I did those things, and then I looked around and realized that my home is where my family is…and, for the present, that means Burundi.  The same Burundi I was so eager to escape just a month ago.

Yesterday was one of those ideal mornings.  The kids were off school, it was a beautiful day, everyone was up and enjoying the rest and freedom of a Monday holiday.  Friends were coming over, the kids had done all their chores…I stood on the porch breathing deeply this amazing thing that is our life here.  I love it.  I am so content.  Such deep joy.

And yet – it is what it is for only 29 more days.  Then summer comes, and when we return this same world is different.  Many friends move on this summer to new locations.  New friends will arrive.  Our normal becomes strange.  Same house, same cars, same us…new school mates, new work for me as I officially start teaching at HAU, new weekend routines as we loose our Sunday swimming friends.  Life changes.  We must choose joy and embrace it – the alternative is so less helpful.  We must.  We cannot know what tomorrow brings…misaligned bones and the possibility of surgery, bad news, or huge tornadoes that tear apart our lives.

So for this moment… I choose to breathe deep, see this present, this gift from God, and overflow with thankfulness.  I want to remember.  I want to receive these gifts from God and acknowledge them, unwrap them, savor them, ponder them.

Do you choose to see the gift that is your life, your present?  Thank the Giver.