Thursday, August 11, 2011

I tend to be ungrateful.

Lately I've been complaining about something.

Our well is going dry, which I've mentioned before, and what water we have left has turned a cloudy brown color.  Some days are better than others, but recently, the water has been dirtier than ever.  Sand coats my shower drain.  When I turn on the sink faucet, water pours out and turns the sink brown in a matter of seconds.

The other day, I didn't realize the water had gotten worse, so I took a quick shower before going to bed.  The next morning, I noticed that the bristles on my hairbrush were stained brown.  Disgusted, I rubbed them clean, but when I ran the brush back through my hair, the bristles came back brown again.

I was horrified.

My hair was so covered in sediment that it felt stiff to the touch.  It felt like I had gone outside and bathed in a mud puddle.

Lately I've been complaining.  Our water situation makes me feel incredibly frustrated.  Not being able to wash clothes, dishes, shower... not being able to grab a drink from the faucet.  It's inconvenient.  Annoying.

And then today I was looking through some photos I took when I was in Kenya, Africa.  One picture in particular stood out vividly to me.  Do you see what is captured in this blurry photograph?

Women are gathering water from the puddles that line the side of the road.  They'll use this water for drinking, washing, bathing.

While I was in Kenya, I saw the water that pooled along the roads.  See for yourself:

It's filthy.  Feces, debris, and insects fill the water until it more closely resembles sludge.  People walk barefoot through this water.  Kids use the streets as a toilet.  Pigs, cattle, and dogs roam the slums, sharing the water as well.

I wouldn't subject my dog to the water those women were collecting.  Their water is filled with life-threatening diseases like cholera.  My water is a little sandy.  You know, I bet they would take the quality of water from my well and feel grateful.

At least I have other alternatives.  I don't have to drink our well water.  I use water bottles.  I can shower at grandparents' homes.  I don't have to use the dirty water coming out of our faucets.  Even if the water in my shower is sandy, I am still surrounded by access to clean, sanitary water.
I am so blessed.

When I'm thirsty, I can have a drink without worrying about cholera and parasites.  I can wash my hands and my clothes.  I still have water, even if it's not always the prettiest or most accessible.

And in a matter of days, I'll be living in a dorm with total access to clean water again.  I'll be able to brush my teeth using water from the sink.  I'll be able to grab a glass of water during the night, wash my clothes, rinse off my dishes.  There will be a pool and a fountain outside.  How could I not feel incredibly blessed?

I don't ever want to forget how blessed I am with the gift of water, even when it doesn't always come in the way I want it.  The Lord has provided me with so much.  I take my blessings for granted so often.  My ungrateful attitude needs to change.  No more forgetting.  No more complaining.
It's time to be thankful.


  1. Thank you so much for posting, Emily! It's very true <3 I need to remember it myself.

  2. So true!
    I know you are probably super busy getting ready for college, but I have a book to recommend to you. It's called Life without Limits by Nick Vujicic. This book has changed my outlook on life. I wrote a mini-review here along with a YouTube video. ( I would love to hear what you think of this book if you read it.
    God Bless,
    P.S. I am praying for you as you go to college. I have loved reading your blog this past year and hope that you continue to write!

  3. Great entry. :) I complain about things a lot and I need to learn how to be thankful too. Just living in America is a blessing in itself, I think.