Simple Gifts

There is a place in this world for the extravagant. For those nights when time seems to stop and the world seems to hold its breath. As the girl in white walks towards her unknown future. Or fancy dresses and black tie affairs. For God created majestic oceans and mountains of splendor. He wants us to read His words and feel in awe or see His miracles and marvel. He desires that we feel treasured and pursued. And sometimes…even just like a princess (of course not for the male gender). If we are blessed in this way it can be felt in moments of extravagance. This is nothing to feel guilty about. I love new clothes and being told I am beautiful just as much as the next girl.

But, and any avid reader could sense that there was one coming, living in Mexico has taught me about simple gifts. About how to appreciate a cool breeze or rejoice when storm clouds are seen in the distance. There is a certain freedom in loving a small flower fighting its way through the cracks in the road, pausing to watch a sunset on the way home, or hearing that your student is so excited to come to school she wakes up the entire family at 5:15am to get ready (I need some of that energy!).

God is so gracious to have sent me to a place that makes me grow and feel so loved at the same time. But these simple gifts are often not as easy to spot as the gifts of extravagance. For they are small. And if not being searched for, can be overlooked as the moment seems insignificant to the passerby.

Sometimes I feel as though I can express my thoughts through stories. For our lives are simply little stories strung together as God plays out His purpose. So, here we go again with another heart opening story from Mexico.

Living as a missionary is so amazing. One truly realizes what it means to fully rely on God. And in the way of finances, sometimes this causes my mind to stray towards worry. I will watch a “stop you in your tracks because of God’s artistry” sunset and think about how the Creator of that loves a mere human like me. Then the next day let my mind wander down the road of worry and stress about something that God has already promised to do in His word: clothe us and feed us just as He takes care of everything He created.

Last Monday was one of those days. Those days filled with worry. Filled with thoughts of how I will be able to save more money, raise more money, be secure in case of an emergency. Maybe it was because it was a Monday, maybe I hadn’t spent enough time praying that morning, maybe I just have a tendency to plan way too far in advance. Whatever the case it was a burden on my heart. And I was not combating my worry with scripture. I was letting it fester and grow as the day went on.

Mondays are also soccer days. And a good hard game of soccer, bodies colliding, hearts pounding, blood rushing…that is a great outlet for stress (not for everyone I suppose). This Monday was no different…maybe I played with a little more aggression, but it left me weary, happy and rejuvenated. Then I hopped onto a colectivo (a covered truck that travels a designated route) with one of the other soccer girls. I retrieved my 6 pesos (less than 50 cents) and even just that small amount caused my mind to shift back to worry.

Our stop came up and she paid first. As I went to the window she told me that she had already paid for me. Six pesos. A seemingly insignificant amount. A simple kind gesture that could have been overlooked. Unless that girl had been struggling all day with trust. Unless that simple gesture changed the mindset of that girl. And showed her how God says that through our fear and worry He will still provide for our “daily bread.” Sometimes He doesn’t show us the yearly plan, the monthly plan, or even how the week will go. But with five loaves and two fish…or six pesos…God will provide every single day.