This week I was reminded how normal, expected, demanded conveniences of my American life are really luxuries. There was a problem with our water softener, and suddenly the water in our house was salty and undrinkable. Clean water is a necessity for almost everything!

Even as someone who does not have a high-paying job at the moment, I have every imaginable comfort. I live in a big warm house with a room to myself and a nice soft bed with quality linens. I have a bathroom with a toilet which takes away my waste so I don’t even notice it. I can take long hot showers without worrying about using too much water and then use luxurious body creams and lotions on my skin. There is always food in the kitchen — enough food for three quality meals snacks every day. If anything my concern is that I will have too much. Never too little.

In America we have the biggest selection of the highest quality goods and services at the lowest prices. How can I remain thankful and keep from succumbing to the notion that I deserve these things?

Friday, I went to a dance party which was to raise money for a clean water project in Africa through Partners International. I also thought about Deep Springs International, an organization which was begun by some college friends which is providing clean water in Haiti. How amazing that people in those communities can not assume that they will have the water they need.

Upon reflection, I am very thankful for water, a bed, a toilet, and food. I’m also thankful that I have been places where I didn’t have some of these things (I have never gone a day without clean water). I’m thankful for those I’ve met who will probably never have them, and live in a more thankful posture than I do. I want to be like them.

One thought I have is that through giving we can demonstrate thankfulness for the bounty we enjoy.

In case you’re interested in donating, here are links to the ministries I mentioned:

I’d love comments!