Tuesday, January 31, 2006


My seemingly important life issues were brought into crystal clear perspective today when I caught an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show documenting starving children in Africa. As I sat down to make a checklist for my son's birthday party this weekend, I watched gruesome images of children dying in a small village in South Niger. Their skin was literally peeling away as malnutrition destroyed their fragile bodies. This was not a plea for money or aid-- it was simply a reporter for CNN going into the deepest parts of Africa during what is known as "hungry season" -- the time between harvests when no food is available to many families.

Tears streaming down my face, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt as I stared at the list in front of me. Just moments before turning on the show, I had been agonizing over how many different kinds of food to serve and the fact that I haven't been able to put up window treatments in many rooms since moving here and what the children attending the party would like for a "goody bag."

You know, it doesn't matter. My son will have a very nice 4th birthday. To him, the fact that friends and family will be in his house is enough to make him happy. Who cares if my house isn't perfect? Yes, there are stains on the carpet...a three-almost-four year old lives here. He doesn't just RESIDE here...he really LIVES in this house; thus, it is not perfect. And, no one actually expects it to be --except me. Well, that has changed.

My child has a roof over his head and food in his tummy (more than he should most of the time). He is loved beyond belief and wants for nothing. Those poor children in that documentary didn't have a chance. I have more blessings than I can count. It took less than a few seconds of watching that show to make me realize that.

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