Remember that reset button I wrote about? I've been having a bit of a hard time finding it this week. The devastation flooding the television screen has left me grateful for all we have and still have. At the same time, it's so hard to see innocent people who are suffering so much. Such events are called "acts of God" - but why would God do this to a people he loved so much that he gave his only son to save us? Even though we are on the other side of the country, I find myself asking "why?" as often as I am saying "thank you."
The other feeling that has stirred within our family in the last week is one of mild panic, as we realize just how unprepared we are for such a disaster. While true hurricanes don't really hit the Northwest, we have our share of devastating storms, and the season for such weather has just begun. More to the point, we live just about a block from a drainage slough that runs through our town, meaning we live in a flood plain. I suppose one of the few positive aspects of the past week is that we have a sense of urgency when it comes to getting prepared for an emergency - stocking water, food, and emergency supplies, keeping our important papers safe, and having a plan to keep all of us safe as well. Hearing people talk about having prepared for this storm, knowing it was coming well in advance, and still losing almost everything was quite possibly the wakeup call we really needed.
On a completely unrelated note, by this time in the "election season", it can be really hard to muster up a smidgen of gratitude for the right to vote. All of the ads, doorhangers, phone calls, and news spots are nothing more than annoying. Yet, as a very wise man told me a few weeks ago, this right is something you can only fully appreciate when it is taken away. Imagine a government appointed by wealth or birth, or worse, by military might. Imagine having no voice in any political matter, or worse, fearing imprisonment or death for even opening your mouth in regards to politics. Imagine a single person in charge of every political decision, with no representative input whatsoever. The right to vote might seem like a chore, but it is a privilege many have died for and many continue to die for. Filling in a ballot should seem comparatively simple, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum. This has been said more often than you've heard "...and I approved this message" in the last week, but your voice is no less important because you are only one person. Imagine the reality if everyone decided not to vote just because they were only one person. If you're 18 or older, use that voice to express your opinion, whatever it may be!
Now it's your turn. Tell me what you're thankful for! Add a link to your Thoroughly Thankful Thursday post or leave a comment below!