Friday, 12 February 2016

A Privileged Life

As I sit to write this blog I am so conscious of the room in which I have private and comfortable  space to think, pray, meditate, write. I’m overwhelmed by my memories of our recent mission trip to Cambodia and the families we visited in the only homes they’ve known. A few boards above the filthy ground, a sheet of plastic or iron for protection, a meagre selection of pots and pans to cook with, perhaps a hammock for a bed.


































Despite the amazing capacity of the children to smile in spite of their circumstances, their lives scream in stark contrast to our four bedroom home, our acre of gardened land, our every convenience and luxury. Many feeling rush in with my memories; horror, sadness, repulsion, anger at the corruption and oppression which has led to such poverty, a sense of hopelessness for the children and their future prospects, and also gut wrenching questions.  


















Why am I here and they there? How do I respond to what I have seen and experienced. How come I have the life of relative ease and opportunity that is mine? Some good choices, hard work and determination, I believe, but also a huge amount of undeserved grace and inexplicable good fortune.

What I can do about the lives of these people in Cambodia is little, but I can make sure I remain aware of my blessings and never take for granted the opportunities I have. Each time I sit at my computer, in my comfortable chair, with a full stomach and a cup of coffee, I can thank God for my lot, and be reminded that whatever first world problems I may face today –Internet down, interruptions to my plans, a crowd in the supermarket, a traffic holdup, a paragraph that just won’t come together   – I have no cause to complain or feel sorry for myself, and so many things to be grateful for. I can pray regularly for those less fortunate, hungry, in danger, in bad health or without hope. I can continue to do the little I can to improve their lives and prospects.



So as I begin my year of writing, complete preparation for the release of my new novel and play with ideas for the next, my most prominent resolution is to keep in perspective the challenges I face and to give thanks, often and heartfelt, for the privileges of my life.

No doubt many of you also face challenges in the year ahead. Perhaps you have mountains to climb and valleys to go through. I pray that we all may be aware of the grace of God and His love that reaches into the darkest and seemingly hopeless places of all life. Sometimes it is our words, our writing, our actions, our prayers, which carry that love and hope. What a privilege!

Carol Preston





Carol writes historical novels based on her family ancestry in Australia from the First Fleet. They include the Turning the Tide series; Mary’s Guardian, Charlotte’s Angel, Tangled Secrets and Truly Free. Her earlier novels Suzannah’s Gold and Rebecca’s Dream have been re-released by EBP. Her novel, Next of Kin, was released this year by Rhiza Press and the sequel, Beyond the Fight, is due for release this April. You can see more about Carol and her novels on her website, her Amazon author page or FB author page.   





12 comments:

  1. Lovely post, Carol. I need to regularly remind myself of all the many ways God has blessed me. It still blows my mind that the Lord chose for me to be born in middle-class Sydney and it always leads me to gratitude.

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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    1. Thanks Ian. It's very hard not to be affected by seeing such things.

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  2. That sounds like such an eye-opening trip, Carol. Thanks for the timely reminder for all of us.

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    1. Certainly was eye-opening, Paula, even though it's not the first time. Very impactful.

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  3. Such a good reminder to us all, Carol--thanks for sharing from your heart, but wow, what a gut-wrenching experience that must have been for you in Cambodia! I can feel the challenge and the depth of how you were touched through it all in what you have written here and am sure that will come out somehow in what you go on to write as well. But yes, we need to wrestle with the questions you have raised and also be so thankful each moment of the day for what we have.

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  4. Great post, Carol! Perspective is a great teacher.

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  5. It's challenging when one sees first hand how so many of the world's population live and the riches we often take for granted in Australia. It's a great question - why them and not us. Thanks for the reminder Carol.

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    1. Yes, that's a question I often ask myself Jeanette.

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  6. Only today I was looking thru my photos of my times in Cambodia and thinking much the same. Always amazes and blesses me how those people worship God, thankful for everything He has done for them, and grateful for the smallest improvements in living standards.

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    1. I agree, Rhonda. I too was amazed at the way these people worship God, even the young children, with such innocent trust and hope.

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  7. Thanks for sharing Carol. While I've often thought the same, I'm yet to visit on a missions trip. What I did see is the horror of the modern human slave trade right across Asia - even in little ones my own children's age. This is a topic I am intensely passionate about but is also difficult to write on. There are lots of aid on the ground but not nearly even enough to quell the tide. Thinking and praying for those affected right along with you.

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