Back in the states I always looked forward to Cinco de Mayo. It was the perfect excuse to head to a Mexican restaurant, eat guacamole and drink a few Coronas…hopefully outside on a patio but in Seattle that was never a guarantee. When we moved to Europe we learned quickly that Cinco de Mayo was a very American celebration and most folks had never heard of it. But in the Netherlands we weren’t sad for very long because they have their own May 5th celebration…bevrijdingsdag…or Liberation Day. It is a festival marking the Dutch liberation from the German occupation during WWII.
I have a couple quick thoughts on things I am thankful for using these two celebrations as metaphors.
I was at the gym this morning and I turned on my ½ marathon playlist and the song I start all my runs with is O Praise Him by David Crowder. It’s an upbeat song and never fails to put a smile on my face and focus my mind even if running is the last thing I want to be doing at that moment. So, in the midst of the Netherlands celebrating it’s freedom after the war I had a moment to give thanks for my own personal liberation. The liberation that God gave me from death through his son. I am no longer occupied by sin but have been rescued and live in abundance and freedom. For this I am extremely humbled and thankful and can do nothing except offer my praise in return.
Cinco de Mayo
Contrary to some misinformed folks Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of Mexico’s independence but of some random battle between France and Mexico in Pueblo. Mexico was the underdog and they claimed an unlikely victory. But nobody thinks about that, cinco de mayo has since turned into a celebration of Mexican culture and pride in the US. Today I was thankful for the opportunity to exercise and help my body become stronger. It feels SO good to do something and to feel like I am helping my body to actively fight this battle. I have been going twice a week to a “chemo” exercise session and I feel like I have gotten stronger after my infusion 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this workout. Maybe they would take it easy and put me on a bike for 30 minutes because “I’m sick”. But I have been surprised that it’s a proper exercise program with 45 minutes of cardio (bike, rowing machine, elliptical…with interval training) and 45 minutes of weights (arms, legs and abs). I am pleasantly exhausted after and have no guilt at all sitting on the couch for the rest of the day. Today during the workout I felt like a soldier and I had a picture of my white blood cells as guerilla fighters taking on the nasty rogue cancer cells. I am just thankful that my body allows me to be active. I know that this is a blessing and my circumstances could be different.
I will now return to my guacamole…Happy Saturday.