Life filled with gratitude is a blessed life. Life itself may be hard, filled with lots of struggle and few blessings, but it is the attitude of Gratitude that gives such an amazing blessing in our lives, and when you meet someone who is living with a grateful heart, trusting God, it glows.
This Saturday my friend Britt and I was heading to Strømstad, Sweden to visit a Salt, Bagel & Coffee shop she went to 1 ½ half year ago, the owner of the shop was from Aruba. A beautiful woman with an amazing life story that she shared with us as we had our lunch.
Nathasha is born in Aruba, and has a daughter; Winter, that is 4 ½ year old, that fights Cystic Fibrosis.
Nathasha sold her house and car in Aruba, put her trust in God and moved to Sweden so her daughter could get the treatment she needed. Along with them came Lars, her good friend and now the person Winter calls dad.
This is how it happened; We arrived in Sweden on the 9th of February after taking 3 airplanes, more than 24 hours of travel time and carrying 5 luggage’s filled with the little clothes we could bring with us and a lot of medicines and medical equipment’s.
We were all exhausted, scared and anxious for what was about to come and the new life we were about to embark on. Kindness – The first act of kindness, the first of many, came from an old friend who drove 45 minutes with her two children during the winter to meet us and drop off a child seat for us.
That night we had to stay at a hotel because driving for 2 hour to get home would be too dangerous for Winter. The next morning as we were getting ready to start our drive to our new home we were encountered by the next act of kindness. Walking out of the door we were met by the hotel owner who handed Winter a little stuffed teddy bear. Now this might seem like a small act but for a 2 year old who had just left all her toys, her home, her family and everyone she knew behind, this small act gave her some kind of comfort.
Then we had to find some way to earn money, and came up with the idea of the shop; Salt, Bagels & Coffee. We found a shop that wanted to sell. We were not the first ones interested in buying this shop and giving us a chance to buy it was taking a risk.
We are newcomers, we do not speak the language yet, we have not build security and trust here yet and we are just now trying to find our way around. However, because of the kindness of the previous shop owner we were given that chance, which is more than just a chance at financial security, it is a chance at a new life.
As we started the process of building this shop we have been yet again faced with many acts of kindness and have been received with warmth by our new neighbors in Strømstad.
See, when they ask us about our lives in Sweden and the people we have met all that comes to mind is gratitude. A feeling of overwhelming gratefulness for the people we have met, those we are yet to meet and the new life we have started. We are looking forward to giving back. To being part of the community. “
While we are there she also tells about several times when they were at the hospital with Winter that the doctors had told her to go in too her daughter and say goodbye because she would soon dye. But God made her live.
Every day she lives with the faith that God will provide for all her and her family’s needs. Giving him thanks throughout the day that he will supply, and he has been faithful always provided for all they needed. Today she prayed for 500,- to buy a bicycle for her daughter, and she was given the money, and her daughter got the pink bike.
We were so blessed this Saturday to be a part of some of the blessings she has in her life; the wonderful shop, her amazing daughter, the delicious food and coffee and herself; A wonderful woman serving God with all she is and have.
Giving her best every day to those around her. Sacrificing herself to always lift and give the best. And she does it with joy, a smile on her face and such gratitude. Giving us a reminder that life is to be lived in fully trusting Jesus, living with a smile on our face that He cares and loves us.
Whenever you are in Strømstad, Sweden, go visit her shop; Salt, Bagels & Coffee. She has the most amazing food and Coffee, and you will see for yourself, what an amazing lady she is.