My New Mantra: “Thank you, Lord, for Toothpaste”

My New Mantra: “Thank you, Lord, for Toothpaste”

Hi, friends. Most of you have been around long enough to see my posts embracing vulnerability and being open about my struggles as a handicapped person. Today’s post, on the other hand, gives thanks for both my large and small blessings.

Especially in a first-world country, it is sooo easy to take our technology and privilege and convenience for granted. I’m starkly reminded of this when I have to live without one of those conveniences for any amount of time. When the Wi-Fi stops working, I realize how much we rely on the internet for work, entertainment, and more. Living in rural NC, I’ve experienced power outages during hurricane season and pipes freezing in the winter. Going without power and water for days on end practically feels like an apocalyptic scenario, and I’m never so grateful as when I get either of those back after losing it.

On a recent morning, as I brushed my teeth–starting to feel rejuvenated as my icky-morning-breath-germy-mouth flooded with the sensation of minty freshness–I randomly thought to myself how thankful I am for toothpaste. I keep a Google Doc of blog ideas, and I immediately sought out my phone, opened the document, and typed as a bullet point, “Thank you, Lord, for toothpaste.”

On the day of writing this rough draft, I had been reading a few blogs and thinking that I would write a draft soon. As I perused, a news article popped up in the Reader–“Samorra is looking for her Forever Family.” The photo featured an adorably-chubby, middle-school-aged girl with a big, sweet smile. I opened the post and read a few sentences in which she described herself as calm, nice, and a hard worker. Then I got to this quote–

I am thanking God for waking me up this morning. And just having clothes on my back and shoes on my feet, and having a roof over my head. I will be really happy if I went to a forever home because I will be responsible to do what I am supposed to do and I would thank God, get on my knees and pray, and go to church and praise the Lord every single day.


The Holy Spirit instantly put the thought in my mind to write out this post, so here I am. Recently, I complained about my living situation and my limitations, and while throwing a pity party sometimes is totally normal and possibly cathartic, instances like this remind me of my infinite blessings. I might complain about my family, but how would I feel if I didn’t have one?

Does anyone remember the old Golden Corral commercials with the tiny, flying chef who whacked people’s heads with a frying pan? I feel like the Spirit did that to me today.

So, “Thank you, Lord, for toothpaste” is my new mantra. The phrase is a synecdoche (fancy literary term) that will serve as a reminder that I always have a million and one reasons to feel gratitude.

Thanks for reading! What are you thanking God for today? Please join me in praying that Samorra finds a loving “forever family.”

33 responses to “My New Mantra: “Thank you, Lord, for Toothpaste””

  1. Well, I learned a new word from you Lils, and no, it wasn’t toothpaste! Synecdoche — that is so cool and it has made my day learning that. Thank you! Is saying “See you in a minute” a type of synecdoche? Because when people say that it’s never actually a minute, more like 10 minutes. How about when someone says “we went out for a couple of drinks” (and they actually probably had about ten). Are those accurate examples?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s good you can make ‘light’ of a situation. Humor is a good approach to dampen the bad and to life up our spirit. btw Come March moving from Jacksonville, Florida to Morganton, NC I WANT to be in a more rural setting.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It is funny how much lack will breed into us gratitude. When you have no bed for a long time you get really grateful to have one. When you have to go hungry for long periods you certainly become grateful for food. My personal favorite is pillows. When you have to sleep with your shoes as your pillow, real pillows are so much nicer.

    Have to watch out for that nasty ‘self’ nature and it’s joy sucking self-pity. Flee those pity parties for they only lead to death.


    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right, and I like how you worded it when you said our “self” nature is what brings on the self-pity. Good point! If we focus on Christ and being His hands and feet instead of focusing on ourselves, our mindset totally changes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Lily. I understand catcing up. This week I was reminded, even as my dad always walked many steps ahead of me and i could never keep up, the Lord moves faster than we do. How blessed we are to keep Him in sight and to follow. Much love and blessings.


  4. WOW– yes, I pray that Samora finds her forever family soon, that part gave me goosebumps ❤️. Loved how you tied all that together too (well– loved seeing how the Holy Spirit worked all of that out in your heart). I love love love the “Thank you Lord for toothpaste” line– so simple and yet so profound. I’ve also been convicted this week to sing more praises (and complain less). So this post was timely and very encouraging (and convicting!)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so good Lily!! Gahhhh, so often I find myself complaining about this silliest of things rather than choosing to be grateful for the things I do have and have been given. Thanks for sharing this little reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve been there, Lily. I’m so very thankful for the little things. And for the loving family that I was raised in. I can’t even imagine what Samora’s life has been like, but I wish I could help them all.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Sweet Lily, well I’m Thankful we got to come to church yesterday, go to lunch, and we had a surprise for lunch Roys cousin and his wife dropped in at the same resturant and we had a wonderful visit, talking and laughing it was great. Roys concentrator showed a low battery and he had a little breathing trouble as we were getting ready to leave. I got him on another oxygen tank we had with us and Ricky helped out a lot with one of the Waitreses. He got ok and we headed home. All was well in the end, blessed we didn’t end up calling 911.. Thank the Lord for that. We are so blessed everyday.. Love you Deb

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wonderful ❤ 🙂 I love seeing others find joy in God's (seemingly) smaller gifts! I had a hard past, so I find myself thanking God for everything. Today, I'm especially thankful for the groceries I just got. I didn't use to be able to just buy them when I wanted.

    Thanks for reminding us all to be thankful! God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I add my prayer that Samorra will find her “forever family.” I’m kind of a gratitude junkie. I go through my days thanking God for different things, situations, and people. There are times when I’m intentional with thanksgiving as a weapon to combat wayward focus. So I was drawn to your thankfulness over toothpaste. Thanks for sharing your journey. Blessings ♥


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