Yesterday, I met an old soul living in the body of a ten-year-old boy. We were working on an in-home assessment together, and I got to the question, “What is the best thing about this family so far?” Without prompting or prodding, he tells me:

Food. They feed me and I eat good food.

Shelter. I always have a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in.

Clothing. I always have clothes to wear.

School. I get to go to school because they take me every day.

This boy felt so blessed by having his basic needs met, and it struck me to my core.

In my ten years as a caseworker for Koinonia, I’ve met a lot of children and worked with a lot of foster parents. I’ve laughed and cried along with my families and colleagues. I’ve absorbed heartache, experienced growth, and a lot of other things in between. This one moment, though, was arguably the most profound.

In a culture where we chase after more, bigger, better; compete against one another, and never feel like we measure up…this ten-year-old boy had it all figured out. He was able to grasp a profound life lesson that many of us struggle to hold onto: gratitude.

So today, I am reflecting on him and what he reminded me of. I am taking a moment to set aside my problems (i.e. feeling sick from stress, the bad air quality, feeling physically/emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and burned out). Instead, I am focusing on the blessings I do have.

If we take a moment to look around, most of us already have everything we could ever need. And the rest…well, it just doesn’t matter. Staying grounded and filtering our perceptions through a grateful heart will remind us that we are blessed, just like that ten-year-old boy.



Anna is a Case Worker at Koinonia’s Reno District Office. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, spending time with family, and her Pug, Clementine. Her favorite thing about working for Koinonia is being able to use her gifts and skill set to support others.


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