Thankfulness is a virtue that all parents try to instill in their children. However, it is one that is especially difficult to cultivate because it goes against most of our natural instincts. That is, it is much easier to be demanding than thankful. I know that Todd and I have worked very hard on training our children to have thankful hearts. Many a time we have felt that we have totally flopped. Both of our families valued thankfulness and passed that onto us as adults.
This morning, as I lay next to Nina while she napped I realized how thankful I was for her stinky breath and the way her lips always pucker up when she sleeps. Todd and I had often laughed about how sweet she is when she sleeps and how much we love her stinky breath in the morning. However, I don't think I ever really thanked God for those things or the million other things she does that are amazing and uniquely her!
My entire perspective on thankfulness has completely changed because of this situation. I find myself thinking about thankfulness more often now than at any other point in my life. I have been blessed beyond measure. My parents came to this country almost 36 years ago with little more than me and a couple of suitcases in their arms. They came to this country because it is the land of opportunity. It is so easy to find ourselves striving for more, yearning for what others have, searching for the next thing instead of cultivating our own thankful hearts. I am not sure why this is happening, nor do I delude myself into thinking I will ever know. God reveals His purpose on His time and I rest my heart in this. However, I do pray that one purpose, irrespective of outcome, is to remind us all of how blessed we are and how much we have to be thankful for!
I am so thankful for my life and all the opportunities I have been given. Believe it or not, I am even thankful for my current situation (not that I wouldn't gladly trade place with my child in a heartbeat). Trust me, just because I am not crying does not mean I am not in chronic pain. In fact, I hope that the pain will never fully subside because it is through this pain that I have become more thankful. I know it sounds weird, but I am thankful that I have an opportunity to
be a part of my child's delivery to Heaven, if that is what God has in store for her. What a privilege, irrespective of the pain, to have time with her. She could have easily been taken from us instantaneously, leaving us with no opportunity to have our eyes truly opened to the miracle that she herself is.
I am so thankful for every freckle on her body. I am thankful for how deeply she laughs when her brother does his bootie dance. I am thankful for how she wraps her delicious thighs around her daddy's legs when she is cuddling with him. I am thankful for her willful spirit. I am thankful for her desire to help, even with the smallest of tasks. I remember how one of her first utterances was, "I help mama!". She would often say that to me as I worked in the kitchen during dinner. She'd tootle over and say those words with her gorgeous smile and chubby cheeks. I am thankful for her hazel eyes, they are mine. I am thankful for her pug nose, it is her daddy's. I am thankful for how she adores her big brother. I am thankful for how she'd try to redirect me when she'd done something wrong. I am thankful for how she loves to kiss....even now!!!
If you have children, savor each and everything inch of their spirit and being. Be thankful.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for everything they have done for our family. Every step of the way, we have been humbled by the out-pour of love and affection. There are no words to express how comforted we are in knowing that so many people care about our children, are dedicating themselves to prayer, and are willing to sacrifice their time, money, and energy to show us how much we are loved. You know who you are and we thank God for having you in our lives.
|Having a blast with cousins!!!|
|On a hike for my birthday January 2010|