Gratitude

Gratitude, I believe, has saved me.

When Em was diagnosed, there were times I withdrew my open hands from accepting what He had allowed.  And then the weight of things would begin to feel very heavy.  So I would reluctantly unclench, reach out and slowly open them again with a neediness in my spirit that broke me and built me all the same.  It wasn’t an altogether bad place to be.  I began to be thankful for things I never knew I was thankful for.  Coming to the end of myself has a way of doing that.  So today, this Good Friday, I am reflecting on gratitude…

Image

See how Piper’s fingers rest on Emmy’s back and the gentle way she closes her eyes?  I’m grateful that the sun shown that day and my kids ran down the sidewalk. They ran.  Grateful.

Image

See that she has a sense of humor and took a selfie that made her giggle and me when I found it a day later?  I’m grateful that she laughs.  She laughs.  Grateful.

Image

See the way they lean in against Emmy?  The way they hold her so she doesn’t fall?  They love her well.  They love.  I’m grateful.  

That I can breathe them in. That there are 4 of them. That they color with sidewalk chalk, make up stories, play pranks, and they still hold my hand.  Grateful.  That Emmy is tiny and still tucks perfectly in my arms when I cradle her.  That her hair is thick and curly and looks perfect with a big bow.  That her smile beams and she holds my cheeks when we are nose to nose.  That it will take her some time to be able to walk because it makes me celebrate each step in the process.  Grateful.

That I am here, in this place where things may not come easy but there is hope that is big.  That my children and my mothering do not define me but they sure do bless me.

I’ve walked in ingratitude before and it began to crush me, the weight of it more than I could stand under.  Gratitude allows me to stand up.  It moves my beyond myself and the boundaries of my circumstances.

It frees me.

Image