Gratitude

 

pexels-photo-709907.jpeg

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Gratitude can be hard. Amiright? Like, when life is aallllll good and easy breezy, finding things to be grateful for is easy. “I’m grateful my kids were all perfect little angels today. I’m grateful for my awesome job promotion. I’m grateful for the outstanding health of my family. I’m grateful my whole entire house is perfectly, spotlessly clean. etc. etc. etc.” But what about in the storms? What about when the sun isn’t all bright and shiny. What about when those strong winds blow, and I mean hard, against your house? What then? How can we be grateful when our wombs that we so desperately want filled are still empty? How can we be grateful when that baby we so longed for left us too soon? How can we be grateful when we are so sick we can barely stand? What then? How can we be grateful?

Friends. I’m about to tell you a really hard, maybe painful, truth, but please know that I am speaking it in love. This is in no way a smack on the hand, or an invitation to “be more holy,” but rather a loving nudge to find a way to breathe when you feel like you’re suffocating. Gratitude is a choice. Always a choice. Ever a choice. Gratitude. The definition of gratitude is: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The quality of being thankful. Readiness to show appreciation. This is hard stuff, right? Dear one, I feel you. I know. There have been days when I have strived to be grateful. Days when it felt like being grateful was simply not possible. In fact, I once got a mug for a friend who had recently lost a baby that said something along the lines of, “Thank you, Lord.” I told her it was so she could try to remember the things that she was thankful for, but that she also had permission to throw that mug against the wall and smash it into a million pieces, if that felt better. It can be that hard. Most of us have been there at one point or another. And that’s ok.¬†

It’s totally ok to be at a point in your life where you are struggling to feel grateful. Because it’s in those moments when you find the things to be the most grateful for.¬†Sometimes when we’re put between a rock and a hard place, amazing things happen. God opens our eyes to see what’s truly in front of us.

Are you at a place where you’re struggling to be grateful? Can I help you take that very first step in the choice to be grateful? Find one thing. Just one. One tiny little thing to be grateful for. And then speak it. Did you load one dirty dish into your dishwasher today? Praise Jesus! Grateful. Were you able to pour yourself a glass of clean water to quench your thirst. Incredible! Grateful. Were both of your socks hole free when you pulled them onto your feet this morning. Nothing like it! Grateful. It doesn’t matter how small or inconspicuous it may seem, you will be able to find something to be grateful for. Did you have a tissue to blow your nose while you were crying today. Thank you Lord! Grateful. Your phone was fully charged and ready to go when you woke up. Can I get an Amen? Grateful. Somebody posted a funny gif when you looked at that fully charged phone. Yes, please! Grateful. Start small. Work your way up. You’ll get there. I promise. Just give it time. If you need help thinking of something to be grateful for, phone a friend and ask them! I’m sure they would be more than happy to help you out.

And friend, just because you’re grateful, doesn’t mean that you have to be ok. It doesn’t mean that all the darkness has gone away. It just means that you’ve taken a tiny little pin and started to poke holes in it to let the light shine through. That’s all. It means you’re taking a first, tiny little step into letting your heart heal, whatever that may look like.

In this season where gratitude takes center stage, even if every thing in your life seems to be going wrong, or simply not according to plan, know that you can also take part in this whole gratitude thing. The choice is up to you. And it’s a choice you won’t ever regret. Honestly. Grateful for all of you. Grateful you’re tagging along for my journey. Each and every single day. Thank you.

Our Twin Story: Continued

15194561_10155446370918222_4785613455856744085_o

My oldest daughter, Lane drew this picture for us after we lost the twins. She said it was to help remember them. Her sweet heart never ceases to amaze me. We are so blessed.

Phew! Last week. Man, last week’s post was…it was really just so hard. I literally cried through the whole thing. And then I went upstairs and cried some more. And then I stopped. And then cried again some more. And then stopped…I think you get the picture. This was on and off again for most of the rest of the night. Then I felt it for the next few days. I usually read and re-read and then re-read my posts before publishing them. But I couldn’t do that with last week’s. I was too empty by the end of it. I had used up too much of myself to worry about if anything flowed or made any sense. Some of it doesn’t, by the way. There’s a lot of disjointed things in there. I thought about going back and editing it. But then that’s not real. There’s so much real, raw emotion in that post that I simply cannot fabricate. I know so many of you feel that real, raw pain in your lives. I think I would be shortchanging somebody if I went back and “fixed” it. And so, disjointed and imperfect I’ll leave it. Parts of it may make me crazy, but I honestly think it’s for the best.

I’ve received such an outpouring of love and support since last week. I just want to say thanks to you all for that. I honestly couldn’t walk this road without the people we have surrounding us. God has been so good to us. He has provided such amazing friends and relationships. Thank the Lord we serve such a kind and loving God!

But anyway, back to last week’s post. I could barely even finish it. It jolted my soul for sure. Not in a bad way, but definitely in a hurting kind of way. But also in a healing kind of way. I’ve had brief moments of grief come up out of nowhere this week. Things that I haven’t dealt with all the way yet. I think last week’s post sort of opened up the floodgates for that to happen. I’m certainly glad for that, but it has made for some real, hard moments. Moments in the kitchen where I’m getting some tea after the kids are in bed and I have a memory literally out of nowhere, and start to cry. It’s not like me, but I think it’s really good for me. I’ve only made it so far on this road to healing. I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. In some ways, I know I will never heal fully, but I am so glad that the Lord is not done with me yet.

Friends, I miss my babies. I miss them every single day. There is never a day that goes by where I don’t think of them. Sometimes it’s hard for me to grasp that I have s-e-v-e-n babies. Seven. That’s a lot of babies. I often wonder what our lives would look like if all seven of them were here. I’m overwhelmingly grateful for my four babies that are earth-side, but I can’t ever help but wonder about all the what-ifs.

That being said, I never let myself wonder long about those what-ifs. That isn’t useful for me. Instead I try to redirect myself to the here and now. How can I use their short little lives to make an impact? How can I use what pain I’ve experienced and turn it into something beautiful? I have to remind myself over and over again that God has a purpose for their lives. There was a reason that they were created. Honestly, and I really hope that I’m not offending anybody when I say this: honestly, sometimes I get really, really angry that I got pregnant with those sweet babies at all. I hate admitting that. I am grateful, only in a different sort of a way. See, it would have been much easier to not have ever been pregnant with them than to have been pregnant with them and lose them the way I did. And so, I have to remind myself that I did get pregnant with them. And there is a reason for that. I carried them in my belly for so long for a purpose. It is not all for naught. There’s a distinctly difficult beauty about that truth. And I’m sitting here still trying to figure out what that is all about. I’m still trying to fight and struggle through it.

So welcome! You get to be my audience through this process. Hopefully I can shed some light for some of you. Hopefully I can let you know that you are not alone. Hopefully I can inspire you to share your own stories. Whether they be baby loss, infertility, or something else entirely. I know I sound like a broken record here, but we cannot do this thing called life alone. We just can’t! We were not created for that. We were created for relationships. We were created to bear one another’s burdens. To rejoice with one another and to weep with one another. I’ve had to learn to live in that kind of a way. It doesn’t always come naturally to me. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable. It certainly felt uncomfortable last week. I kid you not, last week was one of the most vulnerable moments of my life. Maybe that didn’t come across the screen, but, boy oh boy, I sure did feel it sitting here at my desk. I felt it hard. Last week wrecked me. And yet, last week brought me healing that I have long been waiting for.

This journey is long and hard. It’s exhausting. But there are parts of it that are simply inexplicably beautiful. There are things that make it all “worth it.” Thank you so much for sharing in my journey. Thank you for seeing me, and for hearing me. Thank you for not letting me walk alone. I pray mightily that I can do the same for you.