"Mommy! I frow up!"
Those were the words that jerked me out of the depths of my blissful night's sleep at 2:30 this morning. If you know me at all, you should know that vomit is not my forte. I'm a sympathetic vomiter if ever there was one. The sights, sounds, and smells all launch my stomach into a rollercoaster ride of nausea. I am not the parent to come to with vomit, yet here was my little blessing.
I promptly got out of my bed after waking up my husband and we got to cleaning. I started a load of laundry and it didn't take long before we were both snuggled back in our bed. By four (after being unable to fall back to sleep), I just decided to get up, get started on the cleaning and keep the laundry going.
What surprised me the most about all of this was how unaffected my heart and mind were by this whole situation. Usually, I'd be crying saying, "I can't survive the day when it starts at 2:30 in the morning!" Or I'd focus on the fact that I get to deal with vomit all day. This morning was the complete opposite, instead of stressed or simply lacking the desire to take on the day, I found myself so thankful. Genuinely thankful!
I was thankful for having done all of our laundry yesterday, so today's laundry is simply cleaning up my boy's messes. I was thankful for the quietness of the morning as my other family members worked hard to try and fall back to sleep. I was thankful for a few moments of peace as I cleaned the bathroom, folded laundry, and contemplated the day. I was thankful that while my son was throwing up, he wasn't throwing up constantly, a minimum of two hours between episodes was a complete blessing! This blessing allowed him to get as much rest as he could without being totally awake all morning long. I was really thankful for the candles I just bought a few days ago as they mask any unappetizing smells from the sickness which allows me to better care for my boy.
Even in our rough moments, there are still many reasons to be thankful. We can be thankful for timing. We can be thankful for the position we find ourselves in. We can be thankful for the helpers around us. We can be thankful that despite the chaos that comes with sickness, we all felt at complete peace.
The biggest thing that caused my heart to be thankful was simply being glad at being useful. I recently watched an episode of MASH (my favorite TV show of all time) where the chaplain was rejoicing at being one of the very few in the whole camp who hadn't come down with food poisoning. While other people griped and complained, he was joyously singing along and rejoicing in the fact that he could be useful.
That's something that as a mom, I can really take for granted. I can take for granted that God has perfectly positioned me to be the caregiver for my family. It wasn't too long ago that I was aching and longing to have such a position in a family. I longed for the day where I would have a family of my own to take care of. This morning, I keep this question in the forefront of my mind: How can I make my loved ones FEEL taken care of?
Focusing on helping my loved ones feel taken care of has caused my mind to shift off of the unpleasantness of the situation and onto the real blessing that this day truly is. We underestimate the power of caring for our loved ones because as a great attitude (brought on by gratitude) impacts the climate of my home, it also allows my loved ones to impact my heart with their own attitude of gratitude. The circle of gratitude continues as we find ourselves genuinely thankful for each other and for this day!
So what about you? What are you thankful for today?