Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle

 Today would have marked the start of a 3 month count down to baby Reyna. That count down has long disappeared, except privately in my heart and mind of course. Because, this is what you think about when you miscarry. At least I do. The love for that sweet child doesn't go away. 18, 20, 28 weeks, would be getting the nursery ready, etc... These are all thoughts that run through my mind. Yes, time helps, but sadness lingers. Finally erasing all of my old OB appointments from the calendar and deleting those oh-so-informative pregnancy apps helped. Though it was hard to do so, I imagine it somewhat similar to cleaning out the closet of a lost loved one- though I know that is far worse. Difficult, but so necessary, and a healing step to moving on. 

Distractions are good. Family visitors, vacations, filling time with work or outings. Isn't that what we do? We fill and fill our time. We try to forget. We try to ignore. We "fake it" till we make it. Because time moves onward. More time and more disappointment. For a while, distractions work. Then I'm left with the aching depths of my soul, the cries of my heart, and a Heavenly Father holding me close hearing every thought and lovingly responding, 'All is okay my daughter. I will give you patience, I will give you peace, I will give you stillness of heart. Trust in me. Lay your burdens and heavy heart on me.'

I am currently reading a book called, One Thousand Gifts.  Besides making me quite tearful (of course while on an airplane), this book has been challenging me to be thankful. "Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle" (Ann Voskamp).  Hours before Jesus died on the cross, what did he do? He gave Thanks to God. What?!?  He knew what was to come, the cruel death, the pain. And he still gave thanks. Yes, he most certainly did. He gave us this example in the worst of circumstances to pause and give thanks. He models giving thanks before taking the bread and wine, before eating each meal. He models this recurring time of re-focussing on God. The reoccurring re-centuring of the mind and heart. Thankfulness for the smallest of things. The tiniest of moments. It changes the way I look at the world. It changes the way I view my day to day. It slowly changes my heart and my often glass-half-empty mindset. 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:18

Like the author of this book (Anne Voskamp), I have started making mental note of little thanks. Little gifts throughout the day. Little bits of grace. Go ahead, try it. The season for thankfulness is nearly upon us, right? Seems a fitting time to start working this into my day to day.

1. The bright golden sun turned burnt orange during my flight home.
2. The kind, just-because-I'm-thinking-about-you text from a sweet friend.
3. The sparkle of my engagement and wedding rings.
4. The refreshing sound of ice clinking in my white mocha.
5. The warmth of socks on my feet.
7. Walking hand in hand with my love, swinging our arms to the beat of the waves crashing beneath our feet.
8. City and Colour Pandora station- love.
9. Companionship of like-minded & like-hearted friends.
10. Forehead kisses and I love you's before bed.
11. Sand stuck between my toes.
12. Sun-born freckles on my face.
13. The little 'G' that circles my neck and wrist that makes me smile.
14. Daily picture texts of my darling nephew.
15. Silly hashtag-filled texts from my dad.

No thanks is too small. None.
I have much to be thankful for. So very much.

As fall encroaches upon us, I am filled with feelings of restoration. The crisp air offers hope. The changing leaves mark a new season's story that I pray will be filled with more joy and more thankfulness.

PS- You should read this book. Especially if you are holding on to a hurt, bitterness, sadness...