Be thankful even on terrible days

About a month ago, Oct. 22 to be exact, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Just like Alexander in Judith Viorst?s children?s book, ?Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,? nothing worked in my favor. And while I didn?t wake up with gum in my hair and no one forced me to buy ugly shoes, I did contemplate moving to Australia.

The day ended with me fighting tears and a monstrous headache. To try to unwind, I opened my new copy of Real Simple magazine and came across an article about thankfulness.

Although not a new concept, the article suggested making a daily gratitude list. Even though I didn?t expect to have much of a list at the end of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I decided to try.

And much to my surprise, I listed 11 items, even on my worst day.

At the top of my list of gratitude, I am thankful for a beautiful, healthy daughter. Last November, my husband and I went in for a routine sonogram, only to be told that our baby had a choroid plexus cyst on her brain.

My obstetrician explained that in a small number of babies, the cysts are an indication of a severe genetic disorder called Trisomy 18.

Earlier in the pregnancy, my husband and I elected to forego the genetic blood screenings because we didn?t want to worry throughout the entire pregnancy?then a routine sonogram forced our hand.

I was stunned.

During the next 13 weeks, while we waited for our baby?s brain to further develop so we could have another sonogram, I spent much time in prayer. And I came alive with a peace that passes all understanding.

I began to know that everything would be OK. While my deepest desire was to give birth to a healthy baby, I felt that my husband and I would be blessed with grace and joy even if our daughter wasn?t ?healthy? in every sense of the word.

And then seven months ago, my husband and I welcomed a healthy baby girl, Gracelyn, into our family.

She is living proof that we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

And hope does not disappoint.

In addition, the following are excerpts from my gratitude list:

I am thankful for heated car seats.

I am thankful for naps with my daughter.

I am thankful for fuzzy slippers.

I am thankful for my hard-working husband who is dedicated to providing for his family.

I am thankful for baby babbles and squeals of delight.

I am thankful for Braum?s ice cream.

I am thankful for fall weather in Kansas.

I am thankful that I didn?t get lost on my way to visit my aunt at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, I?m thankful she came through two surgeries OK, and I?m thankful that I didn?t get mugged in the parking garage at the hospital.

I am thankful of the promise that God is near.

I am thankful for a genius of a husband who built a digital video recorder, making it possible to fast-forward through commercials.

I am thankful for family.

I am thankful for friends.

And I am grateful this Thanksgiving season that I have been reminded of all the blessings I have to count, even on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

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