But in these final days (my due date is Sept. 10 - please, Lord, let it be days and not weeks!) of waiting for Baby to arrive, I have the distinct feeling that I am being prompted to set my mind on the long list of things I have to be thankful for. Because that list is most certainly longer than the list of complaints that monopolize my attention.
... the time I have to spend with just Annike in these final days.
... my helpful husband who allows me to take long naps and does all of the bedtime duty with Annike (no short process these days.)
... a healthy pregnancy! No pre-eclampsia this time around!!
... the perfect sunshiney mid-70s weather we have been blessed with while most of the nation is suffering from flooding, hurricanes, or insufferable heat.
... a huge number of friends and family who care about us, pray for us, and are checking in on us, almost as excited as we are to meet this little one!
... a husband who eats pretty much anything I put on the table. If I don't put something on, then he finds food to put on the table.
... the motivation we had to finish the final wing of our house before Baby arrives.
... the moments of silence I catch during the day.
... my health, and the health of my loved ones. This is not said with any generic sense of just looking for something to be thankful for, but with sincere gratefulness. What a gift our physical and emotional health is.
It is easy to use pregnancy as a license to complain because, after all, everyone understands why I feel low on energy, and physically exhausted. I think we can all find a good excuse to be negative about our lives. A difficult job, a disease, a child with a strong personality, trouble with finances, irritating relationships that we are stuck in... they are all great reasons to feel sorry for ourselves. Everyone understands why we might want to complain about them.
But being thankful is not only for certain seasons in our life. It is an attitude we are called to practice. An attitude I have found really difficult for the past 9 months. So difficult, that I wonder where my real personality has disappeared to.
And in these final days of pregnancy, I am reminded that I need to finish well. Maybe I have allowed the many aches and pains along the way to control my thoughts, but it is not too late to finish well. No matter what crazy stage in life we are tossed into, each one of us has been given the power to set our minds on things above. The many gifts we have been freely given that not one of deserves.
Please join me in laying aside the river of reasons to complain, and jumping into the ocean of reasons to be grateful.
"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things... And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."