It is so true that you do not appreciate what you have until it is taken away. This morning I became very aware of every detail of my actions. I was able to get up without my ribs hurting. I was able to smile and give a little joke to my husband. I went downstairs, willingly, and started the coffee. I gladly welcomed my children waking up, got them some cheerios, and placed them in front of a Christmas Veggie Tales movie. I walked back upstairs, lit a sweet smelling candle – that I could smell – and poured that cup of coffee. I took my first sips…no, they weren’t the delight I was seeking, but my taste buds have been under a bit of Day/Ny-Quil stress as of late. I sat down with my Bible and read. Then read my devotion book. I could read without a pounding headache behind my eyes! I began doing laundry, dishes, and vacuuming – and it was truly worship! (Believe me, after the restless week I’ve had, that was a true SABBATH REST for me!) I greeted my daughter with a smile and a big hug! I got her breakfast! I fed her breakfast! We put on actual clothes…all of us! I turned on the Steven Curtis Chapman Christmas album and had an extended worship time – though I greatly missed being led by my husband this morning! I cleaned bathrooms! (Trust me; very much needed!) I had lunch at the table with my children! I sat and rocked Hannah while reading Little Women with her before her nap time. I sat and read my birthday book. I got my kids snacks. We all ate supper together at the table and it wasn’t soup! Nathan made a fire tonight. We are drinking hot tea together (him: football, me: this). I petted both of my dogs today. I did a lot of breathing today…still a lot of blowing, too…and that ever annoying coughing…but they didn’t stop me from living! Without a doubt I know that I lived in worship today. Every action was an act of thankfulness for these gifts, skills, opportunities, and responsibilities that I’ve been given.
I had a lot of grog and grumbles going through my mind these past few days that seemed like one big blur. A whole week taken away from us! Thoughts like “Great, this is going to be the start of a great (sarcasm) Christmas season!” and “I’ve got so much still to live for!” (even that one made me laugh on the inside yesterday). But “Blessed be Your Name when I’m found in the dessert place…” Without the loss, I don’t think I would have found the gain.

“Christmas presents are nice when they’re new. Yet some of the best gifts are those that were once lost – and are now rediscovered…” ~Thomas Kinkade

Thank you Father, for giving me so many gifts, some I haven’t even mentioned here. Thank you, that even though we haven’t been able to do any of the Advent activities I had hoped for, you “lit the candles” for us by giving us these days to lie in your arms, heal, and live. Thank you for helping me to unwrap, once more, all the gifts you’ve given me. Help me in the days and weeks ahead to not forget them. I love you! My Heart WILL CHOOSE to say, Blessed Be Your Name!