The discipline of using this hymn to outline my gratitude for the month of November has reached challenging heights. Sitting up in the night with a child in a children's hospital 200 miles from home is always an exercise in maintaining a stiff upper lip. One of the nurses just asked me if I'm okay - what am I supposed to say to that?
The truth of the matter is, though, that I am better here that at home. Here, at least, the responsibility of dealing with Babygirl's pain is no longer mine. Despite the fact that she had pretty bad chest pain from her medications during the night necessitating repetitive cardiac evaluations; despite a one AM I-wanna-go-home crying jag that left us both exhausted, we BOTH slept better last night than we did the night before.
So where do the perfect gifts lie?
Well. There is Babygirl herself, who despite her exhaustion and pain remains polite and focused with the staff, which is more than I can sometimes say for myself. There are family and friends who step up and offer whatever help they can, surrounding us with prayer and love. There is my job, where people step up without complaint and pick up the slack yet again, dealing with disgruntled folks who are tired of being shuffled around like a deck of cards to accommodate the weirdness that is my life.
Just because I am weary and sad doesn't mean I'm not grateful. Making gratitude a discipline helps pull me out of myself and back into the larger world.