Sunday, April 3, 2011

Count Your Blessings

In high school, I spent my Wednesday afternoons volunteering with my friend Sallye at Angels for the Elderly, an assisted living home in Montgomery. Sallye is a gifted pianist and played hymns for the residents while I visited, played cards, and sang along. Each week, she asked for requests and each week, she played the same classic hymns from the Baptist Hymnal. For some reason tonight, one of their favorites, Count Your Blessings, is running through my head. 

Count your blessings. Count them one by one.

As I sing the chorus over and over in my head, I can't help but think of all the blessings in my life. 

I am awake because my little girl is asleep on my chest and I can't bare to move her. Her tiny body is scrunched into a little ball, her head rests upon my chest, her right arm lies limp on my arm. Her body trembles with each breath, her tiny lips pursed as if she were deep in thought. I could easily move her to her cradle beside me and finally close my eyes after such a long, eventful day... but I don't. Instead, I drink it in and know that moments like these are what motherhood is all about. I know that she won't be this small forever and that I will long for these days when she is too big or too old or just to wiggly to contain.

As Catherine's original due date passed by last Friday, I couldn't help but think back to her birthday and remember what a scary, exciting, and wonderful day it was. I began that day alone and terrified and ended it with a healthy newborn daughter and a family of three. More often than not, things do not go as planned and my one month and two days old daughter on my 40th week of gestation proves it. What a blessing it is that I had friends and a talented medical team to make an otherwise terrifying experience, a celebration.

40 weeks "pregnant"
In the past five weeks, we have welcomed countless friends and family into our home, showering us with gifts, providing food when we were too tired to shop for groceries, let alone cook something, and loving our child boundlessly. Even before we could come home, our hospital room overflowed with visitors. I am humbled by our support system and elated that Catherine is already surrounded by such a large safety net of love. 

When I sit back and examine my life, I find nothing but happiness. I'm not sure what we have done to deserve such greatness. But, tonight, I attempt to count my blessings, and realize that I simply cannot count that high...

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