November last year:
My little Anika has a very sensitive gag reflex. As a baby she would sometimes gag on her own bottle. When all the children got sick earlier this year with the rota virus she took the longest to get better as she just refused to eat or drink.
So, on this night I am nearing the number #95* and really looking for all the blessings because I'm really curious about counting to 1000 and what it will crack wide open in this heart of stone already turning soft.
Anika didn't eat her supper and is softly crying and complaining that her stomach isn't feeling well. I go and sit with her on the couch, trying to comfort, my husband and children run out the front door to go and do some garage management.
So I am sitting there, all alone, out of hearing range as Anika starts to vomit. Her little body spasms with each wave of nausea. I run out of clothing and blankets in reach to catch all the fluid. I can not call anyone or leave my little Anika to go get help. As more wet is running down the inside of my shirt, I dare to ask the Lord what on earth can I be thankful for in this moment? Where are the blessings now? My own stomach is making nauseous twists... I am alone and helpless and wet and stinking, and my child is crying and I can't do anything but comfort.
#953 Anika drinks a little bit of juice
Later, much later, with no sleep, I lie between two children taking turns to be sick, husband sleeping soundly in another room. I'm changing blankets and towels, rinsing face cloths, wishing I didn't give my family fishcakes and corn for supper...
All in between the blessings, the gifts, the obvious, is grace.
This is where I'm finding grace.
Between #952 and #953 and #954 is grace.
All is grace.
The blessings are the obvious. Grace is in between. And for everything and in everything I need to give thanks.
And I find joy.
Between #952 and #953 and #954 there is strength, there is provision, there is healing, there is ever growing patience, there is love, there is touch, there is the here and the now, grace, life, breath.
And more grace.
Everything is grace.
Over six months it has taken me to find grace.