As well as blogging I have been trying to keep a little journal of thankfulness recently. Some days it is very easy to think of plenty to write and other days I have to really dig deep to see the good that has happened that day. But I can now look back at almost a month of written thoughts of thankfulness and I wanted to share some of the things I have been so grateful for and the little tiny seeds of progress that give me hope for a brighter future.
For those of you who haven’t read previous blogs or my history it will make more sense to you to know that I am a mother of 4 and a half year old twins conceived through IVF after a ten year struggle with infertility. Both twins are on the autistic spectrum and one of them is diagnosed severely autistic with global developmental delay, severe learning difficulties and neurofibromatosis type 1. He also has eye problems. Both are still in nappies and one is completely non verbal. During the last month we received difficult news regarding my son’s eye sight, my daughter has been referred for further tests regarding bladder issues and I have been struggling with my own health problems. We are also in a battle with the local authority regarding my sons future education. It is in the midst of all this that I want to share some of my notes on thankfulness. Because it is in the midst of trials that we most need to have hope and stay thankful.
So here are a few excerpts from my thankfulness diary from the last month:
I am thankful for the NHS and for people who choose to work unsociable hours to be able to treat myself and my children.
I am thankful for friends who call, text or e-mail and just say they are thinking of me.
I am thankful I can see my children smile.
I am thankful my son went 24 hours without biting himself today.
I am so thankful my son allowed us to measure his feet in a shoe shop for the first time ever without screaming. This is progress.
I am thankful for a husband who sees all my faults but still chooses to love me and be with me. And thankful that I have a God who is just the same.
I am thankful for the fact my son appears to have good vision out of one eye and has no sign of tumours on that eye either.
I am thankful for transport to be able to make appointments even when we have snow in Spring!
I am thankful to know what is affecting my children and causing them to behave the way they do. Understanding brings knowledge and helps me focus better on how to help them and pray for them.
I am thankful my son said ‘mum’ for the first time. He isn’t saying it consistently yet but it WILL come. Something like this gives me hope.
I am thankful I can hold my children at the start of every day and at the end of every day. Whatever happens in between I can still hold them close and kiss them and whisper “I love you” in their ears.
I am so thankful for my daughter who gets so excited over the little things that others overlook. Her thrill at getting a new dvd makes me thankful for her simplicity and gratitude and love.
I am thankful I got to use the bathroom in peace on one occasion today.
I am thankful for people who have walked similar paths before me and who are willing to guide and help me through challenging times.
I am thankful today for a warm comfortable house, a bed to sleep on and food in my cupboards.
I am thankful for a God who hears my cries and knows my inmost thoughts.
I think being thankful this last month has really helped me cope when things have become challenging at times. On the days when my son screamed for hours, bit himself until he bled and slept for only a few hours. On the days when doctors reports seemed bleak and the children ate very little other than chocolate. On the days when the snow kept falling, the bills kept coming and the pressure seemed immense. On all those days I tried to be thankful. And I then found myself finding a shred of positivity, a glimmer of light and a ray of hope that allowed me to face another day and look at life a little differently. Even if all I could write was:
I’m thankful that tomorrow is a new day!