Tuesday, 8 September 2015

:: a grateful heart ::

A wise friend once said to me that giving thanks is a powerful weapon in trying times. In the seasons of life that threaten to overwhelm us, to stop, notice and whisper a thankful prayer really does make a difference. We're in the middle of one of those seasons. Some days I don't know how I can do it, because I simply can't do everything on my own. There have been moments when I stop and look at the overall situation and wish that our story could have been just a bit different. Less complications, less stress, less tiredness, less confusion, less separation, less isolation, less unknowns. The unknowns make it seem like we're feeling our way along the path in the dark, not sure where we might end up. But, you know...if I change my perspective and take a little closer notice, the beauty is right there in the midst of everything. And there is always, always, something - many things - to be grateful for. As hard as it often is, choosing to have a grateful perspective lifts ours eyes and lifts our souls to remember that we are held, we are sustained, provided for and loved in every moment. And that we really are!

I am so thankful that we found the right person to come and spend several hours a day helping me out at home. Life is extremely busy with four pre-schoolers. One of whom loves heights and adventures of which his two year-old brain can't quite predict the consequences (or realise that there are consequences!), and one who needs our close attention at every moment. We found a friend who, at the same time, was discouraged in her work and was wondering how she could help us. So the both of us look forward to each day, grateful for each other's company. Jesus knows us so well to orchestrate things in this way. We are also so thankful to have governmental financial assistance and for friends who have been giving generously to add to that so we can pay her fairly.

I am thankful for our little team of people in this home. Our older three, who have gone through months of either waking up and finding mummy had unexpectedly disappeared off to hospital in the night, or had to share my limited time and attention as I spent hours a day at the hospital, could have understandably resented their little sister, but they haven't. They have wholeheartedly embraced her into our family and adore her. I have a feeling that her big brother will remain her keeper for many years...he may also have to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day with papa! He loves her so sweetly and gently I have no doubts they will be fast friends. Her sisters, too, love to touch her, talk with her, read to her, sing to her and help get anything she needs. They are strong, tender, and remarkable, and I am so grateful for each of them.

I am thankful for Eti, who is a wonderful support. We both have our hard days when we feel overwhelmed and exhausted by the endlessness of these early days, but normally when one is sinking, the other has the strength to grab a hold and pull, offering a better perspective. He is quietly servant-hearted, and generously loving in providing what we need and doing what few fathers can do or do, by doing the middle-of-the-night feeds. At least being fully nasogastric tube fed means that it doesn't just have to be mummy doing the feeds :o)

I am thankful for so many of you, our family and friends, many of whom live far away, who hold us in prayer and encourage us often. It means a lot to know we don't walk alone. Your hope joins with ours and your love for us is so generous. Thank you!

Last but not at all least, I'm thankful for the central character in this season's story -  our littlest love Eléa Agnès Joy. Her name means 'bright, shining light; peaceful, and joyful one'...and that is who she is. She is full of courage with the struggles she has gone through and still sometimes endures. As she grows and strengthens we have hope that these struggles will fade, but they do still occur from time to time. It's tough to see the panic on your baby's face as she tries to find breath that doesn't come until we manage to help her clear her airways. She is peaceful, though fiesty, sweet with such inner strength, and completely beautiful. Maybe it's her generous head of hair, or maybe it's her experience so far in her short life that fills her eyes with a depth of wisdom. We can't help but agree with Théo's adoration of her and feel so grateful to our Father in heaven for giving us the precious gift of her life. So thankful for every part of her...especially those ever-increasing sparkley eyed smiles :o)

These places in which such goodness dwells, which are all around us, help us find purpose and love in this narrative that is ours. It's easy to resent our story and wish it looked more like someone elses. I guess we always prefer the thought of a journey that is smooth, easy, fun and without fear, pain, or struggles. That is what we long for and what we look forward to one day, though in this life-time the shadows and darkness do exist. But that doesn't mean that lamps of gratitude can't be lit to show the beauty that exists all around us, if we just take notice. It's not easy. Some days I don't have the energy or the will to look up, but today I do...and I write to remember my gratefulness.


  1. What a wonderful love and gratitude filled post. Beautiful. I am glad that you are finding the light and finding the joy. My thoughts and prayers are with you all often and I hope that every day is a tiny bit "easier". Lots of love xx

  2. Beautiful, inspiring and challenging words Remaliah. You guys are totally doing the tough road right now and my prayer for you is Grace, all the grace and some extras spilling over the edges. What a sweet and beautiful clan you have and what stories of life and life-giving will be yours to tell and re-tell over the years. You are precious and you are wonderful. xxx

  3. I'm following you each step of the way and covering you in prayer. You are doing so well and even when it's tough going what a privilege it is to have your faith and His strength to fall on. Beautiful mama you are wise and kind and your children are very blessed to have you xx

  4. Such beautiful words. You are just what your family needs, as you are xox