One of my cousins just bought me Stephanie Nielson's new book because he knows I like her blog. It sounded interesting. I knew I would like it because I like her blog. But I wasn't sure if it would really be anything new because I do read her blog...
But wow...I couldn't put it down. I was totally captivated. It was even better since I already knew what was going to happen. I was in tears as she leaves to get on the plane that I already know crashed. Actually, I cried through a lot of it. But not because it was sad or depressing. I felt like I was reliving the whole story with her. The loss, the recovery, everything. And I was glued to it until I finished.
She said she wrote this story to give people hope and that's exactly what it did for me. One of my biggest challenges is losing hope. I've been really stressed about money lately (among other things). I'm always stressed about money, but it's more the BIG picture that was making me feel hopeless. Yes we get by paycheck to paycheck now...but we really need a house. I have 3 boys in a 2 bedroom townhouse and it is just too small. We can't sell it in this economy, and we can't afford to rent it for less than our payment because then we would owe rent somewhere else, plus a little extra here. And what if we couldn't find renters? What if something major broke and we had to fix it because we still own it? Nate's job will never make more money that it does now and so we have no hope of ever moving forward in life...
See, it's hopeless.
In a moment of pure frustration, I asked Nate, "so what are we supposed to do? Never have another baby and squeeze by the rest of our lives in our little townhouse?"
He replied in frustration, "I guess so."
Then I cried all night. "I guess so." So it really is hopeless. Nothing will ever change.
Since I couldn't sleep anyway, I started to read. I love to read because it gives me just enough of an escape to calm down and just enough of a distraction to remember that the world is not actually coming down.
By the time I set the book down, I was embarrassed for ever making such a huge deal of my challenges. Stephanie mentions in her book that she never thought to be grateful for being able to go to the bathroom on her own until she was in the hospital and couldn't. I started thinking about all of the things that are so easy and so ordinary that it would never occur to me to be grateful for them. She was wondered if she had ever fully appreciated having a healthy body. I had to wonder too, have I?
I know that I appreciate my children. I am so grateful to have them. SO So so grateful.
I'm grateful for my minivan :) It was really hard squeezing 3 kids into a small car and every time I open the doors to my van, I am grateful.
I'm grateful for my washing machine and dryer. When I lived in Brasil, I had to do all of my laundry in a bucket and then hang dry it. Usually it rained before it was dry and then I had to wash it again...in the bucket.
The more I read her book, the more I felt her hope. If she could do what she did...I'm sure that I can do what I have to do. She talks about how she kept hoping for a miracle and something that would make it better. But, things always happen slowly and little by little. And yet it was a miracle that she even survived, and miracle that she even walked. And now, she just had another baby. She kept hoping and kept working and miracles happened.
It reminded me to hope that things will happen one day for us.
And in the mean time, to remember to be grateful for the things that I do have.
If you get a chance, read her book. I loved it!