today, I am grateful.

I'm grateful that I get to change Jude's poopy diaper. Again. And again.

I'm grateful that I didn't get to rest this afternoon because he took a short nap. I heard his happy baby sounds only 45 minutes after I put him down, not after an hour and a half, like usual.

I'm grateful that I have a big hamper full of dirty baby clothes and spit-up stained cloths to lug down 4 flights of stairs to the wash.

I'm grateful for his new-found skill of rocking back and forth on all fours, his face beaming up at me like he has just climbed a mountain, because for him, he has.

I'm grateful that he can see with his blue eyes, hear with his perfectly flat little ears, move his chubby little baby arms and legs, and can make noise (oh the noise!) with his fat little lips.

I don't want to take these "common mercies" for granted. I know that laundry and poopy diapers and crying babies aren't the most thrilling things, and they are definitely not the first things that come to mind when I "count my blessings". But there are some mothers who long for these things and do not have them... like my friend Jane whose firstborn has Cerebral Palsy and will never walk... or my friend Sarah who delivered her firstborn at 20 weeks, feeling his tiny kicks all through her agonizingly early labor until moments before his stillbirth... or my friends Molly, Amanda, and Shae whose babies died inside them just weeks before they were to be born, wiggly and squealing, into happy, welcoming arms.

I want my eyes to be opened to see the beauty of the mundane, and my heart to be made alive to the mercy of God that is mine with every new breath I take. I don't want to take any of the moments I have *right now* for granted, no matter where I am on my journey. My friend Leslie reminds me of this; she lost her son when he was 19. My friend Holly reminds me of this; she lost her only brother last year when he was 16. Life is a gift.

More often than not, I forget this. Without realizing it I start to live with the assumption that I deserve my life, and it should be happy, easy, and "normal", and then I slip into the thinking that I'm owed a happy, pain-free life. I want to keep the thought before me that each new morning is a gift I don't deserve, made possible by the hand of God, and I want to use it to live out my praise and thanks to the Giver of life. He *sustains*. And that is what I am grateful for today.

And now, I need to go change a poopy diaper.