When we arrived I had vomit on my left sleeve and my husband had a vomit blanket draped over his shoulder shielding one of the girls. Neither of us had slept the night before and the girls felt heavier even though their little bodies weighed less than the days before.

I snapped at our youngest daughter who was proudly dragging my purse across the floor in her best attempt at helping us.

The waiting room was packed, half of them treating the ER like a family physician. Minor colds and scrapes irritated us for making our wait longer than it should have been.

My husband and I spent the next 30 minutes bouncing complaints off of each other.

We were in the best hospital our city has to offer and the doctor was actually making visits to the children in the waiting area trying to speed up the process. We had IV orders before we even got to the back room.

The room was so small and only had one bed. My husband laid on the bed with one of our daughters and I sat in the chair another. The third played quietly in the corner, afraid I might snap again.

It took an army of nurses to get IVs in both of our girls and our little room became even more packed than before.

I adjusted myself in the chair because my rear was becoming numb.

What was taking so long?
Why wasn’t our room ready?
Were they going to put all of us in the same room?
They better!
I’m hungry.

We made it up to our room and immediately began to sweat. Geez is it really going to be this hot in here.

After the girls turned down their chicken broth and jello dinner and my husband and I had taken turns sneaking out and eating burgers, we folded out our cheap chairs into make shift beds and tried to rest.

From the other side of the room I heard my husband say “Wow, I wish we had these sheets on our bed at home”. Obviously he was trying to be funny. I couldn’t laugh.

Once our girls finally fell asleep I did my best to rest. After several hours of tossing and turning I think I passed out.

At 4am I woke up to the swooshing and beeping noise of the two IV machines. I sat up and saw my husband with his earphones in watching a movie on his laptop.

He refused to sleep. He sat up all night just in case one of the girls needed him.

As I was staring at him, oblivious that I was awake, and I suddenly heard it. A voice. Not my own.

“You should be giving thanks instead of complaining. Be grateful for what you are looking at”.

It hit me that I had been extremely ungrateful in the past 24 hours.

I have a husband who adores his little girls and would sacrifice anything to assure their safety and comfort. He is the head of our household and leads us with a heart that is focused on God. Our lives had not always been like this and I needed to give thanks for where God has brought us. I have a partner, an extra hand, a lover, a best friend and someone to help with the struggles and blessings that come with being parents.

I was staring right at him, sitting up in an uncomfortable bed, listening to his movie through earphones and making sure that all of his girls were safe.

Thank you God.

I took a look around the room. It had cooled off since we first got there, partly because the sun had gone down and partly because the room had its own air conditioner that I had cranked way down. We had our own bathroom and enough space for all of our junk.

Thank you God.

My husband and I had joked, well complained, about the money that was being fed into our girls bodies. Sounds like a real jerk of a thing to say but hospital stays are expensive and they charge you for everything. My husband grabbed a pair of socks wrapped in plastic and started to open them until I yelled at him not to. I can only imagine how expensive they were, or rather are. Yes, he opened them.

My girls had countless bags of IV fluids and more medicine then I care to think about. Each one had their own nurse and the lab techs came in twice a day for a blood sample. Our bill kept getting higher and higher and my stomach felt like it might have caught the bug. Turns out it was just the stress.

I have amazing insurance through my job that allowed us to get out of there without giving up one of our daughters as collateral.

Without experience in my field of work I would have never landed the job that I have and without the job we wouldn’t have this great insurance.

Thank you God.

We will get to go home and only lose a few days to this sickness. Other families are not as fortunate and have made residence right here on this very floor of the Children’s Hospital.

Thank you God.

How many things are we taking for granted each day?
How often do we let small inconveniences overshadow our blessings.
How do we get so caught up in ourselves that we forget to see the gifts all around us.

God tells us to give thanks at all times. To find the blessings in every circumstance.

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In everything?

Yes, in everything there is a blessing. In everything there is a gift. In everything there is God.

No matter what you are facing today stop to look for the good, the blessing, the gift.

It’s there.

It might be a full tank of gas or a full plate of food.
A job or a school.
A child or a parent.
A husband or a wife.
A clean bill of health or an insurance policy.
A comfortable bed or an office chair.
A fireplace or an air-conditioner.

Look for the blessings today. Count them if you want to .

When you see them. When you count them. When you recognize them. When you appreciate them.

Give thanks.

Thank you God.

Let’s pray

Loving Father thank you for the gifts that you pour out on us daily. We don’t deserve most of them but your love for us is much like the love of my husbands for our little girls, it is abundant and you will sacrifice anything to assure that we are delivered. Help us to see the blessings in everything today and remind us that no matter what we face, it is your will. In Jesus name, amen.

My girls begged to go home the entire stay at the hospital. When the nurse came in to take out their IVs so that they could go home she asked Justin if she wanted to go home. Justin told her “No, I’m starting to like it here”. I think the royal treatment of food in bed, being carried to the bathroom and constant pampering got to her

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