Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Having Gratitude

I'm a month behind in reading the Reader's Digest. This is one of the few "worldly" magazines that I can actually stand to read, mostly because in between all of the negative "we're all going to die of cancer because we eat too much junk food and the government is collapsing, etc." stuff, there are usually stories of hope and heroes.

In the September 2008 Reader's Digest, there's an article about the Herrin family of Salt Lake City, who, in 2002, gave birth to conjoined twins. Even after the medical community encouraged an abortion because of the possibility that the mother might die or that one or both of the twins wouldn't live beyond birth, this Latter-Day Saint couple prayed and fasted and decided to go forward with the pregnancy and birth. When the babies were born, they had a few medical problems, as conjoined twins obviously would, and it took several years before they were able to make the separation. When they finally did, they still had quite a few medical problems, but overall the surgery was a success and the girls are doing just fine.

I was literally sobbing as I read this article. It was very moving, and it brought to my mind a few of the issues I struggle with, one of which is gratitude.

Let's talk about gratitude. For some reason, just having gratitude about the things in your life can make you have a more positive outlook. After reading this article, I realized how much I have to be thankful for. While the Herrins had this experience that was probably faith-building and they are grateful for it, I am thankful that I didn't give birth to conjoined twins and have to sit through hours and hours waiting for the surgery of my precious children to be performed, all the while nervous of the outcome and wondering if I did the right thing, both by having them and by having the surgery done.

Just reading this article made me appreciate that my children are all healthy and have been since birth. I'm grateful that we aren't so steep in medical bills from something like this. I'm grateful that I had relatively easy pregnancies, compared to the one that this lady had to endure. The grass always seems to be greener, but really, when you take a good, hard look, you realize that even though other people seem to have it so much better, you really wouldn't want to have their little specialized package of trials at all. Then you really do become grateful for what you do have.


Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder if gratitude isn't underrated as a way to find happiness. It sure seems when I take time to search for what I am truly grateful for, I find great peace and joy in my own life, trials and all.

What a great message, thank you.

John said...

Sounds like it could have been a Thanksgiving post!


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