As I sit here this morning, propped up in bed, drinking a cup of coffee, my heart is just completely overwhelmed with gratitude. Just a few days ago I had surgery, a hysterectomy. I have so much to be grateful for along the journey that got me to where I am sitting right now. Hearing my doctor tell me “you need a hysterectomy” was not music to my ears but it was a solution to the chronic symptoms I was living with. And for that I was grateful.

So, this past Sunday I tidied up the house and took care of chores and set up an auto responder on my work email and prepared myself to be down for a bit. I packed my hospital bag much like I had done 13 years ago when my son was born. I didn’t sleep a wink that night (and neither did my husband). I don’t tend to be a worrier but sometimes you just can’t help it. This was a routine surgery but we always hear about some horror stories and they can consume your thoughts. When the 4:00 am alarm went off, we were already wide awake, and exhausted. My husband, son, and I left the house before 5:00 for my 5:45 check in time. After check in we all went down to pre-op and that is where we said our goodbyes. My husband and son both hugged me big and there were lots of “I love you.” As I went to walk around the corner, I looked back and my husband was just standing in the hallway watching me walk away. His facial expression said more to me than a 1,000 pages ever could. The love and concern radiated from him and it brought tears to my eyes. I sat down on my bed in pre-op and just began praying for God to wrap his arms around my surgeon and keep me safe. God instantly wrapped his arms around me because I felt an immediate sense of relief. I was calm and I was no longer worried. I was so grateful for my loving husband, my faith, and my God.

The nurses began to put my IVs in and they were all so wonderful. Kind, comforting, cheerful. One of my dearest friends is also a nurse at this hospital and she came in to check on me as well. My surgery had not begun but I was being so well taken care of and I was grateful to all these women. My anesthesiologist came in and explained everything he would do once I was in the OR and my surgeon came by and went over everything as well. Everyone wanted me to be confident and comfortable. Once they took me into the OR, I was quickly asleep and don’t remember a thing until I was being woken up. My same nurse from pre-op was right there by my side. After I was fully awake, I was taken to a recovery room. As I entered the room, there was my loving husband and again his facial expression said everything to me. This time it was an expression of pure joy and relief and love. He came to my bedside, held my hand, gave me a kiss. No words needed. We were both so grateful the surgery was a success.

I spent the day still on IV’s with my vitals being monitored. My dear friend checked on me constantly, in addition to my great nurses. Late that afternoon, the anesthesiologist came by and he said all looked good and was pleased that I wasn’t having problems with nausea and didn’t need any more drugs. My surgeon came by after that and said everything had gone well. He showed me a picture of the biggest fibroid tumor and said “you are going to feel much better once you recover.” My vitals were all good and he told me I could go home that evening if I wanted to. I was going to get to sleep in my own bed!

We got home a little after 8:00 that night and I was exhausted. My sister had come over and cooked a pot of spaghetti for us and my boys ate and my son did his homework and I went off to bed. I slept pretty well that night and the next morning my husband got up early and took care of the dogs, packed the lunch box, did school drop off, and came home and brought me coffee in bed and just sat with me. We talked about how glad we were to have the surgery behind us and how grateful we were that the experience was the best that it possibly could have been. He has not allowed me to do anything all week. He has made me rest like I was instructed to do. (I am stubborn and I like to be doing stuff.) Dear friends have brought us meals and we have had a quiet week of me recuperating. My husband has lovingly taken care of me, waiting on me hand and foot, and I have truly just soaked in how grateful I am for this wonderful man God blessed me with.

This quiet time has allowed me to just do some reflecting on how much I (and all of us) have to be grateful for. I am so grateful for my husband and son and their constant love. I am so grateful for my wonderful sister, my dear friends (and their moms), fellow moms from school, and my list could go on and on. All of these people wrapped me in their love and concern. But I was also so grateful for my nurses, doctors, and hospital staff. These people made me feel like I was their only patient. I never felt like a number to them or just another procedure. And while we all complain about the healthcare in our country, we really have a lot to be grateful for. So many people around the world would never have access to the care I just received. Perspective is so important when we think about what we are grateful for and what we take for granted. Too often we focus on what is lacking rather than our blessings. The world tells us to focus on that and it is hard to drown out the constant messages of more, more, more. But if you just stop and pause, you will see the blessings in your life and you can focus on them and the gratitude in your heart will fill your soul. So, remember to be grateful in your prayers and begin each day with a grateful heart!

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18