Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared. Gratitude releases us from the bonds of obligation and prepares us to offer ourselves freely and fully for the work of the Kingdom. When we approach fund-raising with a spirit of gratitude, we do so knowing that God has already given us what we most need for life in abundance. Henri Nouwen, The Spirituality of Fundraising
It is over. Birth in Cambodia. And one of my greatest fears – surgery – overcome. There are a multitude of thoughts spilling through my mind. I turn them over in the space I do have between toddler and infant. Mulling over them and what they mean.
Disappointment over the surgery – not the surgery itself – but because I had to have one in the first place. Yes I am beyond grateful for c-sections and that they bring healthy babies into the world who might otherwise have died and their mothers too. But after a natural birth with Aya, I do grieve that Arwen wasn’t also. It’s a wholistic, incredible experience labouring someone into the world.
And so I rest in that place of frayed nerves as my mind, body and spirit recover and my emotions try to catch up with my spinning hormones. The emotions of being a mom to a newborn all over again – overwhelmed, sadness at times, exhaustion – and those combined this time with the discomfort of recovery from surgery. It still hurts to walk and lay down on my side. Little reminders that my body just underwent a major procedure.
And all that combined with the energy and pizazz of my two year old! It’s a whole different ballgame with two in tow, that’s for sure. 🙂
And sometimes it isn’t easy to find peace.
But I remind myself that God has been so very gracious. A healthy baby. I’m healthy too. In a country where everything goes wrong to the most innocent people, where the medical system fails so many, He has brought us through. I am overcome by gratitude for the answered prayers; the grace of which I was a recipient though I don’t deserve it any more than anyone else.
And ultimately, I’ll come to appreciate this battle scar for baby Arwen. It will be a continuing reminder of the grace, the beautiful unspeakable grace.
No, I don’t like fires. (In fact, in this country, they completely freak me out. They have had a history of wiping out entire markets, city streets, and communities.) But what I do appreciate is the response.
We were surrounded by complete and utter chaos within a four block radius. Motorbikes were stopping and crowds of people gathering on sidewalks, raising their eyes to take in the sights. Every security guard in the vicinity became pseudo traffic police, shuffling people around and blocking off roads. Bystanders milled around the streets and corners, snapping photos on their mobile devices (yes, me too). I even saw a few tourists riding around on their bicycles, clutching a camera with one hand looking for an exciting photo op.
As fire licked away at the upper level of a cinder block structure (apparently a school) not even a full block away from where we ate lunch, I was thankful for a couple of things.
A. that it appeared containable – thanks to the concrete.
B. That within minutes, a fire truck was stationed in front of the building, a lone fireman blasting water into the inferno.
C. That it appeared that no one was injured or a casualty of the blaze (thankfully it is Chinese New Year and no students/teachers were present at the school that was on fire – as confirmed by my colleague).
And D. That in the midst of chaos, there were a few things to giggle about. (Like us looking as ridiculous as everyone else, stopping our motorbike, snooping out the story and trying to get a good photo – which I was unsuccessful at as you can see in the blurry image I managed to capture.)
Just another day in Cambodia. And one that I am grateful for.