Lesson 2 // Wake up with a Smile

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For the first months of his life, Baby had a touch of colic in the evenings. If you’ve had a baby with colic, you know that your infant basically becomes a different baby during those times. The inconsolable screaming, the stiffening of his whole body, the arch in his little back as he took a breath for another scream–it was awful. Our nights made us feel exhausted the next day.

However, almost every day  (and even in the middle of the night), Baby awakened with a smile. He was seemingly unaffected by the night before. If I cried that hard the night before, I would wake up miserable (I usually woke up that miserable because he cried that hard!). But not Baby. Each day is a new day for him.

I started learning this lesson about gratitude in the middle of the night. I would drag myself out of bed at 1 or 2 am to change another dirty diaper, knowing that we would then be up for the next hour and a half to two hours until Baby got tired again. I was frustrated and exhausted during these times. When I put sleep-heavy Baby on his changing table, he would stretch, open his eyes, look at me, and smile. Not only did it melt my heart, but it also taught me something about life.

Each day is a gift. I can either receive it as a gift–no matter how bad the days before have been. Or I can grumble and complain. Times in my life can be tiring and often seem unbearable, but time is still a gift. And through watching Baby, I have become more thankful for each new day, no matter how bad the night before it was.

Just look at the sunrise! It sounds may sound cliche, but as the sun rises again, so do we. I would never have accepted this truth during my darkest days. But when I see my son’s little smile, I realize that he is living out a truth that I often scoff at: this is the day that the Lord has made. That truth never changes. But I can choose to rejoice and be glad in it. And I will fight to do so.

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For more on seeing each day as a gift (and for a resource that helped me through some dark days), visit Ann Voskamp’s blog or read her book, One Thousand Gifts

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