This cross was given to us by our daughter-in-law, Kathleen. The purpose of the gift was to help us daily write something down that we were thankful for even in the midst of this trial. The cross sits by Raphael’s bed in the hospital room. And he keeps adding to the list.

It’s Day +8 of this transplant process. Not fun days. His white blood cells have bottomed out. Platelets down from 40,000 yesterday to 23,000 today. Pain level increased. Mouth too sore to eat. Very weak. Sleeping much of the day today.

Yet we are grateful. That might sound like an oxymoron to our situation so let me clarify. I am NOT grateful that my husband was diagnosed with a very rare blood disease. I am NOT grateful for the pain he is in or the journey he has endured. But I am VERY grateful I am able to be at his side. I am grateful a doctor in Houston discovered the amyloid protein before it was too late. I am grateful he is still alive. I am grateful to have family and friends walking this with us. I’m grateful for coffee and chocolate. 😉

And I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who has carried us through.

See, it’s all about focus. Trying to eat last night, he chose to get some water to add in his mouth and soften the bread more. As tears fell due to the pain, he started comparing it to people watering down the Word of God to prevent the sting of conviction. His focus had just shifted from his pain to a message he wanted to share in the future.

God’s Word speak of being in peace by keeping our minds in Him. Focus. That’s the key. When I think of this entire process and all we still have to walk through, I can get overwhelmed. But when I start telling other all the little things God has done or taught me during this, I no longer feel the weight of the steps we still have to take in this journey. If I talk about rescuing kids in Haiti, I get overcome with love, compassion and excitement.

Focus. Today I am thankful I can focus not on the tough times or ‘what if’s’ but on a loving Father who holds me when I cry.

What’s your focus today? Find something you can be grateful for and focus on it.

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