Her heart was made for gratitude

Sometimes, life takes a Lent-ish turn.  You know, illnesses, struggles, stress, all happening at once? And sometimes, it even happens during Lent. Bonus.

What follows is a smidgen of the Welcome to Lent Story that was my life last week. It’s not the whole story, and in fact, it’s still pretty darn penitential around here. Somehow, though, I’m not totally losing my marbles over it. Sure, the house is messier than I would like, and I’m still just at bare minimum levels of a lot of tasks. Gratitude is what’s getting me through, though, and it is potent stuff. My heart isn’t shriveled and angry, and it’s making all the difference for me.

Forgive the waxing narrative.  Sometimes the urge overcomes my better judgement.


Once upon a time, in a town not so far away, a mother came down with a frightful illness.  Because this mother was dutiful, however, she waited until a Friday evening to get sick so that her darling husband would be home to care for their wee babes during her time of distress.

The mother had been practicing the virtue of gratitude lately, and so she took the opportunity to thank her Lord for the strong and capable man He had bestowed upon her.

On Sunday, just as this mother began to feel as if someday, she might become her strong self again, one of her sweet sons fell ill, much worse than she, with no food or drink to be kept down.  Once again, her valiant husband rescued her, sleeping with their small son and caring for him throughout the long night and all the next day.  The mother thanked God again for him, and for her returned health, as well as for the washing machine and dryer that were such a help during those difficult days.

On Tuesday, the son seemed better.  He kept food down and drink in, and the mother sent her husband off to work with a (somewhat harried) smile and a wave.  When the son regressed, she called the doctor, then thanked her beloved God that they had insurance, and a car with which to carry them to the appointment.

On the way there, she heard an awful sound.  A flat tire?, she wondered, and her worries were soon confirmed.  As she coaxed the car off the freeway, she thanked the Lord God, and her guardian angel, that the exit was so very near, and that there was a perfectly adequate parking lot in which to pull in order to avoid getting plowed into by a semi truck.  Granted, she did so through gritted teeth, but nevertheless, the gratitude was there.  She also thanked God that her husband had the foresight to renew their AAA membership, long lapsed, just a few months prior.

A short time later, all fixed up, off they headed to the doctor where it was quickly discerned that the little boy needed more than the good doctor could provide.  They packed up again and headed to the hospital.  Once again, the mother reached out in gratitude to Jesus Christ and thanked Him.  For her family, for insurance, for patience and fortitude, for trust, and for technology.

A photo posted by Micaela Darr (@micaela_darr) on

Later that night, exhausted and overwhelmed, she tucked her son into bed.  Kneeling, she thanked God again.  She thanked Him for all of it, all over again, and for many more things besides.  But most of all, she thanked the Lord for gratitude.  Many times over the past few days she had felt her heart pinching and shriveling, getting ready to stomp and stammer it’s not fair!  And (almost) every time that happened, she watered her heart with gratitude and her heart grew.  After all this, her heart was happier now than ever before, because she knew.  No matter what her life was made of, her heart was made for gratitude.


  1. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words and thoughts.
    I am encouraged by your past week to keep it as simple as you explained “to find that gratitude and make my heart grow bigger for Him”
    It is also something I will challenge myself to take through Lent and beyond.
    Love and prayers from your sister from Down Under!

  2. Great post. I need to remember to be more grateful all the time! I hope everyone is better now., And the hospital visit sounds scary.

    P.S. Just a AAA tip Even if your AAA membership is lapsed you can call them from the roadside, renew it on the spot, pay via credit card and get service right away. We do that to basically stretch our AAA memebership out so we don’t renew it when it lapses until as actaully need it.
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…Finding Hope in the Midst of DifficultyMy Profile

  3. It’s always so hard to be thankful when things aren’t going as we planned but it’s always so fruitful! Thanks for the reminder and I hope everyone in your house is feeling better.
    Beth (A Mom’s Life) recently posted…What’s old is new again.My Profile

  4. Oh Lent. I hope you’re all on the road to recovery! That is rough Micaela, you’re doing great though!
    Christy recently posted…Seven Quick Takes vol. 115My Profile

  5. And what a celebration Easter will be!!!

  6. Amen. It is, I think, the only way to get through the constant little trials of life, and it’s so easy for me to fall back into a pattern of grumbling rather than constantly training my heart in the practice of gratitude!
    Rosie recently posted…What They Said, Volume 15My Profile

  7. How is he doing now? Praying for y’all! We’ve had a crazy season this year and I am with you too! But I love your heart and how you sought gratitude through it all. Such a blessing! And s beautiful!
    Amanda recently posted…Snow Angels, Snowballs, and a SnowladyMy Profile

  8. <3