“So, you have two children, right?” I asked with interest. “We have two children now.” He paused, looking down at the floor. “We had three children. My wife had some troubles during her first pregnancy. Our daughter didn’t live past six months. She would have been a senior in high school this year.” Our conversation stopped for a moment. We both took a breath to honor the mystery and beauty of life.

Today, March 26th, is my 28th birthday. It seems like every year, I find myself pondering the details of my birth, thinking about how 3/26 was not supposed to be the day I was to be born. Although I love having something fun to celebrate as winter turns into spring, I find myself thinking about how I should have been born in the summer. I think about how I was born premature, weighing 3lbs, 2 oz at 29 weeks.

This year, I’ve spent some time interviewing my parents, learning more about the story of my birth. I’ve also been reading about premature babies. I learned that, “In the 1980s, doctors could save only 1 in 10 [preemies]; today, that number is 9 in 10.” When I let the reality of those numbers sink in, I had to stop for a moment and reflect.

Sometimes I take my life for granted.

Life, I began to realize, is the greatest gift I have ever been given and I am so grateful for it! I know sometimes that life can be discouraging and full of struggle, and while that is hard, I believe there is beauty to be found in the midst of pain if we’ll look for it, and wonderful lessons to be learned as we endure the trials of life.

Will you join with me today to celebrate life? Please consider taking a few moments to do the following:

1. Take a few minutes to think about your life and all that you have to be thankful for.

2. Consider some of the challenges you are facing right now in your life. What are you learning from your circumstances? Where are you challenged to see beauty in the midst of pain?

3. Hug, kiss, call or e-mail someone close to you today and tell them how much they are loved and how glad you are to have them in your life.

Source: http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2011/10/08/the-test-ahead/89zgadwU7F5ckhFxu7JOdN/story.html