This phrase came to mind as I walked around my home experiencing reminders of life beneath my feet and a new life within. My mind whirled with the extra sensitivity that bare feet and pregnancy bring. Much like the old Tom and Jerry cartoons, there are two voices that play in our heads, the good voice and the bad, which one do we listen to?

Cold floor beneath my feet, Rice Krispies trodden in, Lego waiting for a careless step. Crisp, dry grass prickling my soles, pine cones thrown from catapults lying silent on the ground, dog sticks chewed to bits and plastic cups forgotten.

My feet feel life, real, raw, each item recalls a memory, a moment in time when life happened. Children enjoyed breakfast, played with toys, the hot sun scorched the already parched grass, our son created a homemade catapult and used pine cones as ammunition, the dog was quiet and calm for once chewing on his stick and the cup brings back memories of a summer barbecue for our church, a souvenir of sweet fellowship. Each crunch or ouch beneath my toes could be grumbled at or marvelled at, it’s all about attitude. Most days I choose joy. Those are the good days.

My belly shifts, pokes and jabs, each movement a reminder of the life within. Stomach sick from being squashed, muscles ache from extra work, back twingeing as I bend to pick up Lego, dizzy head as blood pressure drops, bladder under pressure. Body weary, eyes sore from tiredness, ferocious hunger followed by nauseous regret, restless sleep as heat takes its toll.

My mobile middle a sweet reminder of a little one thriving. Limited food capacity and a troubled bladder, a great sign that our blessing is growing bigger by the day. Low blood pressure is always welcomed by the midwives, the side effects a reminder to slow down. Exhaustion pushes me to sleep, to accommodate the needs of our new gift, to put them to the front of my mind and prioritise their needs and mine.

It’s all about attitude, when I choose joy it comes, but if I choose to grumble the negativity feeds off itself and nourishes the black dog. I’ve been there, my hormones take me there, my circumstances take me there, my sinful soul chooses to grumble, but the Spirit within whispers joy and gratitude. When I shut out the loud shouts of my sinful self I hear the still small voice of God whispering, telling me of his gift, his help, his joy, reminding me to be thankful in all circumstances, then slowly, very slowly I pull the black curtains of self-pity back and discover the light that lies beyond. For in every situation there is sorrow or joy to be found. I choose joy.

‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4 11-13.

Sending blessings to you all and praying that you find the joy of the Lord today.

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