• Kristin Johnston

A series of unfortunate events - and how they made me grateful

“Mommy look! I’m at the hostibal!” He laughed and was laying on his back on top of his toy box pretending it was a hospital bed. “Wow yes you are Sawyer! What did you do?” I asked him. “Oh I hurt my knee right here and I need a fire truck bandaid!” He is always doing silly things like that but it was the first time he ever mentioned having to go to the hospital. Little did I know what was in store for us just a few hours later!

Cody was in the garage and trying to figure out the sprinkler system and I had just finished making dinner and was getting ready to plate it when I heard a horrible smack/thud noise right behind me. Sawyer had tripped somehow and landed straight on his chin and split it wide open, bleeding everywhere and crying in pain. Immediately I ran to the garage, yelled for Cody to get inside and called out next door neighbors to see if they could watch Teddy while we went to the ER. They are two of the nicest people and dropped everything to help us.

Once we got to the ER I saw so many sick and injured children accompanied by worried parents and siblings. They got us to a room right away and began treating my little boy. Throughout our wait I heard so many children crying out in pain while mine barely made a peep.

As we sat there my husband pulled out his new insurance info and sighed - $250 out of pocket just to be seen here, not including any of the treatment: cleaning, numbing, relaxation drugs, stitches, and the promise of a popsicle to make things better when it was over.

Sitting in a hospital room gives you a lot of time to think and it was then that I began to feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude and thankfulness. “I know it seems bad right now, but $250 is nothing compared to what we would pay to help our child right? We should be thankful we have this money to do this. And thankful we have good insurance to cover the rest, not to mention access to the care he is about to receive - think of children who don’t,” I said to my husband. “And think about how lucky we are to have amazing neighbors to step in and help us when we need it, not many people can say they do! That’s something else to be thankful for.”

Cody thought for a minute and I felt like I could see his change of heart in that moment too as he began saying the things he was thankful for that night. Thankful it was just his chin. Thankful Sawyer wasn’t in much pain. Thankful it wasn’t as bad as some of the kids we had heard about, being transported to the ER via ambulance, or the family being questioned by 3 sheriffs on what happened to their child.

I also need to throw this in as well - remember when I said Cody was trying to figure out our sprinkler system? Yea - it wouldn’t shut off so our neighbors - the sweet ones who were watching Teddy - they were also working for hours trying to get it to shut off! Cody ended up having to call the fire department and have them come out and cut it off. Oh and if all that wasn’t enough excitement- let’s also add that a snake had been living in the hole where the shut off valve was and was a fun surprise for our neighbor!

Now after an evening like this, it would be easy to complain and get angry at life and maybe even at God. Instead, we chose to be thankful. Imagine seeing the hidden blessings in difficult times instead of focusing on the struggles! Sometimes our life doesn't go as planned - ours definitely didn't that night - but by developing an attitude of gratitude we were able to completely change our perspective and realize we are very lucky!

As we were leaving the hospital, my friend Lindsey drove up with Sawyer's beloved Fox who we left at her house from our playdate earlier. She knew he had had a rough night and even though it was late and she had other plans that evening, she still took the time to bring my little boy something that would help him feel better - add having a sweet friend like her to my list of things I was thankful for too!

Have you ever thanked God during your valleys or bad days? I would love to hear about a time you had an attitude to gratitude! Drop them in the comments below or leave them on my post on instagram!

Much love and gratefulness,


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