I cherished the solitude of the late-night drive home. No one hollering or bickering from the back seat, radio off, just me with my thoughts. My mind was trying to figure out the logistics of the next day: how to juggle volunteering at the school, Bible study, a meeting, language class, what to cook for dinner … Father, I have a crazy-busy day tomorrow. Please order my day for me. You know what needs to be accomplished and how I need to do it. I give it all to you, I prayed.

The next day would begin before 6 a.m. I had it all planned down to the minute. And at noon, the plan crumbled. “Mama, I want to go home.” My young son laid his head on my shoulder and I felt his heat through my jacket—a fever. Not in the plan. He was having complications from dental work, so I took him to the dentist’s office. While checking in, my cell phone rang. The school was calling. My daughter had hives covering her body and I needed to pick her up immediately.

After all of the trips around town to get everyone taken care of, I finally collapsed in a chair with my feverish son in my lap. While I cuddled my little boy, I whispered, “I love you, Baby.” He snuggled in deeper and replied, “I love you, too, Mama. I’m so happy you are my family. Aren’t you, Mama?”

As my heart melted, I remembered the orphanage we adopted him from. The nanny had 14 babies to care for. She would not have time to snuggle a feverish little boy, make him his favorite warm chocolate milk, read him the same book four times until he was well again. And I would not have slowed down in my busy life to cherish the blessings of motherhood.

As I reviewed the mental to-do list composed the previous evening, I realized that one important task had been missing: mothering. And in the midst of this, I revised my to-do list: Count my blessings, name them one by one.

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