While driving around the hills leading to one of the hospitals near our home, I changed my mind. This was my opportunity to get to know this little person now. With this in mind, we were pleased to announce we were going to be the proud parents of yet another boy. We already have three--the fourth is, well, unexpected.

My husband, Brenton, and I are happy and sad. We will not experience what it is like to have a girl--we are definitely stopping at four children--but we are anticipating what the next boy will bring to our family. And for that, we are thankful.

Our three-year-old, Ryan, has it all sorted. "My brother can sit in [one-year-old] Corbin's chair and Corby can sit at the big chair at the table," he says. On the way home from the hospital, we talk names. The five-year-old, Jaxon, suggests "Rory"--the name of his teddy bear. Ryan suggests "Baby Jewelly."

Jewell is the name we gave to a baby we lost before birth. Telling people the news became a form of therapy--and each day when Brenton came home from work, he brought stories of other women who had lost children. It is sad, but it is also comforting. Others have experienced the pain we experienced and are willing to share their story. And for that, we are thankful.

Perhaps our new baby will be a "Benn Louis Brenton Bookman Stacey" or an "Antw1," as my brothers have previously suggested. Whatever the case, he looked healthy. And for that, we are thankful.

Being thankful for what is important in life--for children, friendship and health--is easy. But what about the seemingly inconsequential? Is it possible to be thankful for, say, washing?

To find out, I tried to think of answers to "What does washing mean to me?"

I discovered it means we get out of bed in the morning, breathe in fresh air and feel the sun on our skin. It means we were active the morning before--muddy clothes are evidence of this.

It means we cooked food the afternoon before--ditto stains on clothes.

It means we soaked in a warm bath the evening before--and wet the towels as we dried ourselves.

It means we have the privilege of living in a clean and warm country, the energy to get active, a choice of what food to cook and the time to soak in a bath. It means we have the money to pay for the washing machine, and electricity, water and detergent in which to wash the clothes.

Washing is a reminder of how God blesses our family. And for that, we are thankful.

But back to baby four and the impact of his impending birth on members of our extended family. Pa is smiling--another Stacey to add to the family tree. Ma is smiling--another subject to capture on digital film. And Nan and Poppy are waiting patiently--another reason to travel north for a visit.

We have much to be thankful for, although we're not sure the older women at our local church do. They've been praying fervently for a girl.

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6, 7.

Kylie Stacey is a rose among many thorns. She is the mother of four boys, the wife of one husband and the sister of two brothers. She writes from Sunshine, New South Wales.


This story is used with permission from Signs Publishing Company. More of these stories can be found in these collections: Ordinary People—Extraordinary God, Ordinary People—Faithful God, and Ordinary People—Generous God