Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Counting My Blessings

As the sun rose this morning, and I was lying in bed, I began thinking about all the things I had to do during the day. As I mentally checked off my to-do's, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with thankfulness for all of the blessings that I have.

All too often I get caught up in the busyness of life and the mental toll of daily activities, and forget to thank God for all the wonderful things that He has given me. I tend to forget that my good fortune has nothing to do with my skills, but everything to do with His grace.

So, I want to write down the top 15 things that instantly come to mind when I think of counting my blessings:

1. My good health.
2. The fact that I have 3 healthy children, full of energy, life and happiness.
3. My marriage to my husband of 18 years, a man who still loves me despite my flaws, loves our children, and works hard to be a great provider for our family.
4. My ability to work contract and in ministry, so that I can have more time to spend raising our children and making our house a home.
5. The precious sight of the sweet faces of my three children each morning as I gently nudge them out of dream land.
6. Knowing that my children get to go bed in comfy, warm beds every night with full tummies, in a home where they feel safe and secure.
7. My whole family, including brother, sister, mother, father, nieces, nephews, mother/father and sister in laws, and my sweet stepmother. Each person brings special gifts to my life.
8. Proverbs 31 Ministries....the way God used that ministry to spin me into a 180 degree turn so that I could walk through the journey that He prepared for me.... the way God uses this ministry to encourage me daily.
9. My church, and my church family.
10. My faith, and how I see God work in my life each and every day.
11. My home, the grass in my front yard where my kids can play.
12. The fact that my children all know the Lord, and that even my sweet teenage daughter tries hard to follow in His will, despite the hardships of living in a time where being a Christian is not always the most popular thing to be.
13. My mother, the best friend that she is to me, and the fact that God left her here on earth after her breast cancer 14 years ago so that we could be blessed by her.
14. Financial security.
15. All the friends I have made over the past few years that God brought into my life.
16. The warmth of the hot sunshine.
17. The changing of each season, and the beauty of nature that each season holds.
18. A closet full of clothes.
19. A shower to get clean in every morning.
20. A dependable car, and the money to be able to afford gas to put in that car.
21. The ability to drive.
22. The ability to walk, and live a full life.
23. I better stop... I said 15, but I could go on for hours............

Once we start thinking of all the little things in our lives, our perspective about blessings will change. We may even be astonished at how blessed we are, but we forgot to notice.

Until we see someone struggling with something that we typically take for granted, we tend not to see it as a blessing. For example - until we see someone who cannot walk, we take for granted that we can walk. Until we see someone with no eye sight, we take for granted that we can see. Until we see a person starving on the TV screen, we take for granted that we have more food than we could possibly eat. Until we see a homeless person sleeping on the road, we take for granted that we have a home and a warm bed. Until we see someone lose a child to a tragedy, we take for granted how precious our children are.

It is so critical to our spiritual walk that we actually take time to count our daily blessings with which God showers upon us. Not doing this separates us from Christ, because we experience His goodness, but refuse to give Him thanks, which poisons our hearts to begin thinking that our good fortune is of our doing, not His.

Being blessed is simply seeing the manifestation of Gods power happening in our own personal lives and on our behalf. God is faithful to us, let us not neglect to be faithful to Him through our thanks and praise.

Want to start a new habit today? Count your blessings. Seriously, I mean really count them. Start making a written list, and keep on writing until you simply cannot think of another item that could possibly be a blessing in your life. If you were having a bad day before, odds are your spirits will be lifted after doing this little project!

God is so good.

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Joyful said...

Tracie, the timing of this is perfect! We just celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend. What a great way to continue on thanking and praising the Lord for His goodness to us!

I sometimes think about how long and hard I pray for God to answer a certain request or particular need and then when He does, do I spend just as long thanking Him for providing His answer - whether it was the answer I wanted or not. I want to be sure to praise and thank the Lord for blessings seen and unseen.

With a thankful heart,

Haroldly said...

wow tracie!! I have so many things to say about this, and just cant find the words to express myself correctly, so im just going to leave it plain and simple.

Wow!! you have truly let yourself be used by God and touched my heart.


Haroldly T.