The words of the song my mom sang to me often throughout my childhood, “Count Your Blessings,” are reverberating in my head. “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” My mom thought it was very important that we have thankful hearts. I’ve written about gratitude and thankfulness here before- it is a transforming attitude. I’m thankful that my mother decided to take the time to implant thankfulness in my heart.
It is a very appropriate time to reflect on thankfulness, as we just had Thanksgiving- a time where we remember to give thanks for the bounty God has supplied for us- and we are embarking upon the Christmas season- a time where we celebrate God’s great gift to us! So I am going to count my blessings this year and name them one by one.
So, I’m looking through my Facebook albums from this year and these things are the things that strike me.
Thirteen Blessings of 2012:
1. The park near my house that is full of trees and other plant life, animals, nature, and a creek- a beautiful natural oasis in a very suburban area.
2. Chocolate & Chai Tea.
3. A daughter who likes to brush my hair (my head tingles at the memory!).
5. Our new-to-us minivan & our new home that has a nice backyard and two bathrooms (Hallelujah!).
7. My 10th anniversary trip to Lake Tahoe- and especially that lovely hot tub that had a waterfall.
8. My family who has been a great blessing to me- my sister came and visited and played with the kids, my cousin came and helped my mom move and played with the kids, my mom watched the kids a lot while I had the new baby and while we were in the middle of the move, and my mother-in-law who watched them while we were in Tahoe and who came with my sister-in-law to help me get my pictures hung up on my walls! I am very blessed to have a wonderful relationship with my family- both on my side and on my husband’s side. Praise the Lord!
10. Z-urchin’s leg healed so well.
11. Family fun night and the kids’ knock knock jokes. (I’m so thankful that the Lord blessed me with four delightful, fun, funny, and adorable children!)
12. The e-book Maximize Your Mornings and the emails from “Inspired to Action” that encouraged me to begin developing the habit of waking up at 5:45 every morning (I’m not perfect with this- but I manage to get up at this time on the majority of my mornings)- and this habit has been a life changer for me. I am so very thankful for the peaceful, quiet time alone with God and my thoughts. It really helps the days go smoother. These emails also encouraged me to read 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, which has been very inspiring as well. (While I’m on the subject, another incredibly helpful book for me this year was Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider)
13. Lastly, I am so very thankful for my community of dear friends. They encourage me, inspire me, rescue me, show me grace, and generally embody the quote from the Watermark song, “More Than You’ll Ever Know”: “Something about just being with you, when I leave I feel like I’ve been near God.” I do not think I could have made it through this year without them. My dear neighbor, the lovely ladies from my Bible Study, and several wise women in my homeschool group have been such a blessing in my life this year. I am so thankful that God has graciously allowed these women to be a part of my life. Another song -from my junior high years- is playing through my head as I think of three of these women who have moved away this year- to different parts of the world- “And friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them. …Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hand, we know, that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.”