Posts Tagged ‘#countyourblessings’

Do your Monday thoughts begin on Sunday?

For years (though I love my job) I would awaken on Sunday mornings with regret in my heart … for once Sunday had come to it’s natural end, Monday followed. It was as though the door to Monday was already being opened on Sunday, leaving a dark shadow of the end of the weekend before it had even finished.

It is good that we can enjoy of ‘off’ days, our fun days, our free time days. It is not good, though, when we wish away time, in search of other time.

The NIV (New International Version) of Psalm 90:12 tells us:

“teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

but it is in the New Living Translation that more clarity of meaning is communicated:

“teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.”

Brevity … how short our life’s span.

These Sundays of awakening with thoughts of regret for the end of the weekend, the Spring Break, the holidays … these are moments when we are not acknowledging the brevity of our lives (and I am most certainly, guilty of such thoughts). These are moments when we are not availing ourselves to the wisdom that God gives.

Welcome to Monday … what a privilege to be here!


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What’s your earliest memory?

Maybe there is more than one? Maybe they blend together? Maybe they are incomplete? Maybe it isn’t a memory so much as a feeling?

I have a memory from my childhood. It is late spring or early summer. The sun high in the sky, causing my squinty eyes to squint even more. I can recall it’s warmth on my skin, not enough to sweat, but feel comfortably warm. I remember holding the hands of my parents, me in the middle … where every child aims to be. We are walking through a path or trail with trees on either side. I remember feeling, not just the warmth of the sun on my skin, but also the warmth of love, connection, safety.

And that is all I remember.

It is a happy memory.

We all have memories from our childhood. Ones that make us feel good things and ones that leave us feeling the trauma of that moment. Sometimes we can identify the origins of our feelings, but not always. Sometimes it is smells or sounds that awaken our memories of years ago. Sometimes, our memories aren’t accurate at all and what we think we remember may not have even happened.

The Psalmist has said, (9:1), “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”

Have you ever done that? Recounted the wonderful deeds of God in your life … ?

Ever looked back for times when you know that God stood in the gap for you? That something in your occurred and you know, without a doubt, that he worked things for you? That he did a miracle? That he filled you with joy?

Try it. Really! Try it.

You might remember something that has been forgotten, some evidence of God in your life that you need to remember now.

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This week’s random thoughts was at the top of a friends post on Facebook.

As I read the list of ten … let’s call them the week’s learnings during this time of self isolation in the shadows of Covid19, I heard a song from childhood …

count your blessings

Now, at the end of that week, feeling rather depleted from a week that had a fair number of downs that seem to overshadow the the ups, I am revisiting my friend’s post.

As I look back over the week, this post and two other memories pop out for me.

There is a family that I follow on Instagram. Their beautiful daughter (and their whole family) have been fighting cancer for almost fifteen years (she is about twenty now) … through one diagnosis and three relapses. After over a month of self isolation, they are naming something each day that they are each thankful for.

A sweet teen, who carpooled with me to school (and whose heart and soul I adore), dropped off a belated birthday gift. Part of it was “The One-Minute Gratitude Journal” with spaces to write what I am grateful for each day.

Hum …
I think NOT!

Saint Augustine (of the late 300s-early 400s) said,

“we are an Easter people
alleluia is our song.”

What he was saying is that as people (all people) who have been given the gift of Easter, the gift of the sacrifice of Christ, our song, or message (maybe even to ourselves) need always be praise to the Lord.

To offer thanks is to recognize from where our blessings come. To offer gratitude is to see what we have … even when we are in a place of many have-nots, of depletion, of lack.

And so, I wrote my list, of this week’s random thoughts … thanks. And, you know what, I have much to be thankful for … much for which to sing praises to my Lord … alleluia!

I encourage you to try this too … I’d love to hear from you … what are your random thoughts and thanks this week?

  1. Zoom visit with a dear friend
  2. Daily after work walks with our son
  3. A delivery of a belated birthday gift from the sweetest teenager I know
  4. Able to help my mom accomplish a level of technology
  5. A charcuterie board that looked and tasted wonderfully
  6. Discovering a great new TV series to enjoy with hubby
  7. Conferences with students who have the most amazing work ethics
  8. Sunny days
  9. A bunny hopping leisurely ahead of me while walking on a trail
  10. A church small group who is like oxygen

Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Who couldn’t use a little
Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney
singing Irving Belin’s
Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep?

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Unless you live under a rock, you would have encountered (and maybe even expressed) desire for the end of 2016.

It would seem that society, as a whole, have not appreciated the events of 2016. Whether it has been world events of human tragedies, atrocities or politics. Maybe the numerous losses of life of famous people (far too many too soon, and due to self-induced causes). Or maybe there have been individual and personal tragedies, losses and sorrows.

But, was 2016 so exceptional in a negative way?

As I opened up social media over the past few days I have seen the posts of deaths of famous people, the stupid twitter tweets, but I have seen so much more.

I have seen people posting images of friends and family, of well wishes for the Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years. I have read tweets that inspire and motivate me to do and be better.

Then I read a post by an individual who has struggles, real struggles. I am not talking the struggle of the loss of her favourite actor, or no money to go partying on New Years Eve, but struggles caused by chemical substances in utero. Struggles that have plagued her since before she was born, and about which there is no cure. Real struggles.

And her post inspired me.

For, after acknowledging the common message that 2016 was the worst year in history, she declared the good that has touched her life this past year. She named individuals, events and successes that made this year wonderful.

Her post brought numerous quotes, verses (“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7) and a song from childhood:

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.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.]

This chorus is not a sugar-coated Pollyanna way of looking at life, complete with rose-colored glasses. It is the power of acknowledging and giving our lives, every year, every day, to the only one who can give purpose to all of the events in our lives (as is clear in the verses that surround that chorus.

May we end 2016, with thanks, for the many blessings in our lives, and determined to change our thinking as we enter 2017.

Count Your Blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


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