Counting My Blessings this Holiday Season

By on November 10, 2012

By Karen Jordan –

Have you counted your blessings lately?

My mother gave me a journal on my forty-fifth birthday and challenged me, “Can you think of five things that you are grateful for every day?”

That evening, I wrote down five promises that I found in my devotional reading from Psalm 103:2-5.

 

  1. God forgives all my sins.
  2. He heals all my diseases.
  3. He redeems me from death.
  4. He crowns me with love and tender mercies.
  5. He fills my life with good things.

The next day, I wrote in my journal, “I don’t really feel like counting my blessings or giving thanks.”

Lesson learned. Seven years later, I found the empty journal on my bookshelf. I’d only entered two more thoughts. Tears filled my eyes, as I remembered my mother—she had died a year earlier. We never talked again about my journal or my blessings. And I wished that I had asked Mother more about her blessings, her faith, and the lessons that she learned from life. Did she ever write down her blessings or her stories?

I had to admit to myself that I had not thought about recording my blessings in years. I was too stressed and focused on solving problems—not counting my blessings. 

I think many women feel like I did about counting their blessings. In fact, I’m still tempted to forget about my blessings, as I look at my life circumstances.

In the past, when I challenged others to consider their blessings, some respond with verbal and physical signs of doubt and unbelief. They rolled their eyes or quietly protested, thinking that I don’t notice.

A close friend argued, “You just don’t understand what’s going on in my life! I sure don’t feel blessed!”

Holiday Blessings. As my family prepares for the holidays this year, we’re making some important decisions. We’re asking for everyone’s schedules to plan our holiday get-togethers. And as I prepare my shopping lists, I hope to remember everyone’s favorite holiday recipes.

But I’m also praying that my emotional response to the holiday chaos doesn’t distract me from the real meaning of our celebrations—giving thanks and counting our blessings. So, I’m choosing to find some creative ways to focus my blessings, so I won’t dwell on negative thoughts and unresolved family conflicts.

I plan to begin by writing down five things that I’m grateful for every day. And as I begin to list my blessings, I hope to recall some of the stories that matter most.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! (Ps. 103:2-5 NLT).

Can you think of five things that you are grateful for today? Will you record them?

Karen Jordan encourages others to “tell the stories that matter most.” Find links to her writing workshops, speaking topics, and other online connections on her personal blog/website (www.karenbarnesjordan.com).

 

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Counting My Blessings this Holiday Season