This week Melissa Taylor encouraged us in her OBS to continue our list of blessings. As I have gone through the past week, I noticed things I usually am too busy to stop and enjoy – a squirrel running across the flower bed as I drove in, bumble bees swarming around plants, flowers blooming, and even today looking out a school window as one bird flew up and started eating and then two, and three and they continued and as I walked away there were seven.
As I curled up on the sofa this morning with a cup of coffee flavored with cinnamon vanilla creamer, and began this week’s study of verses, I stopped to look up blessing. In Dictionary.com I found “a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness”. Favors, gifts – yes they are easy to identify when we stop and look, but are we grateful for all of the good as well as the bad. I must admit at times I have not been, but I have found the more I am in God’s Word and church, the more I am grateful for all God has done in my life.
I found this during our study this week and it blessed me, I hope it does you also:
The Spiritual Work of Gratitude by Henri Nouwen
“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”
My added blessings this week:
FAMILY – Extended families are a blessing. I love reunions and holidays – There is so much joy when family is together – laughter, playing games. There are no sweeter times. Thanking God for my loved ones!
CHURCH – Christian fellowship is vital for us to grow spiritually. We need christian friends to cry with, to learn with, and to edify. Hebrews 10:24-25 (KJV)
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Sometimes it isn’t easy getting up to go to church, especially those sleepless nights we have as we grow older or if it is a cold, rainy day. Ahhh but how sweet the blessings come if we find ourselves faithful and go. God is moving in mighty ways in our church. I can not wait to get there every Sunday to worship.
HEALTH – Good health is definitely a gift from God, and we forget what a gift it is until we lose it. It is in those times we are sick or when those aches and pains start popping up that we remember and are reminded what a joy it is to be able to cook, clean, wash, mow, work in our flower beds or even be able to get out of the house and go, etc.. Have you visited people in the nursing home lately? Many of them cannot get out even for a holiday because of their health. One thing in the study this week that really spoke to me after the Boston Marathon explosion was on page 44 of the Stressed-Less Living book where Tracie Miles talks about our bodies and the “emotional shrapnel” that is scattered over our lives. Yes we need that “temple on the brain” that Tracie talked about.
BIBLE – We can not grow if we are not in the Word. I enjoy my quiet time with a hot cup of coffee, actually several cups of hot coffee and my time in prayer lifting up friends and family and working on my Bible study. Life is so much sweeter when I am in the Word and it comes alive to me and gives me strength, comfort and peace.
Our reflection verse this week, and God knew before all the events that happened this week would occur ,that we would need this verse in our groups, in our lives, in our country:
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he seventh them from their distresess.
He sent his word and healed them;
and delivered them from their destructions.Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
Psalm 107:19-21 KJV
FRIENDS – I am so thankful for friends who think of me, who pray for me, who listen, who chatter when I’m quiet (my best friends are chatters), who write me, who private message me, who chasten me when I need it, who meet me for lunch, go shopping with me, who laugh with me and friends who drop a card just to bless me and say they are thinking about me. I received two cards today from OBS sisters thinking of me, and it was such a blessing coming home to see them. Last week one sent a beautiful bookmark that she made. With friends our time together is so sweet – we just pick right back up where we left off the last time. God blessed us with friends and we need to appreciate them, love them, and spend time with them.
No matter how crazy life gets, blessings abound in my life each day and it is not because of me, it is because of Him and all the things He has blessed me with daily. In the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to ponder and list those hundreds and hundreds of blessings.
Thank you Jesus for blessing me in ways I don’t deserve. So see my picture and you’ll note all the blessings I’ve included for future blogs and the list continues.