Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Counting Blessings in the Chaos


Aunt and uncle just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Aunt couldn't believe so many came to help celebrate. "I can," I said. Because they've been a stable factor in so many lives. So many lives. Has all been good? Definitely not. But all's been and all continues to be. Stable. Through-the-years-stable. Within-our-control stable.




But a friend's husband just ended his life. She'll never celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary. She's trying to find the balance to carry on. To bring and keep stability in her kids' lives. To be stable in the midst of chaos and loss. To find a new through-the-years-stable. A within-her-control stable.

And she's left with numerous questions. Did the way I loved him count? Did I count? Did our years and all the contents inside count? 

If we can't continue to count the years, what can we count?

What can we count when we feel like a waste of breath?

We can count our blessings.







We can count what's stable in our lives.

Like what?

Like life. Like the air we breathe in. While we have breath. Breathe it in. Breathe it out.




Like God, who is stable, able, capable--the one who will be there when we have breath and when we don't.

Like love, love that comes our way. Like the love we can deliver. Maybe not from the one we want or to the one we want. But love comes and goes. We're receivers, and we're deliverers.




Like smiles. We can give and take those. And don't discount the frowns. When a smile has drowned, we can embrace the opportunity to ask, "What's wrong? How may I help?" 




Like rest. A place to sit. We'll never run out of those. Even the ground bursts forth with life.




  


Like railings. A place to lean. With another. The railings are beautiful--family, friends, God, faith, arms, shoulders.






Like goodness. It's always there, even in the badness. Will we look for it? Will we find it? Will we focus our lens on it? Will we be the good?



Like growth. Are we different today than yesterday?





If we live our lives counting our blessings, what's stable in our lives, dependable factors, maybe we'll find that we are celebrating daily.

When we can't count the years, we can make our years count.

And we'll find we are counting the years, our years.

And maybe we'll have become a reason to celebrate. Because when we count our blessings, we become a blessing.

Is there any wonder?

"I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing."--Ezekiel 34:26


~~~

What blessings can you count?




11 comments:

  1. I am blessed with Hope that does not disappoint.

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    1. Diane, hope is a beautiful blessing ... one we can always count on, stable. Thank goodness.

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  2. Porch parties with my husband, our three children (and one in heaven), coffee in the morning, my family, my friends--YOU!

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    1. Aww, Julie! Beautiful blessings. And I love being included in that list. xoxo

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    2. And you always bless me, Julie.

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  3. Dear Shelli, I'm blessed each time I visit your posts here or elsewhere on social media. You shine His Love. And I love, love the pictures you shared here. Please tell your daughters they shine Jesus too.
    It's true we need to count our blessings no matter what's going on in our world. We need to remember them so we can have joy along this journey. Today I'm thankful for times of laughing with my family.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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    1. Thank you, Wendy Mac. I'll tell the girls. And I love your beautiful blessing of laughter. Laughter--the best of times. We have an appt with the periodontist today for my oldest, to see if the tissue grafting worked. Ugh. I'm a little nervous. :) Please keep us in your prayers this morning.

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  4. Awww, Shelli. Simply beautiful. I am so sorry for your friend. What a tragedy to have to walk through. My heart aches for her.

    Thank you for the reminder to be looking for those blessings to count. We're trying to teach our kids this, by daily counting "gifts" from that day. One engages, one resists. But still we do it, in the hopes that one day this will become a pattern in their lives. Looking for the ways God has shown His love, His provision, His goodness.

    Loved your sweet post, friend!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne. My heart aches for her, too. She's so precious.

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  5. Wise words about gratefulness, Shelli. In 2008, I started a little gratitude journal and wrote things, simple things, that I was thankful for that day. I do it more in the mornings now, but back then I did it at night to sleep peaceful and not think so negatively. It did help.

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    1. I love that, Melodie. I'm just seeing this comment from you! :) I remember seeing people counting a thousand blessings throughout a year ... I think from Ann Voskamp's book. It's really a sweet way to think positively, like you said. I just saw that Ann's book is on sale ... I might get it. :) Been wanting to read it.

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Blessed by you, Shelli