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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Counting Our Blessings

I woke up Saturday morning in Portland thinking about all that has happened to me over the past several months. As I was doing so, it occurred to me that everything had been opportunities, challenges, trials, but most of importantly, blessings.

Opportunities aren’t much of a stretch to be seen as blessings. How can a challenge or trial be a blessing you might ask.

Really, everything that happens to us is a blessing. Think about it. It’s the challenges and trials that teach us patience and humility. They help us grow in ways we never imagined. They teach we are human beings with all the frailties and mortalities that come with it. They teach us we can overcome and be stronger in the end. Now that is truly a blessing

Opportunities, on the other hand, give us a chance to shine. To take advantage, to give back. They are times to say “Thank you” for everything wonderful we have received.

I’m reminded of stories I’ve read over the years. Parents of Downs Syndrome children often talk about how their children have truly blessed their lives. I don’t know what it’s like, but these parents speak of the love these children give freely and unconditionally. How even the simplest task is a wonderful experience for both parent and child.

It makes me think of watching my own daughter and granddaughters grow up. Each step, each sound, each word is a miracle in itself. A blessing. With my daughter, I was too busy being a career mother to really notice, but with my granddaughters, I saw it all. I wanted to see it all. I wanted to see life again as a child. To be able to see live through a child’s eyes is a blessing. One of God’s greatest blessings.

Think about the blind or deaf or lame. Think about Ray Charles, Little Stevie Wonder, Helen Keller. They could have chosen to sit around and lament their handicaps, but none of them did. They learned from it and used it to be successful people. And what successful individuals they became! They accepted their limitations as blessings and grew from it.

I have had my own handicaps. They were selfishness, greed, jealousy, intolerance, and some lust thrown in for good measure. I’ve learned to see them as blessings, true blessings. Opportunities to grow to become a better person.

The greatest blessings have come in the past year. I’ve traveled to cities I’ve never been before. I’ve met people that I never thought I would meet. I’ve seen beautiful sights that I never though I would see. I’ve helped people accomplish things I never thought I would do, or they never dreamed would happen for them.

The greatest blessings come when we give of ourselves for others. When we get outside our comfort zone. When we stretch our minds and open our hearts. And sometimes open our purses. That great blessing taught me to give of myself, freely, willingly, openly, unselfishly and selflessly. I can’t say it was always easy – there were difficult times. But when I accepted the blessing, I received even more blessings in return.

So yes, I’ve been blessed, truly blessed. I thank God every day for those blessings. So whatever comes my way, good or bad, it’s a blessing. When my time is up and my day is done, I will look back and say, I was blessed, I was truly blessed, and because of those blessings, I have enjoyed it all. Thank you, God, for blessing me on a daily basis!

The next time you are having a bad day, just remember to see it as a blessing. It takes practice, and when you learn how, you will be blessed as well. Enjoy your blessings!

Written by Mandy (RagsQueen)

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Anonymous said...

This is so true in life.Whenever things are going wrong you have to count your blessing! Everything has a positive... everything is a blessing.
Thank you for sharing these beautiful thought with us.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mandy for the timely reminder. It seems most of the time I open my heart and take a chance by stepping outside my comfort zone I end up reaping more that I sowed. We have all been blessed this year -- by Taylor and his music, and by the many caring people we've met here an around the world.

maryann1 said...

Thank your for beautiful words. We each have blessings in our life everyday...some are small and some large...It is a blessing to wake up in the morning to yet another day...and give thanks for the blessings we have in life...and think of and pray for those that are less fortunate than we are...they are blessed for their perseverance to continue on and we are blessed for having the opportunity to brighten their day in some way.

Taylor has blessed our lives in so many ways with his music and caring ways....for this he and we will always be blessed, to be sharing this world with each other.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could put into words what I would like to say about this post, but I can't. There are no words. Time and again, you put yourself out there for people to either appreciate what you do or mock you for doing them. You are a blessing to so many people. I can tell you with all honesty, MY mom is a blessing to me. Without her, I don't think I would be the person I am today and I hope that my children see me as a blessing to them.

Thank you for reminding us to be blessed no matter how things in our lives are going from day to day.

B :)