Life changes when you begin to focus on your blessings rather than your trials. I guess you could say it’s when life really begins – or maybe when the living begins. Living fully every day; thankful when your feet hit the floor and you draw in that first breath of the day, thankful when you put your head on that cool, soft pillow at night and recall all the gifts He has given – even in the moments of mishap or stress or discouragement. Counting my blessings has changed me in so many ways.
When I look in the mirror and I see those ever increasing lines at the corners of my eyes and realize I’ve been on this earth for half a century I feel a bit sad; gone is the outward youth that once reflected back at me; the youth I was convinced I would never lose. When I consider that 2013 marks the end of a 25 year career as a stay-at-home mom and my days as a home-school teacher, I often begin to feel a bit lost. Life is changing. How easy it would be to get caught up in a woe is me state of mind or chide myself for mistakes made and missed opportunities BUT then there is gratitude – gratitude for the blessings; the moments lived, the breath still given, the next chapter of life and knowing there is so much more ahead. Knowing there is grace.
The realizing that those fine lines in my skin are not a curse, rather they represent many blessings lived, and that the extra around the middle means God provides well. Knowing that though I’ve made mistakes – with my life, my kids – God is sovereign. He knows my heart and theirs – and His promises never cease – HOPE – a constant companion because of His grace. And so I’ve decided, it is to be a year of celebration, of remembrance, of praising His good works with a Blessings Book.
It began unexpectedly. The spiral bound, kraft paper book on the shelf with a label that read, Brag Book. At first it didn’t appeal to me. I’ve never been fond of brag books, but then I thought of Jeremiah 9:24
…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
I thought about my gratitude journal. Then considered how documenting this monumental year in a book of its own could help me focus on His blessings, in the midst of such a major life transition. I stood as if glued to the floor, holding the book in my hands, contemplating – Yes! This will be good. I will record His goodness poured out, month by month.
I surveyed the shop until I found just the right papers for inspiration. I checked out and floated out the door. The bag hung on a doorknob in our entryway until Saturday – and then, my chores done I turned on the music and I praised and I created.
And He has filled me with joy – yet again!