April 2, 2020

Blessings

Sometimes they are the good things that come to us, sometimes they are the things that don't come our way, and sometimes they come disguised as painful events or circumstances. I am talking about blessings today.

It has taken me a long, long time to get even close to an attitude that many of the practicing Jews in Israel have, that of being thankful in absolutely every situation. The reasoning behind that is that no matter what is going on God has either sent it or allowed it. There is a reason for it. Am I perfect at thinking that way? Not even close, but I have learned a few things.

Those good things that come to us, they are easy to be thankful for. I'm talking about our comfortable homes, the jobs that provide the income we need to survive, the people we love and who love us, a fun vacation, the possibilities on this list are endless. The good things can big or small...someone is declared cancer-free after a long struggle is a huge blessing, while the sunshine on your face is a small blessing. The greatest good thing that has ever come my way is my salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Things that don't come to us aren't always recognized as blessings at first. Have you ever wanted something, wished, hoped, and prayed for it, only to not get it? Chances are you can look back from a point later in life and recognize that things worked out better without that thing happening. When I think of this type of blessing I think first of the punishment that is not coming my way because of God's grace and mercy. Second, I think of the times when the answer to my prayers was "No." Garth Brooks had a huge hit that talked about this type of blessing.



The last type of blessing is probably the hardest to learn to recognize. These are the ones we have to search for because they come wrapped in difficulty, pain, fear, and tragedy. These blessings are the silver linings in the storm cloud. These are the ones where you feel like your world is falling apart but you can look around you and find the good. 

Sometimes, though, we can't see the good until later because the bad thing set something in motion that took a while to become evident. An example would be be the mother who loses her child to a drunk driver and then campaigns endlessly to change laws and educate others. A great, good work came out of her tragedy that helped others. The challenge before us right now in the midst of this pandemic is to find the blessings and they are there if you open your eyes and heart to see them.

Some things that have blessed me during the past week and that I am very thankful for include...

Time in abundance. Time to spend with my husband. Time to read. Time to cook. Time to nap. Time to spend with the Lord. Time to watch movies and shows that have been on our list. Time to work on projects around the house.

Patience and good moods. Sometimes too much time and togetherness can make for short tempers. We haven't experienced that.

Financial grace. With both of us not working and unemployment still being held up by the large numbers of people signing up we could be in a pretty tight spot, but we are doing fine. We've talked to our creditors and everyone has been incredibly helpful and understanding. 

Finding a show we both like. This is huge. We tend to have very different tastes, but when I finally began to watch Longmire on Netflix, my husband watched, too, and is hooked. 

Warm days. We've only had a few that were truly spring-like, but the cold isn't quite as cold and doesn't last as long. Sunshine is becoming a bit more common. That lifts my spirits and (don't laugh) I think my houseplants look happier, too!

Health. I am very, very grateful that all of my family and friends (including blogging and Facebook friends) remain virus free.

All of you. I am always grateful for blogging friends who visit and comment and the community we've built, but these days make me especially thankful to have you in my life. We all do life together. We encourage each other, laugh together, mourn together, and do all the things that make friends friends. My life is blessed by your presence in it.

I am linking up with today with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand




and the A-Z Challenge.



20 comments:

  1. This was such an encouraging post to read, I leave counting my blessings, thank you for sharing.
    Sue

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    1. You are welcome. I'm glad it encouraged you. Your visit and kind words encourage me. :)

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  2. Love your list so much.
    & that's so the truth - in the midst of all the bad, its a struggle to find the good - but when the dusts settle, you'll see all the goodness that surrounded you all the while

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    1. Yep, we have to look and we have to have patience sometimes.

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  3. What a splendid essay! Your words have sure made me ponder a few of my own unanswered prayers (good) -- as well as those outcomes I forced (not so). I'm ignorant of (those practicing Jews in Israel) giving thanks in all situations -- but that's something I'd love to adopt.

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    1. Oh, I love to look back on the things I wanted so much and see how much better it is the way they worked out. Who hasn't seen an old love and thought "Wow. Dodged a bullet there!"

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  4. Great post. Love your list and your thoughts on blessings. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Stacy, I loved this: "These blessings are the silver linings in the storm cloud." We need all the encouragement we can get these days. Thanks for your thoughts on looking for the good in every situation. There are blessings hiding in this turmoil.

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  6. Stacy, I appreciate your positive outlook, and, yes, we have so much to be grateful for. Even the idea of sheltering at home implies a lot of goodness and grace. Our family got hooked on Longmire as well.

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    1. The idea of sheltering at home surely does imply so much. We are so blessed to be able to do that. What if we had to go to special centers away from home? That would make it all such a different experience. We are so richly blessed with material things that staying home is hardly a hardship.

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  7. Wise words, indeed! My life verse is Romans 8:28 ‘All things work together for good for them that love God; to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ I can see and feel a unity in this country and even in the world that was not there before.....

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    1. I agree! For the most part this little interlude is really bringing out the good in people and it does seem like ideologies are not pulling us so far apart. That is a HUGE blessing and I hope it continues when this is over.

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  8. Hello!
    Newest follower here.
    I enjoyed you post today.
    A bright spot in a troubled time.
    Thank you!
    Stay safe and healthy.

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  9. I love that Garth Brooks song. Very true. Joe and I both watched Longmire. Good show! I always enjoy your thankful list on Thursdays!

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    1. We are so hooked on Longmire. We've been staying up until midnight watching it the last few nights. We have about 2 1/2 seasons left. I'm going to be so bummed when it's done.

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  10. What a great post! Our house sounds a lot like yours right now: time in abundance, finding shows we both like, financial grace... I'm so glad you're doing well!

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    1. Thank you and this is good time if we let be. I'm still working on my husband...he'd still rather be at work.

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