It came to my husband’s attention the other day that some people in the military believe that the use of the phrase “count your blessings,” is considered religious and therefore somehow offensive. I know that in the Old Testament, Isaac blessed his son, I know that when many Americans sit down to the dinner table they ask for a blessing upon their food, or that when something extra special happens, like the birth of a child, or a new job offer, we often consider it a blessing in our life. Most of the folks I’m acquainted with, whether they believe it to be a religious phrase or not, are just fine with the receiving of a blessing! In fact, I think most of us are downright giddy to think they we might receive more than one blessing in a day. Is it, not so much that we receive blessings, but that we are asked to count or acknowledge them, that creates the dilemma? The fact is, we do receive a considerable amount of blessings but like most folks are just too plain busy to notice them as we scurry about this planet.
Over the last month, I have seen several postings of people giving a daily accounting of their blessings prior to Thanksgiving. While I don’t have the inclination to post them on facebook, I do want to become more aware of them happening in my life. Learn to recognize those moments when you receive something you really don’t feel worthy to have received. Take note of the times you have received something, someone, or some event in your life that your weren’t expecting, but when you did receive it, it brought great joy to your life. It seems like it wouldn’t be too hard to count a blessings but when you are late for work, feel a little under the weather, don’t have enough money for the week, or had an argument with your spouse, friend, or coworker, thinking of things to be thankful is sometimes far more challenging than we think it ought to be.
I started tallying up some of my blessings yesterday. When I was tasked with driving to a local office supply store, yesterday, I wasn’t thinking about a blessing, other than possibly the fact that I realized I was getting away from my desk for a few minutes. Being new to the DC area, and in particular Arlington, first I “googled” the supplies I needed to locate, and then I used my map on the phone to drive straight to my destination. I almost kissed my iphone, for not letting this directionally challenged woman lose her way. I also, noticed just how helpful the sales clerk was in giving me details I needed to arrive safely. We have lived in a lot of places, like most military folks and I can tell you I never would have bet on the fact that the people in DC would be so helpful.
Today, when I did a foolish thing, like driving to work with only a few miles of what I thought was just enough gas to get me there, I couldn't believe the blessing I received, when my car made it to the station with zero miles left. No kidding! (I know Mom! If you are reading this, I won’t ever do it again!) When my husband and daughter had dinner ready when I arrived home this evening, I knew it was another blessing, particularly, when it tasted so good. It isn’t always the big things we need to acknowledge, but the barely imperceptible moments that softly take place in our lives, that bring us that small peace of mind, a moment’s rest, or a unexpected feeling of satisfaction, that often go uncounted. In the next five days leading up to Christmas, pause for a moment, and reflect on your surroundings. “Count your blessings every one!”