It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
~ Psalm 92.1
How many times have you heard, “count your blessings”? I’ve heard it more than I can count. It was only after reading Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts that I was prompted to actually begin doing just that. My recordings are somewhat sporadic. Sometimes I remember several times a week. Other times, it is several months before I think about writing down what I’m thankful for. Today I write #1567 Hanging decorative plates in kitchen. So grateful Phil and work well together. And #1573 Bread baking day with friends. Lots of fun and laughs. Loved having the bread’s rising time to sit and talk.
Why keep such a list? I’ve come up with four reasons as I’ve engaged in the process of writing down my blessings.
Scripture Reminds Us Repeatedly To Give Thanks For Our Blessings
There’s good reason for this. In the midst of trials and difficulties, it can be easy to think God has abandoned us and conclude we are no longer blessed. Nothing could be further from the truth! God always loves us and is with us. A written list of God’s blessings is a great reminder of the ways He has been with us in the past. These reminders fill us with hope for the ways He will be with us in the future.
A List Of Blessings Serves As A Document Of Things I’d Like To Remember
I have successfully journaled over short periods of my life, but regretfully never on an ongoing basis. I like the idea of journaling. I don’t like the idea of how long it takes me to write everything down. I write much less detail when I list my blessings. When I look back, I can generally remember many of the circumstances that prompted me to write the blessing down.
Listing My Blessings Changes My Focus
Once a week I try to review what has happened during the week, decide what I am grateful for, and add these items to my list. News programs, talk shows and newspapers are filled mostly with bad news. Journalism often sensationalizes events to make them sound worse than they are. If I’m not careful, I can begin looking at the world expecting that very little is good and everything is bad. Reviewing my day, week or month shifts my focus to what is good. I remember that God created a world for us to appreciate and enjoy – whatever dire events are unfolding in the world.
Repeated Occurrences Carry Me Through Difficult Times
The repeated occurrences of particular people or events are reminders of what a blessing they really are. When I’m feeling disappointed or angry with my husband, the number of times I’ve included him in my list of blessings is a reminder that the current circumstances are temporary and he really is a blessing in my life. I love leading a bible study every year, but it also has its (very!) frustrating moments. When I’m ready to call it quits, remembering how I’ve been blessed by the fellowship and insights of the ladies in past studies encourages me to push through the current circumstances. I’ve been there before and can have confidence that things will get better.
What are some of the things I count as blessings?
- #169 Homemade bread with homemade peanut butter and homemade raspberry jam.
- #1548 Reading – love being in the middle of a good book.
- #1437 Air conditioning installed. First time I’ve lived in a house with AC.
- #1371 Coming home to find the power out, yet still having a safe, dry place to stay.
- #93 Feeling completely accepted and encouraged by someone I’ve never met, but who has heard about me for the past 11 years.
- #1167 Restored relationship with a family member. So grateful for God’s grace and mercy through the difficult days.
- #204 Fabulous leaders’ retreat. What a blessing to spend a few days with a great group of ladies. We had time to relax, talk and laugh. Wonderful fun!
I made it to 1,000 blessings in a little more than five years. A popular worship song has challenged me to keep going. What would it look like for me to have 10,000 blessings? What better time to think about being thankful than over the Thanksgiving holiday? Do you remember how you are blessed? Would a numbered list serve as a reminder in moments of trial and difficulty? It’s an idea well worth considering.
You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find
~10,000 Reasons, Matt Redman