August 17, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Do the lazy days of summer actually exist? It’s mid-August and I keep hoping I’ll wake up to find they do. I dream about a summer lounging at the beach or recreating at a cabin in the mountains, but so far that dream hasn’t come close to becoming a reality. Life, my life anyway, doesn’t operate at that speed.

This summer has been an especially stressful and hectic. My husband has been especially busy with work and surprisingly, so have I. I’ve been able to take several multi-day trips with the kids, but except for one weekend, they’ve all been without my husband. Since June we’ve been leapfrogging. He comes home for a business trip. I leave. I come home. He leaves. It’s certainly not how we want to run our family, but at least for the moment, it has to be. But I miss him.

For the first time all summer I don’t feel crushed by the weight of my to-do list—and the overwhelming feeling I’m letting everyone down. Tomorrow the kids and I are actually going to attempt some back-to-school shopping.

But even though (or perhaps, especially since) this summer isn’t going on any “top ten” lists, I thought I’d take a moment to recall my summer blessings. Each one reminds me that amid the craziness God is good.

So, here they are…in no particular order:

  • Right now my kids are out jogging together...watching them work together (and get exercise) is indeed a blessing
  • Listening to the wonderful stories my husband told from his mission trip to the Dominican Republic
  • Being in a Bible study with my mom…having all of the wonderful women of my Wednesday night Bible study in my life
  • Enjoying a great God-talk with my friends while sitting on the balcony of their shore house
  • Seeing my son’s ear-to-ear grin after he finished a zip line
  • Attending two wonderful writer’s conferences…and the friends I made at each
  • Watching eight dolphins play offshore while my family and I were at the beach
  • Paddling a canoe across a lake in the Adirondacks with my friend…and then watching our sons jump off a rock cliff into the water
  • Making s’mores…many times!
  • Enjoying Friday nights at the pool with our friends
  • Having tremendous Christian friends and a wonderful church family
  • Watching my daughter perform in “Bye, Bye, Birdie” after many weeks of hard work
  • Seeing my son receive the “bullfrog” after a swim meet…win his first official races…and receive a trophy for his exceptional swim season
  • Looking through a telescope and seeing Jupiter and four of its moons…and the Milky Way
  • Sitting by the campfire gazing up at more stars than I recall ever seeing…and seeing a shooting star
  • Winning a game show with my friend while at camp
  • Watching the Olympics with my family…and seeing Michael Phelps make history
  • Spending time with my sister who I love and don’t get to see enough
  • Cuddling on the couch with my daughter
  • Sitting at the feet of one of my favorite writers
  • Having my first submitted work published
  • Gazing upon a magnificent sunset
  • Spending today at the Grange Fair with my kids…enjoying the cows (and other farm animals), tractors, giant zucchinis, 4-H projects and homemade handiworks …all of us pining for the simplicity and romance of an agricultural life

All that in two short months—and I’m sure I missed a lot.

Usually it’s not the big things that knock us off our pins, it’s the daily annoyances that get us grumbling. I am so guilty of losing perspective in the midst of the “stuff” of life. I find myself listing my complaints instead of counting my blessings.

The words to the beloved hymn, Count Your Blessings, give comfort and encouragement that we all have times of trial, tempest, temptation and turbulence. The troubles will pass, but God remains through it all.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!

5 comments:

Justin said...

Hey, Kelli!

What a great reminder! You are truly blessed, as are we all. May the Lord give us eyes to see all the ways that our cups runneth over!

Congrats on being published with Proverbs 31! That's AWESOME!

Romans 15:13,

Justin

Peggy said...

Kelli.....
I have been recieving Proverbs 31 daily devotionals for two years and I can hardly wait to read tomorrows entry.
I pray that you and your family have a great time in Hershey.
God is so awesome, and it is nice to be reminded to stop and count those very special blessings He gives us each day.....We only need to stop and soak them all in.
Have fun, and see you Thursday.
(I'll be meeting my famous writer girlfriend.)
Blessings and Love,
Peggy

Donna Teti said...

Hi Kelli,

When I was a young girl I read a poem which describe the beautiful day a person had, drinking leomonade, picking flowers, chatting with loved ones, reading under a tree etc... the final line was...Today I have lived a poem.

Your recollections reminded me of that wonderful poem. It seems this summer you have lived a poem.Thanks for sharing your memories.

Warmly

Donna Teti

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, congrats on your first published work! From the comments here, it looks like I need to go check out the Proverbs 31 site. May God continue to bless your writing efforts!

Patti Shene said...

Wow, Kelli, I was excited when i saw you mentioned the Adirondacks! Our family spent many vacations up there. My mom and my sis still live there and I'm headed there for a visit next month. They do the Adirondack Marathon in my sister's town. My mom is coming down to help with it and our son, who lives in NYC, is coming up to run it. Where in the Adirondacks were you?