Count your blessings! How many times in our lives have we heard that? It sounds easy doesn’t it? Try counting your blessings when you cannot think of one solitary blessing. We have all been there. You know in your heart that you have blessings to count, but the circumstances of your life prevent you from recognizing them. I was thinking of this this morning and realized it is a lot like teaching a child to count. Teaching first grade special education, I encounter a lot of kids who cannot count. So, what do I do? I have them practice. I have them start small and work their way up. Maybe they can only count to ten, or five, or even one. Well, that’s a start. Once they can count to one, two will soon follow. Before long, they are counting to five, then ten, then 20, then 40 and so on. I think when it comes to counting our blessings during the hard times, we should start counting as if we are a first grader just learning how to count.
Surely everyone can come up with one blessing to count. If you can’t, I’ll help you. You can be thankful for the breath in your body. One of the first blessings that God gave us on this earth was that of breath in our bodies. From the second that our faces felt the warmth and light of this world, we took a breath. We didn’t even have to think about it. It just happened naturally. It is one of those God-given things that just happens, and we take it for granted. So count that as your number one blessing. As long as we have breath in us we can continue to fight. We can continue to try harder to be a better person. We can continue to try not to let the negativity of this world get us down.
So you see, breath really is a blessing. Do me a favor; hold your breath right now. Just humor me. Hold your breath as long as you can. As you hold your breath imagine not ever being able to breathe again. You become panicked. Your chest feels heavy and you get lightheaded. Now keep holding it. Hold it still a little longer. Now, let it out. Wow, that feels good doesn’t it? That relief you feel is the feeling that God wants us to have all the time, that feeling of relief that we can finally breathe again. We really can have that feeling most of the time if we just take a few minutes everyday and count our blessings. It takes five seconds.
Start at one blessing and then just work your way up from there. Before you know it, you will be counting five blessings, then ten blessings, and so on. And what a difference that will make in your daily life. Feeling gratitude and thankfulness is the perfect way to help us experience peace in our lives. In a lot of ways, not counting your blessings and being thankful for all that we have is like holding our breath. It causes anxiety, makes your chest heavy, and makes you feel lightheaded. But once you let it out and start counting, you will feel such a release and relief that you will never want to go through life again without counting your blessings. Counting our blessings will lead to peace, and PEACE MATTERS.
There is great power in writing things down, so here is a list of my blessings. I would love for you to list some of your blessings in the comment section of this post, but if you feel like you do not have time, at least make a list in your head. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
My Blessings (in no particular order):
- Peyton & Paycee
- My family (Grandma, Mom, Dad, Andrew, Amy, Katie, Jake, Tessa, Bob, Donna, and Aunt Pauletta just to name a few)
- My friends (Jerrah, Diane, and Toni)
- My home
- My job
- My health
- My safety
- My online friends who send me messages and inspire me through words of wisdom and pictures. (Too numerous to mention each one)