The new OBS I’m participating in for the Tracie Miles book “Stressed-Less Living” has really impacted me and, even though I’ve already completed and posted on this week’s blog topic “Stressed-Less,” I kept feeling led to post on the “#Blessed” topic as well, in which we were challenged to start a list of things God has blessed us with – to start with five things and then add to it over time. I knew when I read the topics that this would be a helpful thing for me to do because, as Tracie says in the book, “I was so caught up in my stresses and problems that I was discounting all those blessings and favors from God.” (pg. 19) And then when I started reading all the awesome blog hop posts written on “#Blessed,” I was so blessed by them, that again, I felt led to write another blog. Ultimately though, it was when I turned my devotional calendar to today’s date, and this is what I found, that I knew I had to follow through.
For those of you who are visiting my blog for the first time and/or don’t know me well, probably aren’t aware of the fact that I lost my mom pretty unexpectedly seven months ago now, tomorrow. Shortly after her death, while searching through my old photo bin, I came across this calendar devotional:
It was something that my mom gave me for my baby shower for my daughter back in ’09, but I had tucked away and forgotten about when we had moved states just a few short months after our daughter’s birth. Finding and using it, in this first year without my mom, has been such a daily comfort and blessing to me! So this calendar, and today’s message in it, is Blessing #1 for me. I just love God’s perfect timing!
Blessing #2: (and these aren’t in any particular order of importance or anything) is my puppy Teak.
I’ve wanted a puppy for around twenty years or so now and he finally became a part of our family in January of this year. He is not a perfect little puppy by any means and often has become a large source of my recent stress due to potty training and all the other demanding needs that go along with owning a new puppy. But he is such a cute, fun, and long awaited blessing as well, which is what I need to remember and focus on when I’m cleaning up the millionth potty on the floor or taking him for yet another emergency vet visit because he eats everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING!...but yes, despite those added stressors, I just love him and feel so blessed that we’re able to afford having him in our life in this economy.
Blessing #3: our dog Coral
With her too, there have been times that I’ve been more focused on the stress she creates, then the blessing she has brought into our lives. Bringing home our new puppy has really helped open my eyes to what such a wonderful dog she is, and just how lucky we were to have found her. She is a rescue dog. She was found wandering the streets in San Bernadino, CA and brought to a human society in which they only keep the animals for one week before killing them. When she wasn’t claimed or adopted, she was moved to death row, but a bichon rescue in L.A. saved her, only then to do the same thing one week later. This is when a pet rescue in the Seattle area stepped in and had her flown here, where we “happened” across her at an adoption day at Petco and ended up bringing her home. She is the most loving, calm, patient and loyal dog I’ve ever known and it is truly us, not her, that is incredibly lucky to have her as a part of our family.
Blessing #4 & 5: my husband and our daughter
My daughter - because all children are truly a “gift from above,” as it says in James 1:17. And also because she is here today as a perfectly healthy, fun-loving, little girl with a gift for gab - often a source of stress for this quiet, methodical Mamma, but truly a blessing nonetheless! (For those of you who are new here, she had a very complicated birth and spent the first week of life in the NICU.)
My husband - because after nearly thirteen years of marriage, he still stands by my side and loves me for who I am – frantic mess and all – and is one of the most hardworking and giving people I know. After a long week at work earning money to provide for his family (Blessing #6 – my husband’s job), he’s pictured here putting in more hard work on some projects for our daughter’s room (Blessing #7 – extra funds in a tough economy to be able to afford home projects, and really also Blessing #8 – our daughter’s room, because this house was only a one bedroom for the first couple years after she was born and boy am I glad that’s not the case anymore!)
So that’s three more blessings than I'd intended to list for today, but that’s just another indicator at how truly blessed I am! I’m so glad that I decided to take a bit more time today to follow through on the leading of writing this list. Doing so really has brought a renewed appreciation and joy for the life and blessings God has granted me! If you too have found you’ve been discounting the favor of God in your life and lost the peace and joy in your heart, why not give this “#Blessed” list thing a try? As Tracie says in the intro to her book, “you have nothing to lose and a life to gain.” (pg. 15)