COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings see what God has done
Count your blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
~Johnson Oatman, Jr.
This song popped into my head as we drove west of the city of Calgary today. It is a song my Mom often sang during my childhood years. She'd sing it to cheer me up and to remind me of the myriad of blessings sprinkled though the moments of each day, even when the dark clouds of disappointment, discouragement or other trials threatened to hide the sunshine.
Today, I was counting my blessings. The nudge to do that came after a wonderful west coast meal prepared for us by a very close friend of mine. Her hubby barbecued a salmon, and the dinnerware was "fishy." The conversation was warm and genuine--light in nature at times--deep and caring at other times. From our first step into their home to the temporary hugs good-bye, it was a refreshing and very welcomed gift during this tough time of rollercoaster emotions.
As I pondered the treasure of our friendship, I allowed my mind to wander back through the past few weeks. There are endless blessings--too many to count! Friends and family have reached out with tremendous support, not only to Mom, but to us as well. B&B hosts (whom we did not know previously) have been so accommodating, even volunteering to forego t.v. in the evenings because of my brain injury and the need for a quiet place to retreat....slipping little goodies down to us...expressing genuine concern for my Mom....and us. Over 40 folks have gone to visit Mom in Hospice since May 14th! An answer to prayer for her! Mom was in a private room in the hospital and is now in a private room in the Hospice. These quiet environments have been an enormous blessing to me so I can be with my Mom during this critical time. We've been blessed with good weather for driving endless miles through the city each day, witnessed little goslings swimming in line between their watchful parents, enjoy the vibrancy of baby green leaves on the trees, and breathe deeply as beautiful stretches of farm land melt away the stress and busyness of the city as we head to our country B&B. I am thankful for the care given to my Mom and a relationship of love between us that is stronger than it has even been!! And, most importantly, I am overwhelmingly grateful for the unselfishness of my Kip as he walks this journey with me. The list goes on and on and on.
Yes, we are tired at the end of each day and trials and emotions surface as necessities need to be tended to, but those are just storm clouds that temporarily rain down on us as we travel along life's journey. But God is faithful and He is always, always in control. Trees need wind and storms to develop deep and strong roots......all we see is the glorious beauty in their spring blossoms or summer cloaks of green. Each and every day, God provides blessings in abundance and it is our responsibility to look past the dark clouds of discouragement in anticipation of the rainbow of hope which shines just beyond.
Thank you Lord, for reminding me to count my blessings every single day. Your goodness shines through the clouds, chasing away the darkness, filling my heart with gratitude beyond comprehension.
"Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40: 5
Tonight, as I sit and write, my precious Mom is lying in Hospice. The past week+ has been a flurry of packing and hard driving through the Rockies for us, and two moves for Mom--one to the hospital after falling, the other to Hospice two days after assessment.
Mom, 91, has terminal breast cancer. She has been an amazing trooper and an unbelievable witness for Jesus as this horrific disease has spread mercilessly. It is hard to see her looking so little and tiny in the bed, so weak that even trying to change position exhausts her. Although it's a scary time, she is very ready to go Home....to Heaven. I have so many things to be thankful for and I will always cherish the memory of her curling her little fingers around mine tonight as we sat quietly together.
Mom and I are extremely close. She is more than a Mom to me--she is also my friend and an amazing spiritual mentor. I can only lay personal claim to her being my Mom, because she is the truest of friends to all who have shared any part of her life's journey. The same can be said for her mentoring. Young, in-between, or partners in aging, Mom's life, words and actions celebrate Jesus and the Life He offers, regardless of circumstance. In fact, I think my brother summed it up perfectly the other day when he said, "Mom's faith isn't what she believes.....it's who she is."
Mom always taught me that each and every life has priceless worth in God's eyes. I have experienced that truth many times yet never so personally as I did after acquiring my brain injury. Besides Kip, Mom has been my most powerful cheerleader and my most fervent prayer warrior.
Now, as her time to go Home is nearing, my heart stands strong. She is entering the final leg of her journey on earth, and I know God her Heavenly Father is preparing a place for her in His eternal Home. She has honoured Him her entire life, and although the journey has had many valleys to conquer, He has led her victoriously through each one. I know my own journey without her in my life will be very difficult at times, but that's only because of the depth of love we have shared throughout my entire life. To experience loss and sorrow because of that deep bond of love is an eternal treasure. Those years together will never fade from memory or that special place in the heart.
When Mom passes away, it will be because of the touch of God's Hand. I will always cherish the words Mom said to me just the other day, "Always remember sweetie, that God is holding both of us in His hand....and sweetie, always remember to keep smiling."
"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." Psalm 73: 23, 24.
Looking for a special place to strengthen
your walk with God?
Check out our
Cottage Rental Page....
unwinding in our coastal paradise will do just that
UPLIFTING COMMENTS in BLOG ARE ENCOURAGED!