Tripping over Blessings!

I try to be a person who remembers to give God thanks for his blessings to me in my daily life.  I try to be grateful.  I try to pause every single day to give God thanks for all of the amazing blessings he showers upon me. 

Some days thanksgiving comes so naturally and so easily.  Thanksgiving and gratitude just flow out of me.  Some days I remember to make my list of blessings and to tell God thank you. 

Other days are harder.  Other days I struggle to remember how deeply and abundantly blessed I am. Other days I am grumpy or sad or in pain or full of myself and not all that good at remembering to say thank you.  Some days I am just plain selfish and self-centered! 

But this much I know – I am much – much happier when I remember to give God thanks.  I am kinder and more thoughtful when I live with an attitude of thanksgiving.  Science backs me up on this.  Studies have shown that people who list their blessings are happier and experience less depression and anxiety.  And these daily lists of blessings don’t need to be long.  Just listing three or four blessings each day is enough.  Wow – now that is seriously cool!

I have been thinking about thanksgiving and gratitude even more than usual lately.  And I have found that in spite of Covid-19 and migraines and learning to live with an autoimmune disease and the busyness of being a mom and wife and pastor and now teacher too – I am so incredibly wildly and wonderfully blessed.  Seriously – so very – very – very blessed. 

I am tripping over God’s blessings all day long when I open my heart to seeing God’s blessings to me.  It really and truly is all about being open to seeing our blessings from God – because God’s blessings to us are literally everywhere!

Tuesday one blessing I kept noticing was the blessing of where I work.  I love where I work.  Not everyone gets to work in such a beautiful – peaceful – sacred space.  I love Saint Stephen on Sunday mornings when it is full of Lutherans.  I love Saint Stephen when it is noisy and busy and bustling – but I also love Saint Stephen when it is quiet and all I hear is the hum of traffic of Bardstown Road.  I particularly love being able to watch the light stream through the stained glass windows.

As I worked in the sanctuary on Tuesday I noticed that our eternal candle was burning and our paraments and banners where the right colors for the church season.  And I thought of Steve Sarson.  I give thanks for Steven so often – because no matter what his work travel schedule is Steve makes sure the paraments and banners are changed.  And when Covid-19 isn’t raging Steve travels a lot for work.  This task can be time consuming – but Steven always does it with reverence and grace and care.  I have been the pastor at Saint Stephen for almost 10 years now and I have never needed to change a single parament or banner – EVER!

Yesterday evening as one of my greatest blessings (my sweet William) and I left church for the day, Rod Firquin and Matt Young were standing in the church parking lot having an important discussion about the church rental house (from a safe social distance.  I was very proud of their social distancing and I know our governor would be too!)   And I thought to myself – wow – more blessings from God.  Seriously.  I know Rod and Matt are blessings to Brenda and Lori and to their beloved children and grandchildren – but both of these guys regularly make it onto my mental gratitude lists.  They are blessings for whom I am truly thankful.

Rod has been the faithful church council president of Saint Stephen for almost seven years now and he is such an incredible blessing to our Christian community.  Rod is willing to do everything around Saint Stephen from serving as the deacon to cleaning the restrooms!  Rod reads those crazy Old Testament names boldly and with confidence and then he climbs up on the roof to check for hail damage.  In the midst of Covid-19 – it has been such a blessing to know Rod is sharing the church leadership helm with me.

And Matt.  Matt can fix anything or if he doesn’t have the time he knows who can!  Matt is so willing to help – to pitch in – to come up with a solution – and to get the hard work at church done.  Matt does it all with a smile too!  I would not do some of the jobs Matt does for us with a smile . . . Matt’s talents and skills have been such blessings to our Christian community. 

And Matt, Lori, and Chloe sit in the very front of the church almost every week so the deacon and I are not lonely way up there by ourselves!  Matt says he hears better up front – but I prefer to think he and Lori are keeping me company.  (William says Lori gives great back scratches too when my sermons get a bit long.  So Lori must scratch Will’s back EVERY week!)

See – right there in the front row!

I am so blessed.  I am deeply – wildly – wonderfully blessed.  God showers me with blessings each and every single day of my life.

I am going to spend the next few weeks keeping my eyes peeled and my heart open to God’s blessings to me.  I am going to try to remember that God is showering me with blessings all of the time.  I am going to strive to see these blessings from God and to tell our Lord thank you.  I invite you to join me.

How is God blessing you today? 

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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