Counting my Blessings!

One of my favorite quotations these days is – “The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” – William Penn

I try to live this way.  I try to live focused on the good and on God’s wonderful blessings – even (especially) when life is harder than I wish it were.

These words of wisdom have been a wonderful reminder to me that I am blessed ALL of the time – even when life is challenging.  These words also remind me that I will be so much happier if I spend my life focusing on my blessings and on the good things that are happening in my life.  

I really and truly do try to seek the best in a situation.  I look for rainbows and silver linings! 

I do this because I have found I am much – much happier when I am focused on God’s blessings to me.  I am so much happier and more content when I am focusing my attention on the good things in my life.  I have also found that other folks are happier to be around someone who is focused on the good in things and on God’s blessings.

I know I have mentioned it before – but I have lived the opposite way.  I have lived with negativity and unhappiness and fault-finding.  I was raised to look for the bad in things and most especially in myself.  My parents were not positive or gracious people. 

It was such a sad and small way of living.  In college (thanks to Jason and my friends Bethany and Jen) I realized what life could be like when you had the freedom to focus on the good and on God’s blessings.  This was clearly a much happier way of living.

I won’t say that I always get it right or that I am a rock star at gratitude.  Far from it!  But I do try to live gratefully and graciously and thankfully.  And honestly when I do – I am happier.

These past months have been so hard on so many of us.  Covid-19 has changed our lives in dramatic – uncomfortable ways.  It would be easy to become focused on all of the bad news – because there is so much bad news out there.  It would be easy to decide that we aren’t very blessed or blessed at all these days.  It would be easy to decide to be miserable and sad all of the time.  It would be easy to surrender to misery and despair. 

But in spite of the wretched – awful – miserable pandemic that is raging and turning our lives upside down and inside out – I believe that we are still blessed.  I believe God is with us.  And we will be so much happier if we look for the good and the blessings and the bright spots in our lives.

One of the blessings of my fall has been Will’s teacher – Mrs. Mazzoni.  She met Will for about 30 seconds in-person during a drive-thru orientation at Will’s school late this summer and yet she has formed a relationship with him.  And she seems to have done the same with all of her students.  You can tell from her interactions with them that she cares about them and knows what makes them tick.  She also seems to be (almost) infinitely patient with these wild and wonderful little people.  Herding cats and teaching second graders (on-line) seem to have a lot in common!  I was concerned about how starting NTI with a teacher Will had never really met would work – but it has gone quite smoothly at our house.  Mrs. Mazzoni is a blessing!  I thank our Lord for Mrs. Mazzoni over and over and over again.

Cheryl is a wonderful blessing to me (and to our entire Christian community).  From the moment I walked through the doors of Saint Stephen with my first box of books – Cheryl has been making my life easier and more pleasant and much more organized!  Cheryl proofreads like the editor of a major publisher.  Cheryl keeps track of Lutherans like a PI or member of an intelligence agency (but in a really loving – kind way).  Seriously – her list of contact information is almost always up to date!  She has the memory of a wise sage (but is clearly still a youth herself).  She gives impeccable directions.  She is generous and kind and most wonderfully of all – she is patient with me!  (I know that I can take a lot of patience sometimes.  I have seen it in Jason’s eyes and now in Jack’s eyes too . . ) Saint Stephen is so very blessed to have Cheryl Markley in the office and as a part of our Christian community.

Pat’s pretty nifty too!

I have been thinking a lot about how thankful I am for Buddy Zimmerman lately (and not just because he writes my paychecks)!  Ever since Covid-19 started Buddy has been the one and only offering counter at church.  Every week – without fail – Buddy counts the offering and makes the deposit.  And he also stops by the church almost every day to check the mail and to make sure everything is okay.  I am so thankful for Buddy’s loving dedication to our Christian community.  I count Buddy as a blessing too!

I forgot to mention the fact that Buddy cooks too!

Even in the midst of this horrible pandemic – I find that my life is filled with blessings.

Who are some of your dearest blessings?

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

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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