October 30, 2019

Count Your Blessings

By Barry Rudesill

Today, as I sit down to write, I’m tired, I’m hurting, and I want to just go back to bed! (Good start to a blog posting, right?)

These past few days, knowing that winter is coming, my family and I began to pack up everything outside and prep the house. We worked hard because the snow is supposed to seriously start this week and, based on last winter, it probably won’t go away until sometime next May or June. (Welcome to the Northwoods of Wisconsin!)

Tasks included laying in our supply of firewood, putting plastic on the windows, installing storm doors, moving telephone poles by hand, etc. (Okay, maybe the telephone poles were unrelated, but I didn’t want them freezing to the ground before I could use them!)

After completing the work on my list, I’m realizing that I’m not as young as I used to be…

But, as I sit here and type, I’ve realized something else, too. You see, I can grumble about the work I had to do. I can grumble about the fact that I forgot to clean the windows before putting the plastic on them. (The dog-nose prints are there until Spring!) I can grumble about the expense of the weatherproofing materials. I can grumble about… well, anything I choose, actually! In fact, as I’m sitting here, tired and hurting, grumbling is easy. It’s really easy, when we’re hurting, to lose sight of what really matters.

But the reality is:

  • I have a home.
  • My body (mostly) works and I can still do the jobs that need to be done.
  • I have my teenagers to help me do some of the heavy lifting.
  • I had a friend donate the firewood and even loaned me a log-splitter.
  • I have a job which covers the expense of the weatherproofing materials.
  • Because of our work, when it’s cold outside I will have a warm house.
  • I have a generator in case the power goes out.
  • We completed the work before winter came.

And so much more...

It comes down to a simple choice: do I want to spend my time focusing on all that I think is wrong or do I choose to be grateful for what I have?

Please understand, I KNOW that there are times when it’s hard to see past the pain in our lives. I’ve been there. I have family and friends who are there now. But I also know that if I spend my time focusing on everything that’s going “wrong”, I often miss out on what’s going “right”, and I don’t want to miss that...ever!

Today, stop and take a moment to write down three things that you’re thankful for. Write them in a journal, put them in a jar, or find some other way to hold onto your blessings. Tomorrow, do it again. And then the next day. And the next. Then, when you have a down day, go back and re-read your blessings. It may help you to stop focusing on what is wrong and start focusing on what is right.

We hope you enjoy your journey!

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