This was me in the shower yesterday: Krista In the Shower … Take 1 Nice huh? Hmm… What can I say? It’s my favorite place to sing? It’s just too bad there’s no auto-tuner for shower singing.
Well, that hymn (“Count Your Blessings”) has been on repeat in my head (and thus, out my mouth) nonstop as of late, which is interesting because it’s not even one of my favorites. I mean I like it well enough, but I don’t necessarily jump for joy when it’s on the communique at Church. Not that I jump around in the chapel anyhow, but there are definitely other hymns I enjoy more than this one. Nevertheless, I’ve found myself singing it often these last couple weeks.
I’m certain I’m not as thankful as I ought to be. I note frequently, even to God, the things that are missing in my life, the things that have been taken away before I was ready to give them up, the things I didn’t want but got, the things I do want but don’t have, and on and on. And while I know we are to ask if we are to receive, I also know we are to thank the Lord in all our doings.
All our blessings do come from above and they come in abundance, I know this is true, if only we would open our eyes to see them and our arms to receive them. When I do this, I feel a greater sense of peace, less worry, less need, less want. My faith is stronger. My happiness heightened.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said (in one of my all-time favorite speeches that you should totally read and re-read), “gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character.” That’s the kind of soul I want to be, the kind of character I want to have. And it comes by the virtue of gratitude.
With these things on my mind, I sat down to write out my own blessings. To count them one by one and see them in black and white …
A Heavenly Father who knows and loves me . A Savior who stands ready and waiting to save me . the gifts and feelings of the Holy Spirit that calm and lift me . prayer . the knowledge that Someone is actually listening to those prayers . music . answers to prayers . a mind that can understand and learn something new . a mother who would give anything for her children . a father who worked hard for his family and always put us first . sister Karly and her tender heart . sister Kaycie who makes me smile . Frit, the best of friends, who is always there . Kate, my BFF all through college and who continues to be a sounding board and friend of the best kind . hundreds of other friends who, as Anne would call them, are kindred spirits . touch in all its forms and with all its healing power: hugs, holding hands, sitting close, kisses, foreheads rested together, blessings, stroking, draping, arms touching, legs touching, massage, etc. . deep heartfelt conversations where no time is wasted on the surface . sunshine and all its varying degrees of light throughout the day . new days . new chances to try again . ideas . opportunities . my hands and the way they create . art . the Earth and all her beauty . the ocean . the sound of the waves . my dad’s business . the people who ride his boats . the “blues” of the world: the sea, the sky, the lakes and rivers . the teeny tiny birds who were perched in my lavender patch this morning . the quiet of morning . the Scriptures and the way they bring me back to center . revelation and the knowledge that God speaks to us, guides us, teaches us, answers us . inspiration and the ability to hear and receive the voice of God . good books–all types . words to express . the white chocolate lime cake I made 2 times in the 4 days this week . a really comfortable bed with super soft sheets . clothes to wear . shoes to wear . the ability to read . clean water to drink . a really nice home that keeps me cool in summer and warm in winter . grandparents who always adored us girls . vacations . the river in Florida where my grandparents live and the canopy of trees above their house and the docks to sit and escape from life on . the chance to grow up on the most beautiful island . spanish moss and the way it drips from the tree limbs . people who ask me to take their pictures . people who hire me to sew for them . people who shop in my shop . people who ask me to be their marketing/PR consultant . a really great web-designer who does what I need quickly, and doesn’t get bent out of shape when I change my mind 14 times . money–there’s not a lot of it right now so I’ve learned lately to appreciate every cent that falls into my hands . the girls I teach at Church . laughter . my eyesight . my tastebuds . my ears that hear . my nose that smells . flowers that stop me dead in my tracks because they’re so fragrant . friendly love . familial love . romantic love . hope . the truth that we can, and should, hope for all things . creativity . life . the Olsen’s who let me come every week for Sunday dinner . a ward family who supports and is always there . Home Teachers who come every month . really great Sunday School teachers who take the time to prepare and relate the lessons to our lives . a Bishopric who prays for all of us . neighbors who are always looking out for Frit and I . the kids at Church (and everywhere really) who make me laugh . love between older couples . the hope of having my own children one day . the hope of having a husband one day . people who set me up on blind dates . the boy who is taking me out tonight . the past . mistakes . knowledge . my education . Utah and the home it’s become . my old job and all I learned there . my new flexible life . indoor plumbing . hot showers . the braces my dad paid for when I was a kid . opportunities to lead . all the camps and conferences I went to as a teenager . the Restored Gospel of Christ . the Holy Priesthood . men who honorably hold that Priesthood and use it to bless those around them . temples . the peaceful quiet joy I feel when I’m inside temples . the chance to serve a mission . all my companions while on my mission–for their friendship and the things I learned from each of them . the ability to teach . the people who let us into their homes on my mission . summertime . gardening . bright red strawberries . men who mow lawns and pull weeds so I don’t have to . my imagination . my heart . the ability to love and love well . exercise, even though I hate it . goals to reach for . fantastic teachers throughout my life . my tiny ward family back home–it was a branch when I was there, but I know I’m who I am today because of that place and those people . light . starry nights and that feeling I get when I lay on my back and take them all in but can’t comprehend the bigness of it all–it’s confusing but comforting all at the same time . the ability to think.
OK. My hour is up. I could keep going, but I’ll save it for another time. But let me also say that I’m grateful for you, who read and care and encourage me to write. I love knowing you’re out there and strangely a part of my life.
And speaking of YOU, I created a little print out for you, so that if you’d like to count your blessings too … you can. To post on your mirror and remember every day. I’ve been thinking that sitting down to fill one of these lists out might be a good weekly activity for Sunday afternoons. I also thought it would be a fun game for Family Night–whomever lists their 20 blessings first, wins a prize. Of course, little ones would need help so you could pair off in teams if that were the case, or you could even print or cut out pictures of blessings your family enjoys for young children to glue onto their paper. Either way … happy counting!
DOWNLOAD HERE, Save to Computer, Print and Cut
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