Count Your Blessings

“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”                  Count Your Blessings by Johnson Oatman

I used to sing this hymn to my two babies after my divorce, when I was learning how to parent alone. Life was hard and I didn’t know what was around the corner, but I refused to allow my circumstances to keep me from recognizing God’s blessings in my life.

My girls are now 18 and 21 years old but they remember me singing this old hymn as I rocked them to sleep, and are familiar with its special meaning to me.

I still count my blessings every day. Today I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to counsel my 25-year-old stepdaughter about a difficult circumstance at work. I’m thankful my college-age student dropped by to say hello and share what’s happening in her life this week. I’m thankful I was able to stay home with my 10-year-old son yesterday when he woke up with 101 fever and a horrible-sounding cough.

But I’m especially thankful this week for a new job God has provided for my husband. If you read my blog often, you will remember my recent post on The Valley of the Unknown.  Thankfully, we didn’t have to wander long in the valley of unemployment. My husband secured a new job last week and is excited to begin his new journey April 4th.

However, the job is in another state, forcing us to quickly begin the relocation process. My husband will go before us to begin employment while the kids and I stay behind to sell the house, finish the school year, etc. It creates a stressful situation, but one in which I will remember to count my blessings.

We’re thankful for the new location because it lands us closer to our home state of Texas, where our oldest daughter resides in addition to a great deal of extended family. As we move from Arkansas to Louisiana, we leave three kids behind to finish college, but we’re thankful we can see them within a four hour car ride. It will be a significant change for all of us, but we know God is in control and trust His guidance, while we count our blessings.

Life presents challenging circumstances almost every day. As a stepparent, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things happening around us because we’re consumed with the negative. But if we remember to count our blessings, we will see God’s goodness in the midst of difficulty.

Have you counted your blessings today?

Related Posts:

Giving Thanks for Stepchildren

When Our Thinking Becomes Distorted

New Beginnings

4 Responses to “Count Your Blessings”

  1. 1 Sue March 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Congratulations to your husband on his new job. Yay, God!Timely post. We are about to become empty nesters, and after five years of living in town, we are looking to move back to the country. In fact, we should find out sometime today whether our offer on a small farm was accepted.Even though our youngest will be heading off to college in the fall, it will be a big change for all of us, especially them since so much is changing in their lives right now, but we believe it is the right move (pun intended). We just have to present it as positively as we can and pray that it works out with as little disruption to their lives as possible.

  2. 2 Step Parenting with Grace March 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Sue, Yay God is so right! Moving is never easy but we're excited about the next chapter for us. I don't know what it will feel like to have only one child at home but we're trusting the good Lord.Good luck on your new home – I hope it works out for you. That will make your transition to empty nesters easier. I'm concerned too about how our move will affect our college-age kids but we know they have been raised to be capable adults and I've already begun praying for them to willingly accept our move and develop stronger character as a result of it. It sounds like you are headed in the right direction as you present your move to your kids in a positive light and pray for their transition also. Change is such a part of life, isn't is? I'll be excited to hear more about the purchase of your farm!Gayla

  3. 3 Sue April 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    They accepted our offer! Now we just have to sell our house. Or as my husband says, now the real work will begin.This weekend, we told our two kids who still live at home, and it went better than we expected. Our son was happy for us because he knows his father's heart pretty well and knows how hard it was for my husband to become a "townie" when we moved here five years ago. We were particularly worried about his twin sister's reaction because she has a tendency to over-dramatize things, but she took the news well. The only thing she balked at was the idea of having to keep her room clean when we start showing the house. =)

  4. 4 Step Parenting with Grace April 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Sue, That's so exciting! I'm sure you feel better about all of it now that you've told the kids. I bet they'll adjust to it better than you think.Our kids are not excited about keeping their rooms clean either while we try to sell the house! Should be an interesting journey for both of us! Thanks for the update….Gayla

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