Friday, July 25, 2008


Today is a day of reflection for me, as you may have guessed from yesterday's blog. But in the midst of my time of reflection, I have spent more and more time reflecting on blessings - blessings I have been given in my life, and blessings I hope to share with others in their lives.

Sometimes it is too easy to neglect the blessings we have been given and focus on the frustrations, the struggles, and the bad stuff. But when I look at life, there are so many good things going on that the negative need to take a back seat.

Blessings in my life are easy to name - love, family, friends, joy of what I do, golf time (which is also a frustration since I broke another club today, but that is another story:), health, and the list goes on and on.

I also have the blessing of good memories - times growing up, relationships made and restored, times of play, etc.

And for me there is true joy in life when I see blessings in the lives of others. When they tell a story of something great that has happened, when they have a "God moment" and they just have a glow on their face. Yes there are bad things in the world, but when we are given that moment of joy, that moment of blessing, it reminds us that we are loved and cared for by a God who will be with us for all of eternity.

So today, I pray that you will look for the blessings in your life. I pray that you will be showered with God moments, and that you will share those moments with me - for I would love to hear them.


sue stoddard said...

Dear Pastor E.,
I tried to blog you yesterday, but couldn't remember my password. Today I decided to persevere and set up a new password. I remember the night before your dad died. We were having a NCD meeeting at church. You knew that your dad was not doing well and you frequently left the meeting to make arrangements etc.. I remember thinking about the day my dad died and the feelings I was having. Now it is 14 years later, and I still think of Dad almost every day. I think of him when I do a small electrical repair, replace the "guts" of my toilet, or caulk the bathtub. I also remember him when I study the night sky, pick up an occasional coin off of the sidewalk, or look for agates in piles of landscape rocks. My dad was so much more that this, but it's the time we spent together doing mundane things that I remember most. You asked us to share some blessings with you. I guess one of my greatest blessings was to have a dad that valued spending time with his daughter.

Betty Dygart said...

I know I have referred to Thornton Wilder's classic play, "Our Town" before in this blog, but on the topic of blessings, the play warrants a revisit.

In the last act, Emily, who has died in childbirth, has the opportunity to go back and relive one day from her life. Her mother-in-law, also dead, warns her not to do it, that it will be painful. Emily cannot imagine how reliving her 12th birthday could be painful, so she tells the Stagemanager to send her back, and that she wants "the whole day," not just part of it.

So, she is transported back, to a cold day, fourteen years previous, and sees again the town she grew up in. She has forgotten that the boy next door, whom she later married, had left her a postcard album on the door step as a birthday present. Emily observes herself, living over her 12th birthday, and only after viewing a few minutes of the early hours, cannot stand it anymore.

"I can't go on. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another."

She begins to sob. The lights dim on half of the stage and the scene she had been reliving disappears.

"I didn't realize. So that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back--up to the hill--to my grave."

But, lest the scene be so sorrowful that we cannot leave the theater in anything but extreme regret and sadness, Wilder writes a wonderful thing. He has Emily make the famous "Blessings Speech."

"But wait! One more look. Goodbye. Goodbye, world. Goodbye, Grover's Corners...Mama and Papa. Goodbye to clocks ticking...and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up. Oh earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you."

Such simple, elemental things, flowers, coffee, sleep, awakening, the ticking of often do we even think of them? Yet all of these are blessings, as are the relationships we have with those around us.

Emily is right, of course, it all goes too fast. Before we know it, as the Stagemanager comments earlier in the play, "You know how it is: you're twenty-one or twenty-two and you make some decisions; then whisssh! you're seventy: you've been a lawyer for fifty years, and that white-haired lady at your side has eaten over fifty thousand meals with you." and your life on earth ends.

Let's all take a lesson from Wilder's play, slow down and count our blessings each and every day. It's easy to think of a myriad of blessings, considering how monumental the small things really are.

lula said...

Blessings, huh?
1. My church mom and dad consider me part of their family.
2. Stephie, Ranger, and Lula love me unconditionally.
3. An awesome 2-year old phones me and tells me that he loves me.
4. A terrific 3-year old loves going to McDonalds with me.
5. A terrific 3-year old's parents go on dates so I can hang out with their daughter.
6. I have awesome friends who are there for me and let me be there for them.
7. I have a great neighbor who gets rid of any dead animals that might show up in my yard. And he only teases me a LITTLE bit about being afraid of them.

chrissy said...

I want to share a God moment I had a few years ago that was so powerful yet I have to keep being reminded of what was said. Please note that I have only shared this with a few close friends and my husband. I worry and fret over my now 18 year old daughter. As she started high school and a very active social life, I would lay awake at night and worry when she wasn't home, etc. One night as I lay there wide awake with worry and praying for her protection and my peace of mind, I felt a presence and a true peace come over me and the words "Don't worry about her, Chrissy, I have great plans for her." That to me was such a blessing, such a wonderful God moment--how I needed that. I still worry about her and sometimes it's downright fretting but this past weekend I decided that I really have to turn this over to the Lord, again, and trust Him, again, to take care of everything. Again, a sense of peace has come over me. We are in the midst of preparing to take Taryn to college and what a stressful time this can be but I refuse to let that dominate my life right now--I want to enjoy this time with her and watch her as she experiences the joys(and trials) of young adulthood and college.