Have your heard the song “Blessings” by Laura Story? It has become one of my all time favorite songs. I listen to it over and over again. The lyrics are so powerful:
I recently gave an entire speech on how your raindrops are often your mercies or blessings in disguise.
First of all, can I just say that I used to HATE rain! When I’d look up in the sky and see this sight, I’d want to lay in bed all day and cry.
Looking back, I realize raindrops have been my mercies in disguise!
As a 11-year-old, they helped me grow an amazing garden.
I carefully planted, watered (using irrigation water from direct rain) and picked the veggies, then went door to door in a wagon like this, selling my wares.
I was very successful and soon found out that I could sell zucchini squash to the next door neighbors who already had zucchini squash growing in their own garden! Who couldn’t resist a little girl pulling a little red wagon?! This was the start of my own entrepreneurial spirit and I’ll be forever grateful for that rain!
Ironically, I was sent to Scotland, the rainiest place on the planet, for my 18-month mission for my church. There were only eight sunny days the entire time I lived there. Here is one of them (who let me out o the house with hair like that?):
The rest of the days looked like this:
I soon discovered something. The sunny days made it more difficult to talk to people-everyone wanted to be soaking up the sun (which I totally understood). But on the rainy days, most people felt a little sorry for us and invited us in for hot chocolate and a biscuit. During this time we were able to share our message on the importance of families.
Just a few months ago, the rain was a huge tender mercy! (I know I already shared this story, but have to share it again!) While in England for the Olympics, we were feeling a little down that we weren’t able to score any event tickets. To cheer us up, we purchased tickets to go on a bus tour around London. Upon leaving our flat, it started bucketing down rain. We went back up to our flat to wait it out for a few hours, then proceeded to get on a train to take us to our tour. There we met the Olympic archery coach who proceeded to give us free tickets to the Gold, Silver and Bronze metals archery event. Wow–the rain was such a blessing in disguise.
So let me tell you a little secret that I’ve done for years that helps me remember all that’s good in my life. It’s my daily gratitude journal:
It helps me remember the small, simple things in life are really the best things of all. It reminds me of my all that surrounds me that’s good. On occasion, I’ve also used it to showcase a bad day that I was then able to see the good in. Like this day on June 12, 2012:
I wrote: “All I can say is I’m glad today is over because it was the worst day ever.
1. Almost got in a horrible accident while Sage was in the car while taking Maggie, our dog, to get groomed.
2. Accidentally took Steve’s truck keys with me–he was leaving to go out of town.
3. Dealing with Steve’s bad mood because I’d taken his keys.
4. Getting Brecken to girls camp on a road that was closed.
5. The ATM eating my card and money.
6. Not being able to pay the dog groomer because I had no cash.
7. Brand-new groomed Maggie rolling in horse manure. I got stuck with the task of bathing Maggie late at night.
8. Overly excited Maggie (after her bath) jumping up on my bed and wetting on my sheets. The dog is already a challenge for me and of course, Steve is gone.
9. Killing Sage’s beautiful blue fish while changing its water.”
“But then again . . . Gratitude.
1. Sage and I survived my stupid moment on the road.
2. Steve quickly turned his bad mood around.
3. Brecken finally made it to camp.
4. No money was charged on my credit card and I got the card back.
5. Having a dog groomer who totally trust me to pay the next time.
6. Having the joy of sleeping in clean sheets tomorrow night.
7. Not having to take care of Sage’s fish any more! One less thing.”
Please take this life-altering challenge:
* Write down five things you are grateful for each day.
* Do this everyday.
* Do this for at least a month.
* Change your life.
Studies have traced a gratitude journal’s impressive benefits, including:
* Better sleep.
* Fewer symptoms of illness.
* More happiness.
The entries are meant to be brief–just a single sentence. They can range from the mundane (“Sunday morning waffles”) to the sublime (“Dinner with both sets of grandparents”) to the timeless (“Amy Grant’s Christmas album”).
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns dental into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude make sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie
At the start of this glorious season, may we remember all the many blessings we DO enjoy. Oh–and don’t forget to write them day everyday!
With love, Lisa