“Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
Every year since I can remember, my family has sung this sweet song at the Nichols Family Thanksgiving. My huge family (there’s about 70 of us currently) gather ‘round a piano and, with beautiful harmony, sing these sweet words of blessing and purpose. My Grandpa Fletcher started it years ago, and this past fall we sang it at his funeral. He lived this song out beautifully – he continuously counted his blessings and focused on the blessings in his life.
(My sweet Grandpa Fletcher – the patriarch of the Nichols family. He sure knew how to count his blessings well!)
(Grandpa with just a fraction of his granddaughters)
I am so grateful that my sweet grandpa made counting blessings as a priority. It’s so important because I think that we too often forget to count our blessings. We focus so much on our hardships and frustrations that we forget to see the blessings in every single thing we do. However, it’s so important to look at all the good things that God has done for you. He is a good, good father who has blessed us more than we can ever imagine. Scripture is so clear about how we should count our blessings.
We are instructed to not forget the good things He has done for us. Psalm 103:2 “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
Psalm 103:1-10 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…”
It really is a paradigm shift: to see the blessings rather than the trials in everything. It’s much easier to see the pain and frustration in my life rather than the blessings. The words of the song and verses to remind me are all good things… but at the end of the day I too often want to focus on the bad rather than the blessings. And sometimes, when I’m “minding the gap”, I feel overcome by the questions, exposing lies, and taking my thoughts captive. Sometimes I am working so hard at minding the gap about the hard things that I forget to count my blessings in absolutely everything in my life. They are there. I have to find them. Name them. Treasure them.
Minding the gap does nothing without the blessings.
Ben and I have taken the task of counting our blessings very seriously. For the last two years, whenever we post something on social media, we use some sort of hashtag that has the #Bobierblessings in it. We’ve gotten creative over the years and others use the hashtag as their own (It may be because they’re making fun of us, but I’ll take it as a compliment and go with it! ☺) We love to post things, and after a season we like to look back on our blessings and remember them. We also do something where every night we name ten blessings of the day. These are small things (I might mention a warm shower almost daily), but they make us focus on the blessings rather than the frustrations as we review our day.
Sometimes, however, even the blessings can be twisted (Satan has a way of taking good things and twisting it around to make me turn away from the Lord). One way that I’ve been battling this is by the blessings that Ben and I specifically get to experience. For instance, Ben and I have been blessed with the ability to take awesome trips to great places (it helps that my mom is a travel agent). We are so fortunate to be able to go on these different vacations. This is a time where we’ve been able to reconnect with each other, rest, and have a renewed spirit. Vacations are some of the biggest blessings that Ben and I get to encounter.
(Ben and I on our Disney cruise during Spring Break #Bobierwondercruisingblessings)
But sometimes, others’ judgements and comments make me think that I don’t deserve to do these fun things. I should be going on mission trips. I should be doing more “godly” things than going to Disney World. I start to feel guilty that I’m doing these things – that I get to have these blessings – and others don’t. Counting my blessings becomes something where I feel guilty that I have them. I must fight to keep these blessings as something that God has blessed me with. Counting my blessings is not meant to bring about guilt – but praise to my God. I do not need to defend or justify the blessings God has given me – I need to simply praise Him for them.
(Hanging out with Cruise Director Minnie Mouse!)
I challenge you to count your blessings daily. Be intentional with naming your blessings! Write them down! Say them out loud. When you post something online, be intentional about naming the blessing. Use the hashtag even! Fight to make sure that the blessings you are counting bring you to praise our good, good Father.
May all of the blessings we have continuously point us to Him and cause us to overflow with praise.
Crystal is a Christ follower and missional teacher of Communications and Leadership Development to three hundred boisterous six graders. She and her husband, Ben, love living in a great little community of Adel, IA, outside of Des Moines. She loves cheering on the Cyclones, counting her many blessings, the Iowa State Fair, Minnie Mouse, traveling, farm life, her big family, and all things Disney.