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?

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Friday’s Fav Scripture – “My Grace is Sufficient for You”

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

I don’t know about you, but I often feel weak and inadequate in my parenting and stepparenting role. I love this Scripture because it speaks of the Apostle Paul’s need for Christ’s power to rest on him and supply the grace and strength he needs.

I can relate. I cannot adequately perform my role as a wife, mother, and stepmother without Christ’s help. I’m thankful for His willingness to walk this path with me.

As we move toward the week of Thanksgiving, I want to offer thanks for the unending grace, strength and power I can access.

What about you? Do you need to recognize Christ’s strength or grace today?

Related Posts:

Friday’s Fav Scripture – “I Will Strengthen You”

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Finding the Beauty of God’s Grace in Your Stepfamily

Being Thankful for Stepchildren

I’ll never forget the counselor’s words when my  husband and I began seeing a therapist at the beginning of our marriage. “You might consider it a privilege to take part in parenting your stepchildren. Could you consider that?” What??? Was he listening to my pleas for help? No, I couldn’t consider what he was asking. 

As we move toward the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s a great time to count our blessings and offer thanksgiving. In the early years of our marriage, I would have never given thanks for my stepchildren. But, 15 years later, I can say, “I’m thankful for my stepchildren, and the part I’ve played as their stepparent.”

My stepchildren have taught me patience and perseverance during painful periods. I’ve been forced to build a character of steel and skin as thick as mud to make it through tough times. But I’ve learned I can endure almost anything and come out successfuly on the other side, with God’s help.

My stepchildren have taught me that family isn’t always blood-related. I can learn to love my stepchildren like my own. I can offer Christ-like forgiveness even when they don’t deserve it. And I can be proud of earning love and respect from my them, in spite of my stepparenting blunders.

Stepparenting isn’t easy, but it offers the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life. Will you embrace that privilege?

Are you thankful for your stepchildren? Will you share why you’re thankful for them?

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How Stepparenting Compares to Marathon Running

Lowering Your Expectations While Your Family Blends