Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Counting My Blessings

Yesterday I was at the opthamologist's office with two of the children. They were new patients so, of course, there were forms to fill out. One form for each of them was a health history. As I read through the list of potential medical conditions with which they could be afflicted I was so grateful to be able to check 'NONE' in all of the categories except allergies.

How often I overlook this in my grumbling and worrying; I have nine healthy children! Thank you, Lord.

What else do I miss and forget to thank God for? Unfortunately, a lot. Here are some of the things that have not gone unnoticed.

A horrible tornado struck Missouri and killed over 100 people; we had thunder storms with some tree limbs down. Thank you, Lord.

One of my daughter's classmates died in a car accident this year; my daughter graduated! Thank you, Lord.

The unemployment rate is still way high; my husband and 6 of my kids have jobs. Thank you, Lord.

Many children need glasses or perhaps surgery to correct eye problems; my girls can see just fine unaided. Thank you, Lord.

Lord, help me to see all of your blessings, all of the time, but most especially when things feel overwhelming. Grant me Your grace to be grateful.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Much Needed Break

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. On the weekend of our 28th wedding anniversary my dear one took me away. We didn't go far but it felt like half way around the world. We enjoyed quiet meals, uninterrupted conversations, and a couple of movies. We browsed book stores and made a wish list to take to the library.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the opportunity to attend Mass together, twice. Praying together is such a bonding experience even if there are lots of others sharing that time with you. Our regular organist is taking an extended leave of absence and I miss the music at daily Mass. Our two weekend Masses were full of both music and lovely songs. So refreshing!

We enjoyed the relative quiet.  It's different when the noises are things you do not have to attend to.

We renewed our relationship with each other.   Hard to do when life takes over at home.

We put away the cell phones, thankful that the older kids will not let the younger kids call us.

We've decided to make this a habit.  So, now, every two to three months we take off for the weekend.

God always blesses our time together.  We come back better spouses and better parents.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

God Cares About the Little Things

In the days before online banking, as I was writing my return address on yet another envelope, I said a small prayer something to the effect of "Lord I wish I could afford some return address labels so paying the bills wouldn't take so long!" It was a very small prayer about a very trivial matter.

Guess what? God heard that prayer and continues to answer it to this day; for seemingly overnight, it became quite popular to include return address labels in mailings from organizations seeking donations. Within a few months I had more return address labels than I could possibly use. Even after we moved into our new home (13 years ago) God made sure I had labels.

To say that He cares about the little things is no little matter. How many times a day do we pray for a parking spot, an open lane to turn left into on a busy road, green lights when we're in a hurry. How about those prayers we whisper and then immediately forget about until we realize they have been answered.

Some people don't like to bother God about little things. I think He likes to answer the little prayers because He wants to please us and wants our faith in Him to grow. When He takes the time to answer our little prayers, He is showing us that He is never too busy for us. He is inviting us to trust Him in the big matters; that ones that won't be answered swiftly. He is challenging us to pray without ceasing and trust that little or big, our prayers are being heard and answered, sooner or later, in His time.