How do you count your blessings?

When I’m tired, and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep”

I am many things. One of those things is a math tutor, and another is a person who offers encouragement. Generally, when we count items, we tend to count them one by one. But if there are a lot of things to count, we might count them by twos or fives, or even more. 

But what about when we count our blessings? When I count my blessings, sometimes I break them into categories. For instance, I might say I am grateful for my relatives. I count the blessings of my relatives and friends. Then I might say my cousins, and reflect upon them by sub-groups. For example, the children of  this aunt, or that uncle. I might do the same thing with my friends, and break them into where or when we became friends. Or I might break them into my closest friends,my ya-yas,  and reflect upon that by how very much we have shared over the years.

I might think about the blessings of challenges I have faced, or events that gave me a lifeline to God. You see, there are many ways that I come up with what my blessings are on a given day. I think that is because there have been so many blessings (obvious and more hidden) over the years. I have said many times that I am blessed beyond measure. That becomes so very obvious when I try to count my blessings. To count them one by one is a process that is even more mindful than the count by category way I mentioned.

Let’s look at it this way. Our lives are like a library full of books. Each blessing is a solitary volume. So to count or reflect upon our blessings one by one would involve time and reflection. In my life-library, that means to start at the first shelf of books. Take the book on the left hand side of the top shelf off of the shelf. Sit down, and read the book, taking time to really reflect upon each page, and being grateful for that book/person/blessing. Then, I would get back up, re-shelf that book, take the next volume off the shelf, and repeat the process. Continuing this process, counting the blessings one by one would mean to do the same thing with every book in the library. Of course, the more grateful you become, the more books appear in this life-library.

books shelf

Did you and books become friends as a child? If so, you will remember feeling overjoyed to be in a library with a world of books awaiting you. That is the feeling we can create within ourselves by counting our blessings. In our life-library, if we do this, perhaps we will be less and less downhearted if some of the books we expected to be there are not there.

I remember my dad telling me that when he lived in a small town in Iowa, he decided he was going to try to read every book in his town library. He knew it would be a big undertaking, but he was making progress. He was an avid reader. Then his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. When he went to that library, he realized there would entail a lot more books. He was undeterred. Throughout my life he was always reading multiple books at the same time.

So I think in counting our blessings, it would be a wonderful thing to ponder each blessing one at a time, for as long as it takes to read an entire book. Then do the same thing for the next blessing. If each blessing was put in a card catalog, what would the subject card say? How about the author card? How about the title card? Isn’t that cool to think about?

I guess these days you might say what would the categories and tags say for each of your blessings?

You see, summer makes me think of the glorious library days when I was a kid. The world was my oyster, and the library was an earthly heaven. I loved that feeling. The feeling of immersing myself is joy is not so automatic these days, as sometimes I feel careworn. But that in turn means that I need to figuratively flop on my belly in a shaded back yard, and just reflect.

I hope that today reminds you of some of your most cherished blessings. I am going to try carefully looking at as many blessings today—one at a time.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in faith/courage/miracles/hope, Positive Thinking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to How do you count your blessings?

  1. A wonderful encouragement and remedy for sorrows Kate.

  2. TBM says:

    The way it should be, one at a time.

  3. Erin Pascal says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I really need this encouragement. I am very inspired by your words and I am so grateful to have come across this beautiful article. Thank you so much for sharing this brilliant reminder. May God bless you!

  4. “If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.” That is a library of blessings the quote should be! Love your write up.

  5. phylor says:

    I don’t have a nook or kindle — I like the feel of paper, the rustle when the pages are turned, letting it fall open to where I should read. I understand the lure of ebooks, but I am so proud of one of my grandnieces. Upon receiving an ebook from her parents (she loves to read), she said thank you, and could we return it and get real books.
    Libraries are moving into the 21st century — haven’t seen the author/subject card wooden cabinets in years; everything is electronic. In fact, my library just bought several ereaders that borrowers can load up with ebooks. Don’t think I’m ready to give up the texture, the experience, the pleasure of an old or new volume.
    The smell of a brand new book, or the feel of the leather binding on an old one keeps me in touch the creative, dreamy, engaged self. But, as an historian, there is a part of me that understands why books need to be copied electronically, or captured with photos/scanners as some are so fragile, the pages crumble in the process.
    I need to count my blessings more often; sometimes the stressful and out things out of my control fill my mind, thus not thinking on the more that gratitude and seeing the good in things that I might miss otherwise.
    Thank you for a wonderful post; I definitely will keep looking for and recording my blessings and gratitudes — on paper first, lol, before being translated into the cyberwrite universe.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I feel the same way. I just love, love, love the whole feeling of physical books….if you saw my home you would know that!! I am a book accumulator, that is for sure. My most cherished possession as a pre-schooler was my library card. You had to be able to sign your name to get one. I practiced and practiced until I could do it! I was always checking out library books….one of the things I looked at when I was choosing a college was the number of volumes they had in their library.
      I also have an ereader, of course—and enjoy it. But I will never lose my love for reading a book in book form!! I feel the same way about photographs!!

      • phylor says:

        When I was going through the photographs my mother hadn’t thrown out, I found ones of her and my father I had never seen before. It gave my remembories of them a whole new dimension. There were images that will stay with me of a time when they were starting their lives together — my mother could have been a model and my father, without a moustache, more impish than when I was young.
        I treasure photos too, but I knew people treasured the narrative of lives lived through the pictures they had sent to my mother. So, I returned all the albums to the family members; in some cases, I took a photo of a photo, or scanned the image into my computer.
        I felt especially good returning the photo albums of my mother’s sister and her family. There were pictures of the 3 sons that died, and pictures of my aunt before dementia, then Alzheimer’s had taken their toll. I felt gratitude in helping the family regain some of what they had lost.
        I try to remember that a day I would consider awful, would be a day in paradise for someone else.

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