A phrase from the song "Count your Blessings" is flitting through my mind right now:
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings
See what God has done.
Hebrews 12:8 says, "let us show gratitude."
And Philippians 4:8 says, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."
That verse is all about noticing what we have rather than what we don't have!
This is all in my mind as I sit at my table listening to the wind rush through the trees. My mornings of sitting outside are rapidly ending for 2018. I'm praying for a long autumn, but I know the land needs the moisture winter will bring (Hawk and I still sit outside, but we go out later and come in earlier). The human part of me isn't excited about the seasons changing. I think about pushing Hawk in his chair through snow; trying to get around ice; bad weather, loss of electricity; isolation that comes with being snowbound.
But so much good comes with the changing seasons too:
warm sweaters and stocking caps
chili and soup
cuddling in bed on Saturday mornings
the beauty of snow
crisp, sunny winter days
thick winter coats on the horses that feel like velvet
My youngest daughter and I got home at midnight last night after her volleyball game. Late nights are not my most favorite thing in the world. I'm usually in bed by 9 p.m. As I waited for her in the parking lot I longed for bed, but then I wouldn't have seen Mars and the stars in the sky. I wouldn't have heard the positive words I heard on the radio. I wouldn't have spent those 20 minutes alone with my daughter on our drive home. Those were all good things. Those were things I had last night, things that were vastly more important than lying in bed.
There is always something we can think about we don't have, but thinking like this just adds stress and worry and discontent to our lives.
My mother mentioned a man to me the other day. He lived in our neighborhood where I was grew up. He was six years my junior so I didn't know him (but I knew his parents). He suddenly died last week. He just didn't wake up. He left behind a young family.
None of us know when we will take our last breath. Do we really want to waste our days in worry and discontent? Things can change in less than a second for good or bad. There are bills to pay. There are tasks that need doing. Problems arise. Health issues sometimes take over. And we need to deal with all this for sure. But none of it needs to define us.
What we focus on is what our life will be.
What you and I have far surpasses what we don't have.