Things that make me FEEL BLESSED.

I have so many good things in my life. I am blessed. That does not mean I do not have issues, things that make me sad, worried, afraid or stressed, but I really cannot complain about my lot in life.

Life is funny, things get thrown in your way but when you are in the snow globe, you don’t always see the blessings. Blessings for me have been been both “in your face” and subtle, it has taken me time to see many of them, but history is a great teacher. Looking back, there have been a lot of hiccups in my life, many of them led to greater blessings. Now that I am older, I appreciate the practical wisdom of the Bible. I see the truth in its words and I understand the positive affect of applying the principles and guidance provide in its pages.

This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: “I, Jehovah, am your God, The One teaching you to benefit yourself, The One guiding you in the way you should walk.

Isaiah 48:17

If you read any of my previous “Who Am I?” blogs, you know there have been challenges for me to overcome throughout my lifetime; being raised an “army brat”, moving out of state at and being on my own at the age of 17, getting married at 19, having 3 children by age of 25, then I found myself divorced at 28. At that point, I was basically on my own with no family except my kids, it would be 10 years before meeting my husband, “the Lord and Master Beckman” (lol). Our road was a little rocky at first but with Jehovah’s help, our relationship improved and has been thriving. My kids are all doing well and my beautiful grandbabies are awesome! I have a beautiful family filled with love; we have ups and downs but we get past them, that is more than many can say. Whenever I think of my family, I am reminded, I am SO BLESSED!

Along the road of my life, there have been a few teachers who have made an impression on me that I will never forget. I recall my kindergarten teacher in Virginia when dad was stationed at Ft. Lee, she had long red hair, and for some reason I have fond memories of her, I don’t recall her name. Later, when we lived in Kentucky, I had a teacher sometime between first and third grade, Ms. Rodriguez, she paddled me for misbehaving in class, but I liked her; she was a good teacher. As time went on, I had another teacher in sixth or seventh grade in Tennessee– Mr. Beeler, he taught history (I think), I remember if you were chewing gum in class and got caught, you had to put it on your nose through the rest of class. So funny! Teachers could never get away with that today, but it proved the point and enforced the rule. He was a good teacher; I still have a paper I turned into a book mark of my name written by him in calligraphy out of ink we made from berries we had to pick and then we had to make a quill pen from a feather (readily available in the area we were living). Making the ink was a class assignment. I enjoyed it very much. Hence the bookmark after all these years.

My “best friend” from third grade on, whom I still occasionally talk to, and just recently on my way to see my grandbaby I stopped overnight and we met up for dinner. I was so nice to see her; she has turned out to be a lovely woman with a nice family. I loved her parents, they were really good to me; she was an only child so I spent a lot of time with them and they took me on a few vacations with them, we went to Myrtle Beach and Sevierville in the Great Smoky Mountains. She is really the only person from my youth that I have maintained contact with. I love her, she has been a blessing as a friend.

During my previous marriage, I had two sister in laws who I was fairly close to, the family spent a lot of time together and they deserve an honorable mention because I often have good memories of time spent together and I am thankful for them. After the divorce I cannot really say anything negative about them. My ex-in laws were also good to me while we were married. There were some tense times afterward but I suppose that is to be expected. I can say that even after the divorce, they continued to spend great amounts of time and energy on the kids. They were a blessing because there were times I needed a break and they were always there to lend a hand. I still have affection for them. Surprisingly, I am also blessed in the fact that my ex-husband, while it took a couple tries, married a wonderful person and she is good to my girls and I can see she loves them and they love her. That makes me so happy, I cannot ask for them to have a better bonus mom; and her extended family has also embraced my girls so, what more could I ask for?

My Mother in law, I love her, she is sweet and so loving toward me. She has many struggles but continues to maintain her loving attitude. My sister in law, if she had not taken time to intervene when my husband and I broke up while dating, we may not have ever reconciled. I am not sure she realizes I owe her a debt of gratitude. I am blessed that she is part of my life, it is a little more full with her in it. My niece, her daughter, like all teenagers, she had her “stuff” but watching her grow up has been such a privilege. She is now a wife and mother of two children and it is so amazing watching her. She has persistence and endurance and does an awesome job with both roles. She has a wonderful heart (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and I am so blessed to have her as part of my family. Of course, the same goes for all of my sister in law’s family, her husband and sons…they, like us, are a “blended” family but the family we married into are loved like our own.

My congregation at the Kingdom Hall! I could talk about this for a very long time. These are the friends that have seen us through many changes in our lives, they have helped us to see how to live a good life, filled with blessings. These are the friends that are there for both the ups and the downs, they send cards or call when they hear you are struggling, offer the helping hand and really listen. When they give advice, it is not from their originality, they look to the only person who can really help, Jehovah. Their love and friendship is the truest I’ve ever known. It does not mean we do not have challenges, but when you see the bigger picture, you realize you have help. First, and foremost, you have Jehovah’s guidebook for life, the Bible:

All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,

1 Timothy 3:16

Life has it’s challenges but when we take a moment to think of all we have in our lives, whether we have a lot or we have a little, everyone can see blessings. I know many people who have very little and they have very happy, full, blessed lives, it is all a matter of perspective. There are many who have almost nothing around the world, yet they realize their blessings and they have great joy. Things are hard, the world is a mess and it is easy to get down or to let it sap your joy; after all, we know who the ruler of this system is:

We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.

1 John 5:19

When you really take a look at the state of affairs in the world, it is easy to see the truth of this scripture. This is why is is so important to count your blessings, it will help you maintain your joy. Look around, observe the beauty of creation, and most of all, pray and maintain your relationship with our Heavenly Father; that will give you peace, even when things seem to be falling apart around you. I am going to close with a few scriptures that help me keep in mind how to maintain my joy and know that I have help at all times, who knows, they may also help you!

Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

However, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not from us.  We are hard-pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out; we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

 Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.’

 For I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand, The One saying to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I will help you.’

Isaiah 41:10, 13

I have shared just a handful of things that make me know I am blessed and I hope when you read this you take time to count your blessings; if you do, you will find that you have MANY things to be thankful for!

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