In April of this last year, as a gift to all the secretaries and administrative assistants, one of the young women in the Office of Campus Life made a beautiful blessing for each of us–a 2012 Best of My Days Notepad. Developed by Ashley Ann Photography and featured on her blog, Under the Sycamore, this wonderful notepad allows you to record the blessings of each day.
My favorite moments at work are the times now when I get to sit down and record the blessing of each day. On July 1 I was blessed by an extended visit with dear friends, Jeremy and Candace. On July 2 I was incredibly blessed by my husband’s ability to fix our car with a mere sledge hammer (that’s another post altogether) and the to celebrate with tacos at our favorite fish taco dive.
Later into the month, I was blessed by the words of encouragement and prayers that came pouring in for my mother. On July 14 I was blessed by the uniting of my dear sister and brother, Brett & Melissa, in marriage (and my hubby performing his first wedding). And the blessings continue. Some days I am quick to write down an obvious blessing and to record it promptly as though picking up a stone and placing it in my satchel for later reflection. Other days I forget to write anything down, and at the end of the week I have an added blessing of sitting, reflecting over the week, and writing down 4 or 5 blessings for each day missed.
Growing up, we used to sing a song “Count Your Blessings,”
Count Your blessings, Name them one by one
Count your blessings, See what God has done
Count your blessings, Name them one by one
Count your many blessings, See what God has done!
These beautiful words were just that. Beautiful words. Until recent years I did not have a full grasp of what it meant to delight in the blessings of the Lord. There will always be trials, worries, areas in life to mourn or to complain about. But more importantly than the struggles which do shape us, are the blessings that remind us of an ever-loving and ever-sovereign Lord of All. All around us we can see what God is doing.
Some might say that its merely finding the good in things, the silver lining in the dark cloud, or just viewing life as a cup half full rather than half empty. Like little orphan Annie speaking to the homeless in Hooverville, reminding them that when they sleep with newspapers they have the joy of reading in bed. However, I am convinced that experiencing joy and recognizing blessings from the Lord is more than just forcing ourselves to be positive in the dark days. Rather, we lean on the Lord in all things, asking for the Spirit of the Lord to transform our lives so that we can live daily in the blessings and not the burdens.
My dear friend Anissa Burnley has forever engrained in my mind “Choose Joy.” I have struggled for years in my own power to be a joyful person and have failed miserably. For, I cannot find joy apart from the Lord. He is the author of my days. He is the author of true joy. And so, before I can choose joy, I must choose the Lord. Only then will I be able to daily live in his blessings. To truly experience the best of my days.
(To experience the blessings of the Best of My Days Notebook, visit Under the Sycamore: http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2011/11/16/2012-best-of-my-days-notepad-free-download/)