“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
I was wondering this week, “How long would it take to count to one million?” It turns out there is a record for doing just that: 89 days. The record holder counted out loud for 16 hours per day. The other eight hours each day were spent sleeping and eating. I think about a lot of things on the road when I travel for work. I am not saying these topics always make sense, but this time maybe they did.
Annual Christmas Parties
The backstory is this; I turned 56 the day after Christmas a couple of weeks ago. I have noticed that my mind slows down once in a while. My job, as well as the job of most people, can become a grind at times. It reminds me to be thankful just to be Rick when I get home. There are people there, and man, do I love them. Sometimes after a long drive home, everyone is asleep. The house is quiet. I can settle in under the covers and just lay there and thank God for my family, work, and friends. I can drift off to sleep, counting the number of things I am thankful for in my life.
We hosted our annual Christmas Open House right before Christmas. It is one of our favorite days of the year. It is loud and crowded as friends and family pack into the house and visit. This was Christmas 2019 pre-COVID 🙂
I was reminded this year that the reason we started the Open House was because of a tragedy. Jordyn had been killed three months earlier, on September 11, 2009. In short, there was a time when being around us was hard, awkward even. Friends were not sure if they should laugh and tell stories about their kids, and we weren’t sure if our doing so would bring people down. It had become difficult to be together. Not bad, just hard.
My amazing wife came up with the idea, so on the Saturday before Christmas, she put together our first Open House. It worked. All of the awkward conversations got easier. Laughing got more natural and more frequent. Friendships grew out of the worst thing that ever happened to us. God gave us one of the best things to ever happen to us.
How to Count Your Blessings
Back to the counting, I am not sure this will make sense outside of my head, but I think I too often look at the negative things that I cannot figure out. Instead, I could spend more time focused on the good things that I can see. I could spend more time appreciating those first moments home from the road when the bed feels so good that you almost don’t want to fall asleep; it’s the best place on earth.
We have been on the bottom with nothing. So have a lot of people. I want to challenge myself to be aware of blessings, like the Alexa behind me that plays Chris Stapleton songs on demand. I have a chair under me that sits on a wood floor that has a roof over it. I have on a University of Kansas hoodie. Korbin was watching movies in Russian yesterday, and I think he understood them. Aly started student teaching. Schuyler found the strength to open her heart to a new dog after losing hers a few months ago. Four sisters and one brother. Logan. Peanut Butter Whiskey. Friends. A car. Shoes. A job. My wife is Mary – I need nothing.
I am going with this simple statement: Let’s spend some time counting our particular blessings. I think I often spend too much time counting the things I wish I could change instead of remembering how much better some things turned out than even I had in mind. Honestly, I think I could break the record. Eighty-nine days is not enough time. Everything above eternity in Hell is a blessing. I should thank Him more.
Author: Rick L. Claiborn