Counting Your Blessings

by Connie Stone

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When you think about counting your blessings, what comes to mind? Your car, your home, your belongings? All those are definitely blessings, and we should be thankful for them. But what about the blessings that money can't buy?

A couple of years ago, I had what was supposed to be out-patient surgery and ended up in the hospital for about a week with complications. My husband apologized for not being able to buy me flowers or balloons or something. (Money was tight at the time.) I told him that he gave me what I needed and wanted most, which was his presence. He stayed in the waiting room when I was having surgery. He sat by my hospital bed and held my hand when I felt so rotten. He took a couple of extra days off to help me ease back into the routine of keeping house and taking care of our children. He even washed dishes for me. I told him that it is easy to buy "things" to give to someone but he gave of himself; I appreciated it.

Another blessing that comes to mind especially around holiday time is unconditional love. Isn't it wonderful when someone loves you and thinks your are terrific just because you are you? My grandmother didn't shower me with gifts. She showered me with unconditional love. Oh, she didn't hesitate to correct me if I needed it. But her door was always open to all the neighborhood kids. (We lived next door to her.) She always greeted us with hugs and kisses. She always had something good to eat if we were hungry. It may have just been a jelly biscuit and a glass of tea, but somehow everything tasted better at her house. She always listened to us. She never criticized our clothes or taste in music or whatever. She left those things up to our parents to decide.

What about hospitality? It doesn't matter whether someone lives in a grand mansion or a modest home. Isn't it wonderful for someone to welcome you into their home and to make you feel at ease? My parents never minded inviting my friends to join us when I was growing up. Mom usually cooked plenty of food and simply set another place at the table.

When my kids complain about not having all the material things that they see that other children have, I remind them that they have a mother and a father who love each other and them and who live under the same roof with them. I remind them that they have everything that they need even though they don't have everything that they want, and they have Mother home with them. I tell them that not every child gets to sit down to a home-cooked dinner with his or her family each night.

These are some of the blessings for which I am most thankful. I have many more, and I am sure that you can think of some, too. This holiday season, have an attitude of gratitude!

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