Counting Blessings In Awe

My list of blessings is so long that I need to purge it here to start all over again. This post is happening a lot sooner than my last one, I hope you don’t mind. I am always astounded with the happy affect on my heart when working at gratitude, but in the past couple of weeks I have been completely in awe at the goodness of people and the goodness of God. I don’t think it is coincidental that many of our needs have been met when only we knew what they were.

count blessingsWell, at first others knew our needs because I had posted about them. Several friends responded to my last counting. I had an old friend from high school contact me via Facebook and offer up an old nonworking iPhone for us to use as screen replacements. She mailed it from California and insisted I didn’t reimburse her.  I am still waiting on the hubby to do the phone surgery but Misty’s generosity melted my heart.

Another old friend who is a pharmacist, after reading my last post, contacted me via Facebook to offer up advice on getting affordable prescriptions.

I had a super special experience with my sister-in-law the day that I posted last. She showed up on my doorstep with her arms full of produce from her garden and a few bags of food and non-food items that she had gotten cheap/free with coupons. I felt kind of bad thinking she was just responding to my desperation from the blog but she hadn’t even read it (or so she says).

I did a good job of not completely bawling, but I couldn’t hold back all the tears. It’s just so humbling to let other people support me. The only thing that makes it bearable for me is knowing that I am doing what God wants and they are just his little angels on earth.

Jill and Logan have been truly inspired in their generosity. In that first bag were things we really needed: deodorant, tissues, foods for the kids lunches, etc. On Saturday they took our kids for an adventure and even let them pick something out for themselves at the store. What a big deal for kids who are being forced to live so frugally. This mom can’t contain her emotions. I have to force myself not to think about it or I will just sit in cry in gratitude all day.

A friend from church offered up a bag-full of Hot Pockets that her kids wouldn’t eat. They have been a great reprieve from the foods I have been forced to cook from scratch and a huge treat for our kids.

The 5th was payday but because of the Labor Day holiday and an absentminded payroll employee LG didn’t get paid until the 6th. I had been anxiously anticipating the paycheck on the 5th to fill our empty refrigerator. A huge blessing came through: the check to pay me for the job I took babysitting came in the mail on the 5th. I texted a picture of it to LeGrand and said, “Dinner just arrived.” I think even LG had a moment of emotion with that coincidence. He hates seeing me sacrifice and stress over what to feed our family.

LG’s work had a great summer party where our whole family got to go and swim at a local pool for free. Dinner was also free and delicious. We had so much fun swimming after sunset in the dimly lit resort-style pool. For a little bit it was just our little family in the HUGE pool. It’s a memory I will never forget.

Our marriage counselor challenged LG and I to have three sessions of 30 minute activity a week TOGETHER. It is a tough challenge with our busy schedules but by doing it LG and I have had more stress relief and I have found a new respect for my man. He is an amazing coach. I loved him teaching me how to free-throw. The day he took off ahead of me on the bike trail was also a surprising turn-on. I also really enjoyed playing tennis with him a few days ago.

I got two messages from friends on Facebook that were super sweet and touching. One was from a cousin citing how impressed she was with my running time. It made my day. The other was from an old friend just to tell me that he really enjoyed seeing the photos from our Wills family reunion. The  moment he took to write and send his simple message reminded me of some great memories this friend shared with our family. They brought a smile to my face. Sometimes the most simple actions mean so much.

A friend shared with me a way that I could make some money from home. It hasn’t panned out, but the fact that she believes in my writing was an honor I will never forget.

My neighbor brought over some clothes her daughter had outgrown. They were perfect for Caroline this Fall.

Another neighbor (the same who gave me all the pears last time) singled me out at church and told me to come and get all the peaches I wanted from her trees. I canned them all up on Saturday and have 30 quarts to get us through the winter. I wish I would have picked more but I guess I shouldn’t hog all the blessings for myself.

A dear friend of both LG and I (he was LG’s mission companion and my district leader on our LDS missions) published his most awesome book. I really loved The Crown and the Dragon. It’s only $5 on the kindle and I highly recommend it. I would have loved it without knowing the author, but I have to admit that having my name in the acknowledgements makes the book that much cooler for me.  The blessing isn’t in the book, but it was in the fact that this friend came to peddle it at the SLC ComicCon. Our friend got us in for free and it was such a great get-away for LG and I. Thanks John!!!

Another neighbor gave me a whole bag of homegrown tomatoes.

This past Saturday our across the street neighbors showed up on our doorstep with a whole plate of leftover pizza. It was the really good kind with super thick crusts. They had no way of knowing that on Friday I had spent my last $30 on a few necessities. I was staring down a overwhelming weekend of cooking without a lot of my normal ingredients. In a situation like that a plate of pizza seems too good to be true. I will be smiling about that pizza until payday on Friday.

Last but not least, my brother took our three older girls with him to see his son’s soccer game on Saturday. On his way home unbeknownst to us they stopped for lunch. Our kids came home so happy. One of them said, “Man, that place was so good. We haven’t been out to eat in a month.”

LG and I were talking last night about how it has been six months since he was called as the YM President in our ward. When the Bishop extended the call to LG I had just quit my job with the plan to move to a cheaper apartment to make up the difference in our budget. We felt strongly that God really wanted this calling for LG and took a huge leap of faith and stayed in our current home so that LG could serve praying that God would work it out. Six months later we are in awe that God hasn’t just worked it out but has blessed us abundantly for our faith.

Living this experiment of relying on God and doing what he tells me even though I have no idea how it will work out makes me wish that everyone else could do it too. Going without more has made me happy for every little thing I receive. Everything is so magnified and blessings aren’t just blessings but manna from heaven. Is there anything better than manna from heaven? I can’t think of anything especially if it comes in the form of peaches, produce, and Pizza Hut.