Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Gift of Blessing

Our family loves to vacation on a cruise ship! The very first cruise came with an unexpected surprise—free childcare. Our kiddos were about 7 and 5 at the time, and the idea of having them engaged in a morning of games and activities was very appealing. They would get to participate in some new, fun things while Greg and I relaxed and enjoyed the time alone.

Sounds perfect doesn’t it? It would have been, if only I wasn’t constantly watching the time and didn’t feel riddled with guilt for not spending every vacation moment with my kids. I spent three of our five days feeling horrible that they were going into cruise ship childcare so I could sit by the pool and read a book in peace.

Fortunately, one of the kids’ leaders, Casey, noticed my dilemma. She was so sweet to point out that the opportunity for the kids to spend time together and do fun things was building memories for them. They wouldn’t be able to have scavenger hunts and whipped cream art class if they were hanging out with us all day. The morning was their time to experience new things.

While she managed to comfort this frazzled mom, Casey also helped me to recognize the blessing. The blessing offered to my kids and the blessing available to Greg and me. I realized that I wasn’t a bad mom for letting them spend time with the other kiddos; I was receiving the blessing that was being offered.

Do we recognize a blessing when we see one?

Whether it’s an act of kindness or service, words of encouragement or Scripture being prayed for us in the proper season, blessings come in all shapes and sizes. But do we know them when we see them? Do we allow people to use their giftedness to serve us in a time of need?

Do we accept blessings from others?

I can’t tell you how many times I have felt guilty about receiving someone’s generosity. Instead of seeing their actions as an offered blessing, I will be hard on myself for needing someone’s help. Have you ever done that? Why are we so quick to condemn ourselves for needing help instead of just being thankful the hand has been offered? It took me three days of vacation to realize that allowing my kids to be blessed by the childcare program wasn’t a failure on my part.

Are we grateful for our blessings?

Gratitude is a mindset. When we recognize and accept the blessings offered by others, we should be grateful. It’s humbling to know that someone has taken time to meet your needs. If we’re not feeling an attitude of gratitude, then we probably don’t recognize the blessing for what it is or we didn’t receive it with the intention it was given to us. Either way, it’s a shift we have to make in our thinking. Are you grateful for the blessings in your life? Or has the blessing been squelched by a negative mindset? Let’s open our eyes and see how richly we’ve been blessed!

Be BLESSED,

Jennifer

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

2 comments:

Teri Jones said...

Sickness has been hitting hard at our house for the past month, with both my 11 and 13-year-old sons spending lots of time at home. The blessing? Many hours reading aloud to them; time for the two of them to bond and reconnect, rather than running off with friends; and extended time in the Word together without worrying about getting to school on time.

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Teri. What a great example of seeing the blessings in the difficult things. Praying good health for your family! Jennifer

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