Thursday, November 18, 2010

Counting Blessings in Crisis

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done

These are the words to one of my favorite hymns that are helping me pull through here.  I'm definitely feeling tempest-tossed and discouraged.  We were supposed to close on our house in Odgen a couple days ago but now, while they're making no promises, they're saying there's a chance we can close on the house tomorrow.  Since we've got lots of help to load the truck tomorrow night and we've planned to move in on Saturday and the kids are supposed to start at their new school in Ogden on Monday, we're feeling just a tad bit stressed about this situation.  Plus a few more surprise issues have popped up with the house we're buying which doesn't help things any.  And wow, packing and saying goodbyes has totally knocked me out mentally, emotionally and physically.  Plus I've had a hard time sleeping and sleep has everything to do with my moods and ability to deal with stress.

As I talked with Jared last night about all the worries and work I've got on my plate and the fact that I'm feeling stretched to the breaking point, he helped me remember this whole counting blessings thing.  Plus he told me to just go to bed.  As my mom always said "everything's always better in the morning."

The sleep thing was so-so (I kept waking up worrying about things).  But the counting blessings thing is really helping.  I'm finding that as I think of a worry, I can usually counter it with a blessing.  Certainly, the stress is still there.  But throwing in some gratitude and the happiness that comes from gratitude sure helps.

Here are some of the wonderful blessings we do have right now:
  • Jared's arm is healing quite well and he hasn't had the complications that so many have in his situation.  He could have been hurt SO much worse given the fall he had - only his elbow was affected.  Plus we've been blessed with good doctors and a whole week to be together last week thanks to the injury - we needed that week together.
  • Our kids are at such easy and fun stages right now.  They're sweet and interesting and smart and cute and while they certainly have their issues, we are so blessed to be their parents and so blessed to have them all at pretty ideal ages for making this transition.
  • We've got great renters lined up who can cover the costs nicely on this home plus who will take very good care of it and really enjoy it.
  • We're moving into a really different and exciting house and it's always fun for me to "play house" as I arrange furniture in new places and figure out where to put things.  Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to live in an old house.  I get my wish.
  • Jared and I both have such wonderful families who are so supportive of all that we do.  While most of them live far away and can't help much with moving or that sort of thing, they call us and pray for us and do all they can and that is such a blessing.  Plus I've got my parents and Jared has 2 brothers in Salt Lake City who can help us move in and that's a huge huge blessing.
  • Jared has a good new job with a good paycheck attached.  He's challenged and he's doing great work and there's great hope for things to improve for us financially.
  • We got over 160 entries to our Power of Moms writing contest for this book we're putting together.  Pretty much all entries came with an email thanking us for giving them a chance to express their thoughts and for giving them a deadline to write up things they've had on their minds.  Moms wrote in the wee hours of the night while their kids were sleeping, while bouncing a baby on their knee, while nursing a baby, in between story times and carpools, you name it.  It's such a blessing to see something I've helped spearhead prove to be such a blessing in other people's lives plus such a blessing to get so much wonderful material for our book!
  • A really nice woman from church showed up with dinner for us last night - just when we were feeling the most discouraged about things.  She not only brought delicious soup and bread but also brought ice cream and cereal and milk for breakfast and some great snacks.  The kids were over the moon and I saw Heavenly Father reaching down and giving me a hug through this sweet woman.
  • While we've been living on a tiny budget for ages and all the extra expenses with moving and now with Jared's arm have felt pretty burdensome, we've always had enough to eat and we've been able to always pay our mortgage and we've found plenty of good free fun things to do and our family has grown closer through not being involved in things that cost money and generally take away from family time to some degree.
  • We know we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and has a plan for us and He'll help things work together for our good (although it may not always feel good at the time...).  I keep thinking of the words to one of the songs the kids sang in the primary program on Sunday, "Wrapped in the arms of the Savior's love, I feel his gentle touch, I did not see him or sit on his knee, but Jesus is Real to me.  I know he's real.  I will follow faithfully.  My heart I give to him.  I know that my Savior loves me."  What a blessing this knowledge is!  But how hard it can be to remember this in the midst of hard stuff!
OK, I'm getting back to packing but wanted to start the day off right by really thinking about at least a few of the many many blessings I have.


Sarah said...

That's beautiful Saren.
(Glad to hear about the elbow...boy did that look nasty!)

Patty Ann said...

What a great way of looking at things! And I would be that it made you feel better too!! For sleep, try a warm cup of Camomile herb tea and a microwavable heat pack on your feet. Somehow, when your feet feel warm and cozy, it helps you relax better. Hope you get lots of sleep once you are moved!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Oh, boy, you made me cry! I, too, am so grateful for my blessings and I'm so thankful for your reminder to count mine more often!

Jonah and Aja said...

i really like that attitude sar. we love you all.

Allyson said...

I'm having deja vu reading this!! (Minus the grateful attitude!) I was at that breaking point when we were teaching at BYUI and hardly ever sleeping. Moving at this stage in life is much harder than people realize. Way to hang in there.

Rachael Patterson said...

Thank you for reminding me I have so much to be thankful for.

April Perry said...

Saren, YOU are one of the blessings that lots and lots of other people count.

Good luck with your move. We're all pulling for you.

Eyrealm said...

Without gratitude like's a mess! Today I heard a talk about being grateful for the things we can GIVE and you certainly have your trainload of those. We're so glad you survived so far and look forward to having you close to last!

Love you!

Hilary said...

Saren you do pick awfully bad times to move.
Just sayin'....
I love that your neighbor dropped off dinner. It's amazing how God loves us SO much, and how some people listen. :)
P.S. Your word verification was "unrant" amusing....

Naomi said...

love your post about counting your blessings - there is always some good to be found amongst the chaos of life. Wonderful news about so many contributions for your book. Can't wait to see the finished product. Hope you can get some much needed rest and things go a little smoother. Naomi xx

Janelle Phipps said...

Saren: I'm so excited to have you in our ward! I'm dying to come pick your brain about your website and meet your kiddos. We'll see when my baby comes and I'll visit you as soon as I can! It was nice meeting you on sunday.
Janelle Phipps


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