Traditions: Count Your Blessings

One of my favorite church hymns is Count Your Many Blessings.

1. 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.

Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings;
See what God hath done.

2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings; ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold.
Count your many blessings; money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

4. So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged; God is over all.
Count your many blessings; angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Text: Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856–1922
Music: Edwin O. Excell, 1851–1921

There have been many times in my life when I've been jealous of what others have, or feel like everything is crumbling around me. Sometimes I talk with my kids or my husband about all the blessings we have. Other times, I have to literally get on my knees and count every blessing I can think of and thank my Heavenly Father for them. Either way, I find comfort and those negative feelings are lifted.

During my Unwritten Contest, I asked contributors to share a story of someone who was a blessing to them as they've been writing the "novel" of their life. Here are their responses . . .

Cindy Beck: Someone who has blessed my life. There are so many people, that this is a tough one to answer. However, from an eternal perspective, the one who blessed my life for forever is the missionary who introduced the gospel to my husband and me ... Elder Richard Delewski.

Tristi Pinkston: This was a lovely post, Danyelle, and I want to point something out. Not only have you been blessed through these challenges, but as you've faced them with faith, you've allowed them to turn you into the incredible person you are. You've influenced me positively in a hundred different ways.

Rebecca Shelley: As for someone who has blessed me. My 9th grade English teacher, Mrs. Brown, was the first person to really believe in me and my writing. She told me I could write a book. I believed her and did it. I wish I knew where she is now so I could thank her.

Kim Nelson: My hero in that regard is, without question, my own dear mother, who left us so suddenly on March 12, 2008. On the evening of her viewing, what touched me the most was how many people came who worked with her. These people knew her in a situation outside a religious setting. They did not necessarily share her values or her beliefs, but every person who came had positive memories of how my mother had treated them. Every kid in the neighborhood was welcome in her home, and there were some who actually LIVED in it! There was always company for holidays. The missionaries, or a struggling single, or a family from the ward who had just moved in, or the parents of her childrens' friends. All were welcome in my mother's eyes, and I owe my own outgoing, positive nature to her. I am happy to be much liker her, and I miss her more than I can say.

Gaynell Parker: All of you in AuthorsIncognito have inspired and uplifted me, but the person I have to point out, was my mom. She took me in as an 18 year old foster child who had no one to love her. She taught me what it was to be loved unconditionally and showed me what it meant to be a mother. All I learned (the little it was) I learned from her fine example. She went on to be "back on the bird committee" as we jokingly tell each other (she loved birds and claimed she was in on the creation of them)about six years ago. I still keenly feel the loss at times. I feel more sorrow with her being gone than my own mother, since I didn't even know her.

Weston Elliott: I have had many influences, but the most poignant example comes from my father. His dying words to me were "You can do anything you set your mind to."

Ali: As for a previous chapter in my life and the person who most influenced me, I'd say my sister, Heather. I have been blessed by so many, it's hard to name just one, but at this time of year I'm always reminded of the loss of my mom when I was 19 and the friendship I discovered with my sister because of mom's death.

Heather and I had sort of a love/hate relationship before Mom became ill. But when Mom was dying, we had to work together and serve Mom together. We discovered that she was weak where I was strong and I was weak where she was strong. We came to have a great love and respect for each other we wouldn't have had otherwise.

After Mom passed away, Heather took me in. Mom was my only parent and when I lost her I kind of lost my way for a while. Heather and her husband took me in while I got my feet back under me. She was not only kind and loving, she was also a tough drill sergeant who taught me so much about growing up, about being an adult and how to face life with my chin up.

When I was ready to fly on my own, Heather let me go. But she's never really let me go of me. She is my mother now, by choice, because she loves me. We are the truest sort of friends because of the trial we faced together. Our hearts are knit together with more than just love, but with service and sacrifice as well.

Sara Register: So many people have influenced me throughout my life, but one person that sticks out is my Pennsylvania grandma, Annie. I have not met a person yet who can live up to her spunk and kindness. She helped me move from Utah, my comfort zone, to way NOT comfort zone! She is amazing!

As for me, I keep trying to narrow it down. There are many, many people who have blessed my life. The person who helped shape my life into who I am today though, would be my mom. She had a huge heart. Our door was open to anyone (or any pet) who needed help and love. Our home was a humble little trailer, but it was filled every day with friends, love, and laughter. All because of one generous and strong woman - my mother. What an incredible example she was to me. I miss her every day, but am extremely grateful to know that families are forever and that we'll have an eternity to laugh and love each other.

Thank you to each of you who share my "online" life. Your comments and support uplift me every day. I hope you each have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

Would you like to comment?

G. Parker said...

Thanks for giving us a chance to share...and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Cindy Beck, author said...

It was so fun reading the stories of how other people were blessed by someone. Thanks for posting that as a contest.

And a big CONGRATS on becoming a wedding blogger for!

Lastly, thanks so much for commenting on my humor blog recently!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Gaynell & Cindy - Thank you for sharing your stories. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

johndaddy said...
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