Because of a family necessity, this is the first holiday (including birthdays) that my husband and I will be apart. We’re both okay with that because it’s for an important reason. Nonetheless, it’s hard and it’s got me thinking about the many wonderful memories we’ve made over the years, particularly on Easter. And that’s a good thing. Even better is that it’s got me giving thanks for all the holidays we’ve shared and the joys we’ve experienced through the years.
It also has me counting my blessings even amid this time of sadness from the devastation of COVID-19. I can’t lie – this pandemic has taxed my family to the max in a myriad of ways. Even with that, I’m able to make a long list of blessings that God has given to me. I started by making a list of five positive things that I’ve never (or rarely) done before and I posted it on Facebook and Twiter:
- Take a long nap.
- Figure out Alexa (we don’t have it at home, so this is a novelty to me.)
- Take a walk whenever.
- Make an ARmoji. (I must also add that, until now, I had no idea what an ARmoji was.)
- Choose from a multitude of online Masses and devotions. (It’s like being a kid in a candy store for me!)
That’s just the beginning. I have food – it may not be what I want, but it’s certainly what I need. I have water – there are places in this world that don’t have adequate drinking water. The sun shines, the birds sing, and Easter comes no matter what. I have friends who love me and check in on me digitally. Plus, I can check in on them as well. I’ve come to an even deeper love of my Catholic faith and have an increased yearning for our Lord in his Real Presence. I’m learning to emphasize what I do have rather than what I don’t. And, I’m happy about it. I’m discovering things about myself that I never knew before. My relationship with my husband has risen to a whole new – and beautiful – level. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.
Along with making my list, I’ve been contemplating the wisdom of the saints. Here are a few quotes that I’d like to share with you:
“Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has, and this requires transforming greed into gratitude,” -St. John Chrysostom
“Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because he gives you this and that. Because you have been despised. Because you haven’t what you need or because you have. Thank him for everything, because everything is good.” -St. Josemaria Escriva
“Jesus does not demand great action from us but simply surrender and gratitude.” -St. Therèse of Lisieux
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.” -St. Gianna Beretta Molla
“Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence.” -St. John Paul II
It’s always a good idea to count your blessings; it’s an even better idea to count them now in the midst of hardship and uncertainty. Doing so will lighten the burden and change your perspective. This is indeed a time of great trial but God is good. All the time.
I encourage you to make your own list of five positive things you can do now that you’ve never (or rarely) done before and enter it as a comment to this post. It will be fun and it will challenge you to think more positively. Then, share your list with others and encourage them to do the same. This is a great time to count our blessings!
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