Count Your Blessings

I want to apologize to my faithful readers for not getting anything out last week.  I was told years ago that some one felt the emotion behind my poem Freedom is Not Free.  That is because everything I write comes straight from my heart.  When I force myself to write when my heart is not in on it, it is usually no good.  It seems as if I have to be crying and writing something that makes you all cry as well for it to be any good.

At the beginning of last week I called my friend to check on her.  You all remember my friend from the blog on miscarriage I am sure.  A few weeks ago she was over the moon because she was pregnant again.  The joy was short lived.  Every spare moment I have had the last week has been spent praying for her and asking the Lord to comfort her family.

Now I am ready to write the blog that has been on my heart since before this last miscarriage. It will be about the blessings God has given us.  I challenge you to do the same.  Write a list of blessings for every day in November.  Things that you can not buy in a store.   We all know that His hand supplies our every need so things like food, clothes and shelter of course we are thankful for but they won’t be on my list.

  1. God’s gift of salvation.  “In that while we were yet sinners He died for us.”  The knowledge that we will see our loved ones again in heaven if we have sought Him out is such a comfort.
  2. That we have the honor of going to him in prayer is such an awesome thing.  Sometimes that is what gets us through the dark hours and often times it is all we can do for loved ones.
  3. The Bible is such an awesome gift.  It is full of comfort and wisdom.  Do not forget your daily bread.
  4. In America we have the right to attend church services of any denomination.  If you don’t have a home church yet I urge you to find one.  TV preachers are good but fellowship with like minded believers is vital.
  5. Now I am going to start counting family members.  My mom is the first person, who I thank God for.  She was not perfect.  NO parent is.  However, she taught me to pray and read my Bible.  She had me in church at four days old.  In fact I have been teased for spoiling her perfect attendance record.
  6. My father worked hard all his life to provide for his family.  He was always there with wisdom or to rescue one of us.  He may not have remembered birthdays but when your brakes went out he would come quick to save the day.
  7. Most of my readers will have memories of grandparents that were blessings in their lives that they are grateful for.  As the menopause child of a menopause child I did not have that privledge.  I did however grow up hearing stories and I look forward to meeting my forefathers in heaven.
  8. Now I will talk about my gratitude for my siblings.  I could cheat and knock a few off the list right now by naming each sibling.  Instead I will say my brothers and sisters.  I am so thankful for brothers that spent part of their teen years hauling younger siblings around.  They took us trick or treating, to the movies, roller skating and to church.  They did it without complaint.
  9. My sisters well they are the best.  One helped me get my drivers license.  Another taught me office skills.  The other has been a prayer warrior and an ear to listen.
  10. I have a husband that goes to work every day.  He can fix pretty much anything that brakes down.
  11. My children are a gift.  My son has taught me that some times we just have to let God have his way.  If you are reading this and kicking yourself for the way your children are acting, I will tell you what I told a friend the other day.  Sometimes you have to let go and let God.  Don’t stop talking to your child.  Don’t stop praying but stop punishing yourself for a past you can not change.  We all make mistakes.  Cling to the promise that if we raise them in the Lord they will return to Him.
  12. My daughter is so different from her brother.  I change the names of folks in my blogs to protect the innocent and the guilty.  However, I will share with you all that her real name is Faith.  I wanted to give her such a strong Biblical name that she could not out run it.  She teaches me daily about God.  Whenever, she gets to acting up a reminder of making God happy usually brings her around.  She is only seven though and still learning.  She has been taught that her name has two meanings.  We believe in a God we can not see, who is forever faithful to us.  He never leaves us nor forsakes us.
  13. I have a mother in law that is a prayer warrior.
  14. My pastor preaches the Word and lives by it.
  15. Our church has stuff for children every service.
  16. We also have many Bible study groups through out the week in addition to two services on Sunday and still an evening service on Wednesday nights.
  17. Our Sunday school class is a place to confide in and pray for each other while we study His word.
  18. The teacher and his wife are available for advice or a ride when a car is broke down.
  19. My preschool class is full of kids, who love to pray and study the Bible.
  20. My daughter’s teachers at church have helped her learn so much.
  21. Our family is very grateful we are able to send Faith to a Christian school.
  22. Her teachers have a prayer in the morning before school starts where they pray for the day.
  23. A staff member holds the door open and greets every child with a smile in the morning.
  24. At dismissal they keep the children in out of rain, snow or just cold and stay outside themselves as they send children out to the cars.
  25. We have a PTF that starts and ends every meeting in prayer.
  26. Her school has had Veterans come in and teach the children what Veterans Day means.  She can tell you that we have freedom in this country that other places don’t because of the soldiers.  They salute the flag every morning.
  27. Her principal is a woman of God, who while she enforces the rules does so in love.  I have seen children giving her hugs at dismissal time.  Yes folks the principal comes out of her office at dismissal.  She knows every child by name.
  28. They have wonderful folks that come in a lead chapel once a week.
  29. I am so grateful for an English teacher, who taught me how to write essays and showed the different styles of poetry.
  30. The last thing on my list is the friends, who encouraged me to start this blog and you my dear readers.



Freedom is Not Free

Today our church will honor the men of our church, who have served in every branch of the military.  I want to share a poem that I wrote as one of them was getting sent over to Iraq.  His only concern was for his mom and how she would deal with it.  It reminded me of the conversation I over heard my mother have with one of my sister-in laws during Desert Storm.  She asked mom how she handled it when my brother was in Nam.  Mom’s reply was this, “I never prayed so much or so hard as when my baby was in Nam.  I started this poem in my head on the way home and had it finished before evening service.

Freedom is Not Free

She hangs a yellow ribbon on her door   to remind her neighbors he does not live there anymore   The one she loves and has pledged to share her life with has gone off to war    She goes about her days as she has always done    Caring for her daughter and her son     Every now and then people ask her how her family’s been  She says okay

But what she really longs to say is He’s doing fine   I don’t know about me  You’ll never know the endless days and the sleepless nights   the longing to hold and be held tight    The countless prayers I’ve prayed that the Lord would bring him safely home to me    cause freedom is not free

A father ties a yellow ribbon on a tree   Where he used to watch his baby swing and play   He looks up to the sky   and wipes the tears from his eyes  As he begins to pray for his child’s safety   He asked the Lord up above    To protect the one he loves    Every now and then people ask him how his family’s been    He says okay

But what he really longs to say is She’s doing fine   I don’t know about me  You’ll never know the endless days and the sleepless nights   the longing to hold my baby tight   The countless prayers I’ve prayed that the Lord would bring her safely home to me    all her life I kept her safe now my baby is protecting me

We will never know what freedom cost the Holy Trinity   on that long ago day    when God the father had to turn his head away  as God the Son hung there on the cross   shedding His blood for the lost   and the sky turned black   while Jesus died to buy His children back   I’m curious to know if He was thinking way back then   as He gave His life for our sins    that freedom is not free

It was not free when Jesus shed his blood for you and me    freedom was not free   when Jesus died to give sinners victory There is a price for liberty    Jesus paid it all    No greater gift can any man give    than to lay down his life   that’s what Jesus did when he died to release sin’s captives   and save us from a life of strife   all because Freedom is not free