Friday was a frustrating day for me. I already had one child at home sick for half of the first week of school when I got a message from the school nurse asking me to come pick up my other daughter who was running a fever. We had big plans for the weekend -- a birthday party, first soccer game of the season, tickets to the Red Sox-Royals baseball game. Two sick kids were not on the agenda.
After picking up my daughter and settling her in a chair to watch endless episodes of "Phineas & Ferb," I texted my frustrations to a friend. By the time she texted me back, my oldest daughter had started feeling better and my youngest was showing few signs of being as sick as her sister had been. I was feeling a bit better about life and was able to point out during the conversation that it could have been worse. It could have been hockey "tryout" weekend.
My friend texted me back with a statement that made me sit back and take notice. She said "Small blessings are still blessings." In the midst of feeling sorry for myself and being frustrated that my plans were being messed up, those five little words forced me to take a look not just at my attitude for the day but my attitude toward life.
How often do we miss the blessings that God offers because in the grand scheme of everything going on in our lives, they seem small?
What I really wanted on Friday was two well children. I wanted a big blessing. What I got was two children sick on the first week of school, a week where they would not miss a lot of work. However, I was so caught up in the misery of my messed up plans that it was too easy for me to gloss over that blessing.
Genesis 49:26 says "Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills." God has lots of blessings He wants to offer us, big and small. Yet, too often, we can only focus on the big blessings, and we miss the small ones.
Even as we parents are prone to missing the small blessings, kids are often so single-minded that they, too, miss God's small blessings. We need to be able to find the small blessings in our own lives and help our kids focus on the small blessings in their lives as well.
- Treat God's blessings like blessings. It's easy to write off God's small blessings as coincidence or luck. Start giving credit where credit is due. When God blesses you or your family in a small way, point it out and give Him thanks. Whether it's finding your car keys so you won't be late or doing well on a test your child thought he would fail, praise God for those things.
- Make it a point to notice the small blessings in your life and point them out to your kids. If something good happens to you during the day, point out to your kids how God takes care of us, even in the small stuff.
- At dinner one night, talk about what blessings are. Explain that they don't have to be big. Then ask your kids, "What blessings did you receive today?" This gets your kids thinking about ways that God has blessed them in their own lives.
Counting our blessings, both big and small, gives us a heart of gratitude. It focuses our hearts on all God has done and is doing for us. It can put the little annoyances and frustrations of life in perspective. Watching for the small blessings and being grateful for them can change our hearts and our attitudes.
Be on the lookout today for the small ways in which God blesses your life. Because small blessings are still blessings.