There are times when I feel like a salmon trying to get upstream, pushing against vigorous, if not overwhelming, currents of emotion and circumstance that seem determined to leave me stranded and dying where I sit. It's too easy to look at the negatives and to become entrapped in hopelessness and despair, or at least despondancy.
Counting blessings may seem like Pollyanna's game, but it is a decent antidote. I know it from experience.
One of my journals, a couple of years ago, I began with the sole intention of recording daily blessings. It was a bad patch, my nerves were raw... I felt about to go under for the third time. Then I watched through my bedroom window as a bluebird lighted on the ground outside. The sunlight catching the blue and rose of his breast and face gave me a momentary sense of being transported beyond myself --
I felt as if God were sending me a brief message of cheer and hope.
I realized that there are many such moments in each day, certainly each week, that I owed Him to pay attention to. I began jotting them down:
The bluebird. A small herd of deer in my yard when I returned from choir practice. The cloud arrangements. The smell of fresh-plowed earth; the smell of same earth with raindrops penetrating it. The butterflies flocking around the buddleia. The quail I watched for over an hour from the kitchen window - positioned under the front-yard dogwood, thrusting his little chest and chin out as he called "Bob-WHITE!" The Canadian geese honking overhead as they approached Hawthorne's pond. The hawk circling the field. A hug from a friend. The fragrance of incense during Mass...
So many ways God tells us He loves us and has not abandoned us!