Do You Remember to Count Your Blessings…Often Enough?

by Jayne Kopp on May 24, 2011

count your blessings, counting your blessings, gratitude

Count Your Blessings

Do you remember to count your blessings each and every day?

These last few weeks have been incredibly busy for me; not just in a business sense, but I’ve had many irons in the fire with household projects, my children’s activities, field trips, appointments, and so on… and of course there’s always the occasional wrench thrown in the works.

Sometimes when we get caught up in the whirlwind of life, we forget to count our blessings as often as we should.

Here in BC, we just came through our Victoria Day long weekend. While many people took off for the weekend, we stayed home.

While my kids played with neighbourhood friends, I worked on the yard and worked my proverbial bottom to the bone in order to take advantage while “the big yellow ball in the sky” graced us with it’s presence after literally months of rain.

To be honest, I am as stiff as a 2 x 4 and almost need another long weekend to recover from the weekend!

Though it was pandemonium around here, I accomplished a lot; I still have a list as long as my arm of things I want and have to complete and to be honest I feel quite overwhelmed.

It can feel pretty heavy being on the treadmill of life sometimes, but at the end of the day I know I should (and do) count my blessings.

Last night at the end of a very long day, we sat down to have dinner while the TV blasted the “news” in the back ground.

As I listened to many reports from around the world, I couldn’t help but realize how good we have it and how much we have to be grateful for.

For example: Joplin Missouri has just been hit by a series of massive tornadoes resulting in hundreds of lives being lost. Thousands of people have lost everything they own and have worked for over their lifetime and are left to deal with unimaginable devastation.

Joplin is a place I have spent some time in over the years. As some of you may know I used to own an industrial equipment company here in BC. Our primary vendor is located in Webb City Missouri, so I visited occasionally and stayed at the Ramada Inn just a few minutes away from the plant in Web City.

I called one of my contacts today to see how things were. He told me that one of the ladies who works at the plant was in Wal-Mart with her niece, a store I have frequented on a couple of occasions, when seemingly out of nowhere, the twister hit and mowed the store to the ground.

She and her niece were trapped under rubble for almost three hours… which is terrifying in itself… however, a few feet away lay a mother and daughter who had succumbed to the collapse of the store.

A number of the restaurants we frequented occasionally are totally gone and many people are unaccounted for.

I can’t help but feel deeply saddened for all the people who are currently living in such turmoil and pain.

As the news stories changed, and I listened to reports from different parts of the world, we were once again reminded of the strife and struggle of war stricken countries, shortages of food and even clean drinking water.

Could you imagine not knowing where you’re next meal is coming from?

We forget when we live in our parts of the world that millions of people deal with problems on such a magnitude that we cannot comprehend, right from the moment they are born.

We let little things get us down, or tend to play our own violins feeling sorry for ourselves when minor inconveniences occur, such as running out of milk, getting a flat tire or getting a door-ding in our vehicles.

We forget that millions of people who are born just the same way as we are, don’t have the luxuries and conveniences that we do, or even live in a place where they are lucky enough to even feel ‘safe’.

Could you imagine living in a constant state of fear? Fear of starvation, fear of losing your life, fear of not being able to protect your children or provide them with the basic needs of life?

If you are reading this post right now, you have a lot to be grateful for. Not because you are reading ‘my post’… (not at all), but just the simple fact that you CAN.

You are likely sitting in a comfortable home, in front of your computer, possibly with a cup of coffee or a glass of clean water.

Millions of people in the world are not, they don’t have a home, they don’t know what a computer is… and may have never even seen a glass of clean water.

I know this post is not earth shattering. It’s pretty basic really, but the message is just to really ‘try’ to imagine what life could be like and remind you to of how lucky we are to live in such abundant parts of the planet.

We need to be reminded not to sweat the small stuff, and to always try to live in the moment.

It can be difficult to keep things in perspective sometimes, but at the end of the day it does us good to remember we have so much to be grateful for.

I know that most of us are aware of how blessed we are but we do tend to take things for granted sometimes.

I just felt the need to share this post as a reminder today. Please take a moment to pray for those in need, I’m sure every bit helps.

Are you counting your blessings? I know I am.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynne Quintana June 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Gratitude has been my mainstay – I think, except for being able to hold on to a sense of humor – gratitude has kept me sane and kept me alive. Thanks for such a thoughtful and helpful article.

Lynne

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Jon June 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Jayne,

Thanks for the reminder to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes it’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day that we forget life is more than our “to do” list.

Let’s not sweat the small stuff in the coming week!

Jon

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Jayne Kopp June 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Hi Jon, sorry for the late response to this comment, I really DO appreciate you leaving one.

You could not have said it better. Life really is so much more than a To Do List.

Thanks for taking the time

Jayne

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Ian Belanger | Network Marketing Success May 31, 2011 at 8:07 am

Hi Jayne,

As I am sure you know, we also had a long weekend here in the states and like you, I tried to take full advantage of the nice weather and do some yard work that I have been putting off, due to rain.

I have been guilty of feeling sorry for myself on occasion and I know that I really don’t have a good reason too. My life is so much better than many others.

I may not have everything that I want in life, but I have my health and friends and family who love me. That is enough!

Thank you for making me appreciate what I have and reminding me not to worry about the small problems in my life, because that’s exactly what they are, small problems.

Have a great day Jayne!

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Jayne Kopp May 31, 2011 at 9:23 am

HI Ian, I am glad you got a chance to enjoy the weekend and take advantage of more pleasant weather.

It seems to me that it never hurts to be reminded how fortunate we are. The human condition is such that we do take a lot for granted even though we usually don’t mean to do so.

We in most cases don’t know any better. What I mean is, many of us have never had ‘real’ strife, hence our smaller problems often ‘feel’ much bigger than they are.

I seem to be reminded often lately. Maybe it’s an ‘age’ thing. I just had another perspective shift yesterday that I might share before too long.

Thanks for popping in and adding to the conversation. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Best

Jayne

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Janet @ The Natural Networker May 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Jayne, aloha. While your post may not be “earth shattering” in terms of new information, it is a fantastic wake up call.

It is so important to be in gratitude and to appreciate the many things that we have and that we expect to be there from clean running water to well stocked supermarkets to access to most anything we want.

Jayne, throughout the day i do acknowledge things for which I am grateful. And, each night before I go to bed I write in my gratitude journals things I am grateful for that day. It doesn’t have to be big things, however, something that I particularly appreciated. It could be a great phone call, a nice glass of wine, a long walk on a glorious day, a compliment or any of the million and one things that most of us have occur in our lives each day.

One of my dearest friends keeps a gratitude photo journal. Each day she takes a picture of something for which she is grateful. It could be a delicious meal, a flower, a friend, a poem, etc.

Jayne, thank you for this beautiful wake up call post.

So glad you enjoyed such a productive weekend. That sense of accomplishment is such a great feeling. Aloha. Janet

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Jayne Kopp May 31, 2011 at 9:25 am

Hi Janet, sorry for letting this comment slip under the wire. I did read your response earlier, and ‘thought’ I had responded. My memory is excellent, but very short! :-)

What a wonderful habit. A Gratitude Journal. It seems to me that it is a sure fire way to stay grounded and acknowledge blessings daily.

Thanks for stopping by Janet. I always love your bright perspective.

Jayne

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marty May 27, 2011 at 7:55 am

Hi Jayne, I recognise the benefit in counting my blessings. Whether I do it often enough…. well I’m not sure. I get distracted like most people.
I think it is important to strike a balance and not to focus too much on the suffering of others. In fact I guess it is best to use the witnessing of others suffering remember to count our blessings. The danger is that we can fall in to feeling guilty.
Interesting post. Thank you.

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Jayne Kopp May 27, 2011 at 9:04 am

Marty, what you have said is very well thought out and actually very true. I am one of those people who can get ‘over-sensitive’ and indeed feel guilty. You are bang on when you say we have to strike a balance. Who knows why some of us are fortunate enough to have been born with many blessings, while others have not? Its a very sensible perspective Marty and I appreciate your comment.

Thanks for taking the time to pop by.

Jayne

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Devesh May 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

Jayne,

Love this post. Very well said.

Agree with you, we don’t care for what we have but when they are taken away from us, we find its value.

Thanks for sharing this awesome post with us !

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Jayne Kopp May 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hey Dev, thanks so much for your comment. I am glad you relate. It’s funny we never know what we have sometimes unless we lose it! I think constant reminders never hurt any of us!

Talk soon

Jayne

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Marcus Baker May 26, 2011 at 6:52 am

Hi Jayne,

One can never have too many reminders about counting our blessings.

I do so at various odd times during the day, like when I go for a walk or run (takes away the running pain to be honest!) and especially in the shower… yeah yeah odd… but somehow I am always reminded how blessed I am to be able to take a hot shower (It’s winter here!) when so many people don’t even have water to drink.

~Marcus

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Jayne Kopp May 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

Hi Marcus, thanks for stopping by to leave a great comment as usual.

Actually, I don’t think you are odd at all.

I’ll let you in on a ‘scary’ secret: I too count my blessing in the shower. I am so aware of the fact that so many people don’t have the luxury of water, that I get in to the shower, get wet. Turn it off! Soap myself up like a big frothy snowball, then turn the shower back on to rinse. Hence I feel I am doing my part in preserving it. (I know, it’s a really scary thought… and a sight for sore eyes at that!!) ha ha… you’ll never look at me the same as you’ll have a terrifying visual of me in the shower from now on. Just dismiss it… it’s better for you! :-)

talk soon!

Jayne

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Elmar Sandyck May 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Hi Jayne!

This is such a timely reminder for all of us about being not apathetic.
On top of our daily roles as a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend, employer, employee, and all that, we have to bear in mind that we have a social responsibility to our fellow human beings.

The worldwide web has brought all of us together in trade but it has also broken down walls and boundaries that we are now one global village. We commiserate, we empathize, we extend a helping hand. We feel, we remember, we pray. All of us are family no matter where we may be situated.

And if we find ourselves to be in that place where we have the capacity to help, we should not be deaf and blind and reach out. We should be thankful for all the wonderful blessings that come our way and do our bit of sharing. And loving.

You’ve made me a bit emotional in this post of yours, Jayne! But, thanks for the realization.

:)

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Jayne Kopp May 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Hi Elmar, always lovely to see you. I am pleased (not surprised) that you can relate to this post.

We are all family. We are all children of God or same higher power. We could have just as easily been born in a third world country, or in tornado alley. We just don’t know do we?

We do need to be there for each other. We all come into the world the same way and go out the same way. (perhaps not in the same fashion) but nevertheless….

It does us good to touch on this subject. I’m glad you enjoyed it Elmar. Thanks so much for your support.

Jayne

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Dr. Bob Clarke May 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

A very sound message Jayne. Too often we get so caught up in the minutia of our lives that we forget to give thanks for all that we have. As you said, a quick glance at TV news should remind us quickly.

By the way, I couldn’t help but chuckle at your description of being “stiff as a 2×4) from all the yard work you did, and needing another weekend to recuperate from your weekend!

Been there, my friend!

Inspiring words, Jayne. Thanks for sharing with us!

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Jayne Kopp May 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Hi DR. Bob. Thanks so much for popping by.

As I say, it wasn’t the ‘best’ post or even well constructed, but you know sometimes you just have the urge to bang something out that rests on your mind?

I think the news is a huge perspective shifter for sure. We certainly are very blessed in relation to so many.

Day two or stiffness… more like a 2 x 6 today ha ha. They say it’s often worse the second day. that’s teach me for moving huge boulders around!

see you soon.

Jayne

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Catarina Alexon May 25, 2011 at 11:16 am

Agree with you Jayne. Unfortunately however, far too many people just compare themselves with those who are more fortunate i.e. keeping up with the Joneses.

Am really grateful that I wasnt born a poor Iraqi, Palestinian or Afghan. If that had been the case my life would have been hell on earth.

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Jayne Kopp May 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Yes Catarina, I am sure all of our lives would have been hell on earth for sure. We are very fortunate.

I think sometimes ‘reverse’ comparison is good for us. Its a good smack in the eye, hence a perspective shift!

Thanks for stopping

Jayne

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Jeanine Byers Hoag May 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

I can’t imagine eating a meal with the news on. I don’t even watch it, except for political news on MSNBC. But I hate to combine bad news with a good meal :) .

You are so right, though, about how much we have to be grateful for even with whatever stress we’ve got going on in the background. And the good thing is that we get more of what we focus on, so if we focus on gratitude, we’ll have more things to be grateful for in our lives!

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Jayne Kopp May 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Hi Jeanine, you just made me laugh out loud! never thought about the ‘good meal’ aspect of watching the news. Now dinner will never taste the same!

I guess if the TV wasn’t on at dinner time, I’d never watch it, with the exception of a couple of recorded shows.

Last year I rarely watched it. People would talk about ‘things in the news’ and I had no clue whatsoever what they were talking about, so I guess from the current event standpoint it’s probably not a bad thing! :-)

I think where we live, we have so much to be grateful for whether we choose to focus on it or not. Focusing on it though makes is appreciate more and feel so much greater.

Thanks for stopping by Jeanine. Always nice to see you smiling face. Can’t wait for you to share your pineaple ice cream sandwich recipe!!

Jayne

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Jane | Blogging Tips May 25, 2011 at 7:38 am

Hi Jayne,

It is true that sometimes small things that are important to us and are not given to many others are not noticed by us. When they are taken away from us or when we see someone without that precious small thing, we find its value. Very true.

Jane.

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Jayne Kopp May 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

HI Jane, thanks so much for stopping by. You are so right, take away something we take for granted and we realize how important it is!! It’s amazing isn’t it??

see you soon,

Jayne

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karlene May 25, 2011 at 6:30 am

Hi Jayne,
Having lived through many a tornado myself when we lived in Arkansas, I know in part what those people are feeling and the devastation they are facing!

You are so right Jayne when you mentioned how blessed we are, couldn’t agree more and am grateful to you for the reminder to count our blessings.

You know most of the time the news is nothing but negative anyway although like you, in light of a disaster such as Joplin experienced I will also take a look see then. But the deal in digesting so much negatives in our life is that for every negative thing we hear it takes 12 positives to override the negatives. Wow,I think I’m sticking with positives and focus on my blessings and forget about playing my own violin!!lol
Be blessed Jayne, I definitely count you as one of my blessings, so thankful God brought us together!!:)

Karlene

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Jayne Kopp May 25, 2011 at 9:11 am

Hi Karlene, what a lovely thing to say! Thank you.

I also feel blessed we had this opportunity to meet and felt a connection with you right off the bat!

I agree with you on the ‘news’ negativities. It can be very depressing when we hear about crime, etc., however as you say, when you hear about things such as “Joplin” and things that are not caused by human behavior, it really makes you realize how fragile our existence is and makes you want to embrace it even more.

Thanks so much for your beautiful comment! :-) ((hugs))

Jayne

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Oliver Tausend May 25, 2011 at 2:35 am

Hi Jayne,

that is so true: Little things count because in reality they aren’t little, like clean water as you note. Once they are taken away, we realize that they were really really huge – and we took them for granted.

Thanks for a great eye opener !

Take care

Oliver

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Jayne Kopp May 25, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hi Oliver, yes little things become so big once we no longer have them.

I think a little eye opener is good for us all on occasion.

Lovely to see you.

Jayne

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Ilka Flood May 24, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Hi Jayne,

How often do we take for granted the very things others don’t have. I count my blessings every day and have absolutely nothing to complain about. If I feel sorry for myself (which doesn’t happen often anymore) all I have to do is turn on the news and I immediately feel better …and ashamed of myself, that I was feeling sorry for myself in the first place.

Thanks for the great reminder how blessed I am indeed!

Take care,

Ilka

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Jayne Kopp May 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

HI Ilka, I couldn’t agree more. The news is such a huge perspective shifter for me. I sometimes try not to watch it… as its also a sure way to bring me down in some ways, in others it solidifies all the reasons I have to count my blessings.

There are so many people in this world that would trade their problems for our ‘so called’ challenges in a heartbeat.

I’m glad you know how blessed you are. For some reason, that doesn’t surprise me!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Jayne

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Justin | Mazzastick May 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Jayne,
This message never get’s old because it is timeless. When life goes from nothing to do to way too much to do life can get overwhelming and we forget to have an attitude of gratitude.

We all have much to be grateful for and thanks for reminding us.

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Jayne Kopp May 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Hi Justin, thanks so much for stopping by to comment.

A reminder to count blessings and have an attitude of gratitude certainly never hurts does it?… even if we hear it often.

We, in our parts of the world forget how others suffer every day. It’s not really our ‘fault’ its just that we were lucky enough to be living where we do, and if we are not exposed to some of the struggles that others face, we tend to forget. It somehow seems surreal.

I like to take the time to reflect occasionally… so a good ‘news flash’ does me good.

The issues in Joplin do seem much closer to home because I have spent to much time there and know people too.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Jayne

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