I often hear others say, “Count your blessings”. In my young mind, I thought my blessings are too many to count, so I didn’t bother to count at all. LOL! Jinustify pa ang katamaran! 🤣

But growing up, I eventually realize the purpose and the benefits of being more mindful of the graces and the blessings that I actually have.

Kapag tumatanda ka na pala, mas nagiging big deal yung pagpapanatili ng mental health wellness. And one of the most effective ways to do this is by practicing gratitude.

I used to say, “alam ko na ‘yan! Hindi ikaw ang unang nagsabi n’yan!”. But I never really took it seriously. I thought I’m going to start now.

For the Blessings I Continuously Receive but Often Take For Granted

Kung dati, naiisip siguro ng iba na parang kadramahan lang, pero ngayon, I realize how blessed I am for having a decent apartment for me and my mom, a simple but beautiful home for my dad and brothers in the Philippines. For the daily protection, safety, and good health for each of us! Napakalaking bagay na walang kahit anong iniindang karamdaman talaga! Thank You, Lord! 🙌🙏🏻

Plus yung daily providence ni Lord sa food, clean water, electricity, internet, cable, transportation, pera, etc. And the privilege to work from home! Grabe! 😮

Kahit yung paggising pa lang for a new day, with our senses, limbs, and organs working and functioning well! Yung kaya nating makabangon at makatayo without requiring any help from other people or with any mobility device (cane, walker, wheelchair, etc.) At kung kailanganin man ng mga gano’n, kapag mayro’ng available, “Thank You Lord” pa rin talaga!!!

For the Graces My Friends Receive

Just this past week, ang dami kong natanggap na good news from my friends and from the people who asked me to pray for them. I don’t deserve to take any credit for their answered prayers but I am ecstatic and grateful for their blessings that they themselves think are beyond what they have asked for! Glory to God!!!

After so many rejections and ‘almost successes’, one of my dearest friends got hired for a job that suits her needs and goals for a company that is stable and with people who are sharing her views and aspirations! Now, she is set to achieve her dream of becoming a lawyer one day, taking one careful but significant step at a time.

After years of what seemed like endless trials and sufferings, my former roommate who has been struggling financially and with other personal problems with family is now reaping the fruits of her labor. Her husband was able to finally resume working, he also got promoted to a position that is higher than what he aspired for and he can finally use his advanced training which he and his wife (my friend) had invested most of their savings for.

And one of my closest friends from my previous choir group who left his stable job in the BPO industry last year to pursue his passion in teaching and who has been struggling financially, psychologically, and also spiritually with all the back-to-back challenges he and his family have been going through, has finally starting to get back on the right track with the renewed mindset and perspective, a stronger and wiser approach in life, and with few part-time jobs that he has been blessed with.

For God’s Love, Goodness, Mercy, and Generosity

I can’t even put the right words to describe how generous the Lord has been, like I can never thank Him enough. But I say it anyway, “Thank You, Lord!”.

Thank You for the good things that I did not expect but still happened, as well as for the bad things that could have naturally occurred but did not.

Thank You for the freedom to make choices and decisions, as well as for accompanying us and guiding us in every step that we take, and for being with us and for us whatever the outcome is.

And for giving us beyond what we think we deserve, Thank You, Lord for Your grace!

sustained and empowered by grace

It’s okay, even healthy, to release our sorrows and pains instead of keeping them to ourselves or trying to hide them under the rug. But what’s important is that, we don’t magnify them way too much to the point of overlooking the good things that still happen and the blessings that we still have.

It is right to see our reality as it is, being aware of things that we should be aware of even when they could seem unpleasant or even disturbing to some. But we don’t stop there. We don’t become oblivious of these things but we also don’t wallow in them with significant amount of our time and energy. We seek hope and we draw strength from the graces that we have been given.

I may not be able to speak for everybody, but from my perspective and from the lessons I have learned so far, whenever I am intentionally recalling all the wonderful memories and recounting all that I currently have–everything I basically need, and even all that I don’t have–the things I thought I needed but could have caused unforeseen harm, I always find myself smiling joyfully and my soul can’t help but praise, worship, glorify, and thank the Lord.

Being grateful makes me joyful enough to face every single day, hopeful enough to keep striving amidst uncertainties, and appreciative enough to be content and be able to breathe in spite of the rules and restrictions due to the pandemic.

Gratitude also makes me want to share what the Lord has been generously giving–not only the money and the material things, but also the time, energy, other resources, connections, and most importantly, love–mercy, compassion, care.

May we continue to pray, care, and share in love and gratitude! Amen.

Photo Sources: Unsplash and Pixabay

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