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Look for the gift. {Our Blessings Count!}

Posted by on 13 December 2012 in Be Whole, Faith, Featured Posts, Looking In | Comments Off on Look for the gift. {Our Blessings Count!}

Look for the gift.

Sometimes gifts come in the guise of brightly wrapped packages, rattling with the trinkets that we put on our Christmas list. A new pair of gloves, the latest Food Network cookbook, or a gift certificate to a spa.

Look for the gift.

Sometimes gifts come in the form of blessings, the good that lies in our path like sparkling jewels. Easy to spot, and even easier to celebrate. A new home, healthy kids, or a fulfilling career.

Look for the gift.

Sometimes gifts are more difficult to find. Stuck under the surface and encased with grief, their dull exterior tempts us to pick them up and heave them far away from us. The death of a family member, a lengthy unemployment, or disappointments and hurt.

Look for the gift. 

But what I have found is while the pedicures are nice and the blessings are worth celebrating, it is when I take the time to throw myself into the dirt and dig out the gifts that are embedded in the stress of everyday life, it is then when I understand where blessing lives.

Look for the gift.

It is my personal mantra, one that has me looking in the unexpected places for the gifts that would otherwise elude me. It makes me stop and appreciate the simple joy of the first snowman of the season. It makes me look back at the painful end of a job and see the waterfall of good things that came from the experience. It makes me stop in the middle of a pity party for myself, look in the mirror, and start counting my gifts – my blessings. It has changed my perspective, this scavenger hunt of mine, and has made me appreciate the exact spot I am in, whether good or bad, joyous or painful.

What blessings do you see today? I am honored to partner with Mercy, the sixth largest Catholic health care system, on a beautiful project to give a visual representation to the blessings in our lives. Twinkling snowflakes that cascade down the page at www.ourblessingscount.com, when clicked, open one of thousands of blessings that individuals have shared. It just about moved me to tears as I clicked on blessing after blessing, and then added my own.

Dr. Doug Walker, psychologist, clinical director of Mercy Family Center in New Orleans and an expert in coping with stress says, “The very act of verbalizing, listing or journaling what you have to be thankful for reduces stress…There’s almost something magical about listing what you have to be thankful for. It can turn things around very quickly because all of a sudden you are looking at all you have to be grateful for.”

I entirely agree, and I love the way that Mercy is using this holiday season to remind us that ‘Our greatest blessing is to see others blessed.’ One way we can do this is to pause, list our blessings, and share them with others. Let’s count our blessings together at www.ourblessingscount.com. Then come back and tell us about your experience!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mercy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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