On any given day, we are assaulted by hundreds of megabytes of information in the form of social media feeds, TV news, online news sources and word of mouth. Well over 75% of the news we come in contact with is negative, sensationalized and beyond the scope of what we believe about the world and its people.
The negative influx might lead us to question where we find good and the people who value doing the right thing? Is there hope in our blessings? When the world presents a steady stream of darkness overcoming the light, we ask over and over “where is the hope? where is the light? and whom should we trust?”
Couple the worldly happenings with your own personal challenges and you may feel not only distraught but doubt that hope even exists. Life may look like a series of illnesses, family discord, emotional challenges and losses. Just the thought of even one of those scenarios is enough to knock you flat on your face. The words that trail from your mind begin with “why” “how” and “what”.
Why is life so difficult?
How will I overcome the challenges?
What can I do to make this better?
But these questions don’t always come with answers. At least not ones that tie up the mess with a pretty bow. Instead, we dig deeper, search wider and hope in things unheard and unseen. Hope in the hard, the loss, the bitter and sometimes even in the joy. A chance to seek hope in our blessings.
[Tweet “Our questions don’t always come with answers that tie up our mess with a pretty bow.”]
The last several weeks have been very challenging for me. I have asked the same questions I listed above. I’ll be the first to admit that there are no magical answers. If all I did was search for the answers, I might never find them. Instead, I discovered a secret that has blessed me over and over.
The secret is found in someone paying for your Starbucks in the drive thru. An unexpected blessing that simply brought me to my knees.
Or in the early morning you receive a text that simply says “I am praying for you”.
Maybe the secret happens when you have a few free minutes to take a walk at your favorite garden.
Or the stunning sunset that God seemed to paint just for you.
[Tweet “The secret is found in noticing blessings gifted to us by God.”]
The secret is not really a secret at all. The answer is found in the blessings that you notice throughout your day.
God is the hope in our blessings. He is all the good, the challenges and unexpected all rolled into one. He loves showing up when we least expect it and gracing us with exactly what we need. God is our everything when we feel we are nothing. May we let God guide our life and lead us to hope.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
And in the waiting and watching for hope, God will hear us.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
Holding onto the hope of God!
Blessed to be linking up with these fabulous ladies!
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Yes to all these. We are blessed and it’s hopeful to count our blessings every time.
Absolutely! Counting blessings not only blesses us but God too. Thank you for stopping by!
God is our help and our hope! I was just talking to my husband about this, this week, how so much of what we get fed is the world’s wisdom, and not at all true. We begin to act and think in ways that are contrary to God’s ways. So dangerous! Romans 12 reminds us to renew our minds. Looking to God with our questions, finding the answers in His word is the only way to ensure we receive the Truth! Great post, Mary! Blessings on your weekend!
You are right about being swayed by things of the world which are many times so far from the truth. Before we know it we are working against God instead of for Him. Romans 12 reminds us of how to renew our minds to stay fixed on God. May we all find our hope in God and His truths and know that He is the keeper of our joy! Blessings my friend!
Mary love this. Unexpected blessings all around us. I haven’t yet gotten my coffee bought at Starbucks, but have paid it for ones behind me. Thanks for the reminders of blessing others. I just wrote this morning on encouraging others.
Just think you possibly started a chain of paying it forward by paying for someone’s coffee. It really will come back to you someday. You are welcome for the reminders today and I love how you were writing about encouraging others too. God has us on the same wave length. Praying your weekend is blessed.
I’ve missed stopping over at your place. It really does make a difference when we keep track of our blessings. It’s one of the reasons I started the Sunday Blessings post on my blog. Loved this post!
I’ve missed having you here, Tara! I know how you love sharing your blessings each week and it is a beautiful way to pay it forward right back to God. So glad to see you today and I pray your weekend is blessed.
I admire your tenacity in seeking and looking for the blessings even when the chips are down. Even in the midst of trials and crises, you take time to notice a sunset or enjoy how God has dressed the flowers in the gardens along your walks. I believe God blesses the heart that stays focused on His blessings. Praying for you – for His peace that passes understanding. Lean into Him dear friend…
God is the keeper of my hope and when I turn to Him when I am blessed with a sunset or another blessing, I am showing Him that I notice and care. I know in the midst of struggles that God is still with me and that is what gets me through. Your kind words and prayers are such a blessing to me too. I feel the tenderness from my friends from across the internet and it means so much. Hope your weekend has been blessed. Love and hugs!
“God is the hope in our blessings.” Amen to this! Our noticing has to become intentional or we miss so much. I like to think of these daily grace glimmers as love letters that God strews along our pathway. It’s rather like a father hiding Easter eggs in the garden and delighting in the child who persists and finally finds the hidden treasure. I’m sure God’s Father-heart lifts with joy that is multiplied when His children see and appreciate His tender loving hand at work in their lives. Thank you, Mary. I never fail to come away lifted and encouraged by your words! Bless you, friend. 🙂 x
I love getting these love notes from God. It is such a joy to find them hidden and show up at unexpected times. I know God smiles when He sees us so happy. I pray that as you leave encouraged that you are able to pass the blessing onto someone else. Praying your weekend is blessed.
Hi Mary! My daughter says there are many instances of ‘paying it forward’ at her local Starbucks. I’ve never had it happen to me, but then again, I’ve never paid for anyone either. I really should. Look how much it helped you when you were feeling stressed…
I hope this week has been better for you. And I hope that God visits you more in those unexpected moments. Something tells me, if you’re looking, you’ll find them. He loves you that much 🙂
I do see the reminders of God’s love everywhere. God is the best stress reliever I know. I appreciate your continued support and kindness. Your words always bring me a sense of peace. Blessings to you too!
Mary, this is the second time this week I’ve come across that Psalm 25 verse! God is surely speaking!
Yes, we find hope when we notice the small daily blessings. That’s amazing about the Starbucks gift! Last fall, we encountered significant financial challenges, right before Christmas! I hesitated about keeping our yearly White Chocolate Mint Mocha family Starbucks Christmas tradition. (Things were so tight, I thought we shouldn’t spend $20 on that.) You know what? Someone we barely knew gave us a $25 Starbucks gift card, without knowing about our family tradition! God is so good!
Thank you for sharing your Starbucks story. God is amazing like that and we don’t always know the impact we have on others when we pay it forward until we hear someone’s story of being blessed. God knows and I imagine the smile on His face when He saw the smiles on the faces of your family as you enjoyed your White Chocolate Mint Mochas.
May we all see the hope that is found in everyday blessings. God loves to surprise us. Be surprised today!
This reminds me of the KJV of Psalm 22:3 where we’re told that God “inhabits” the praises of His people. I think that’s exactly what you are saying here, Mary. God loves it when we praise and thank Him and draws near to us when we do. That’s a hard thing to think about doing when we are distraught or going through a struggle, but once we do, as you’ve pointed out here–it turns everything upside down rightside up again! Love your inspiring posts, my friend! I have continued to lift you up in them and am so glad that God is encouraging you!
I don’t usually read the KJV version but absolutely love how it says “God inhabits the praises of his people”. That is exactly what I was describing in my post and just think, the words were already laid out beautifully in Psalm 22. I’m so glad you pointed that out.
I am finding the only way through the discouragement is through God and He is showing me what this looks like in my blessings. Your prayers are felt and appreciated. Love you friend!
You’re right Mary, it’s not always easy to find hope when we are overwhelmed with hopeless news every day. But when we intentionally pay attention to the blessings – those moments that bring a glimpse of hope – what a difference it makes in our perspective. Great word! Praying for you:)
Thank you for your sweet words and for the prayers. It means so much. When we are overwhelmed it is easy to lose sight of all the little blessings that happen throughout the day. Taking time to notice them as you say, does bring hope. So good to see you here! Blessings and hugs!
Love this post. I’ve been jotting down 3 blessings a day since 2012. I never get tired of looking back on them & seeing God’s faithful hand on my life!! My blessings are often small in the eyes of the world. But, they are huge to me.
It sounds like you have been involved in Ann Voskamp’s #joydare?? That is how I got started in looking at my day from a positive side rather than all the things that went wrong, Since then, I stopped writing down my blessings but try to be intentional in searching for those blessings each day. Thank you for being here. Blessings!
Oh, I’m so sad. I had this great comment all typed out, and it disappeared. Sigh. I loved your post, Mary. As I thought about hope, and the blessings God gives, He’s been doing those little things like putting me on peoples’ minds to pray for me in this season I’m limping through. I’ll get a text, or a card, that just make me want to cry with gratitude to Him. All because He put me on someone’s heart to pray. He’s truly amazing. 🙂 He gives hope in every season. We just need to seek Him so we can see it. 🙂
Sorry you lost your original comment, Jeanne! This comment is good too! 🙂 I agree that when we open ourselves up to the possibilities that God can provide we find blessings everywhere. God is a God of hope and promise and he does share this when we seek Him.
I love knowing that you get teary-eyed over small, unexpected gestures of kindness like I do. I think when it comes out of the blue and at a time that we deeply need the love, we are susceptible to tearful gratefulness. I, for one, Love those times and I say let the tears flow! You bless me every time you stop by and your words never fail to hit home and uplift. Thank you!
Yes, yes, yes!!
I’m finding that a regular practice of gratitude- counting my blessings- has immensely affected my heart. It’s simply incredible. Noticing the gifts makes a difference!
It is incredible to seek the good in our daily lives. It is freeing and a blessing to us and to God. Thank you for joining in the conversation.
Exactly! If I keep my eyes on the blessings, I have the energy to make it through the trials (by the way, I think that the news is ungodly and I refuse to watch it or pay attention to it–it’s just a steady stream of negative, and God wants us to focus on whatever is GOOD).
I try hard not to indulge in too much news because it is heavy and weighs me down. Sometimes our own personal news is enough to weigh us down. Let’s work together on focusing on the good which if we look closely we will find everywhere. Thank you for being here!
Thanks for this great reminder that there is always hope to be found in the blessings God gives us, even when things are difficult. It’s so important to remember that and actively look for the blessings, as it’s so easy to let the challenges overwhelm us- and when we look there are always blessings to be found.
It is in the noticing and being intentional that we see a whole lot of things that God has planned for us. When we live life stuck in our own little world, we miss out on so much. When we withdraw, God is there working to pull us closer to Him. I am so grateful that God is always pulling me closer and showing me His presence in the littlest ways. Thank you for being here and blessing me with your comment.
I’m so sorry your life has been so difficult and filled with all those questions, Mary. I know the feeling. But it’s so amazing the way God surprises us with gifts of hope, isn’t it? “He loves showing up when we least expect it and gracing us with exactly what we need. God is our everything when we feel we are nothing.” So very true. Thank you for this hope-filled post and the encouragement to open our eyes to the evidences of His love and favor. May He give you special strength through this difficult season.
You are so sweet! I certainly am not sharing my struggles to gain sympathy but hopefully to encourage others who are going through difficult times. It sounds like I encouraged you and for that I am glad. I am in awe daily that through my struggles, God continues to show me in so many ways that I am loved and He is with me. That is the lesson I pray everyone learns during challenging seasons. Thank you for always blessing me and encouraging me!
Yes, Mary, I’m with you in the need to be purposeful in noticing God at work. Otherwise, we miss the blessing. I firmly believe that the discipline of writing down our gratitude is like a daily statement of purpose: I will praise you, God, for this good thing that I see, so that my heart will follow – eventually!
I used to write down my blessings daily but have since gotten away from this practice. The positive about writing down our gratitude is that we can go back to remind ourselves that God is in our everyday and every blessing. Thank you for sharing this practice with us and as always for being here. Hugs and blessings, friend!
AMEN! I’m working on the “noticing”….He’s given me so much.
Yes you are! Your lists that you have been writing each week are a great way to notice specific things. God is so good and even when we feel suffocated by life, He is there making it better. Love you dear friend and love having you here!
I agree Mary! There is nothing like the little blessings that show up all throughout our days. Just as the little foxes can spoil the vine, the little blessings can make the vine flourish. You have inspired me to do this for someone else today. I want to be that blessing. I want to be Jesus to those that are hurting. Thanks for sharing this at Testimony Tuesday!
We don’t always know when someone else is hurting so the challenge is to live everyday ready with kindness and love for others. Trust me that is not always easy. Counting our blessings shows us that we are never alone and the bonus is when we can share that with someone else. Thank you for being here and joining in Alisha! Blessings on your Tuesday!
Such a beautiful post! It’s so true that in seeing the small blessings in our day that we are sometimes brought to our knees at the recognition of God’s love for us in small ways. It’s those moments that draw me so much closer to Him. Thanks for your encouraging words today.
It seems silly that one person paying for my Starbucks should be so humbling, but it was the kindness and unexpected joy that it brought me to know that someone blessed me in the middle of my mess. Anything that draws us closer to God is a blessing and I pray we all recognize those moments throughout our day. Thank you for being here today, Judy! Blessings on your week!