Five Minute Friday scribblings, Focus, Perspective

Blessing: Looking for Blessings

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—BLESSING. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

Sometimes I look for blessings with the wrong perspective. I miss them for what they are. As I pondered at tonight’s word, the first things that came to mind were: the opposite of blessings, being rich in blessings, Isaac blessing Jacob instead of Esau. And then I thought about this…

BLESSING

Silly me.

I thought that summer meant a slowing down time. Sleeping in. Leisurely quiet times now that I didn’t have to take the boys to school every morning.

Silly me.

One boy is passionate about football. His schedule includes weight training four mornings a week, along with some evening practices. The other boy is in band. Which means practices in the evening. Throw in other appointments, friend get-togethers, an attempt at meeting my “Go Through Life” friends for Bible study . . . oh, and a husband who travels for work.

And this summer has been anything but rest.

I tend to be one who digs in and “gits ‘er done.” But It’s not even July and I am WEARY.

Tonight as I thought about our word, I realized I’m focused in the wrong places. My eyes have been on my filled-up calendar, on the lack of sleep. On the crazy boy-growing times (physically and in character, ahem).

 

Maybe, instead of focusing on all that I feel is being taken out of me, I need to shift my perspective.

For years—years—I prayed for children. And God gave them. I prayed for a closer walk with Him, and He’s working that out in my life.

Moment by moment.

Day by day.

Decision by decision.

I prayed for the braveness to write, and God gave me a story. And then friends who are writers. And an opportunity to begin blogging.

God often uses the mundane—the busy, the stressful—to open our eyes to His blessings. But we’ll only see them if we look beyond the chaos in life and fix our eyes on Him.

We can best see His blessings in our lives when we pause to think on what He’s doing in the midst of the hard seasons, the crazy seasons, the back-talking seasons, the wearying seasons.

 

He never promises the blessings will just come in and of themselves, gift wrapped and tied with a ribbon (though sometimes they do). I’m discovering blessings are often linked with growing times, stretching-beyond-the-comfort-zone times, and with humbling times.

What about you? What unexpected blessings has God given you? How do you define “blessing?”

 

Click to Tweet: We’ll see blessings when we look beyond the chaos in life

**********

After much prayer and talking with my husband, I have decided to take a blogging break for the month of July. We have a lot going on, and I need to focus on my three guys. I’ll be back in the swing of things in early August, and I’ll be so eager to catch up with you all!

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Blessing.

Advertisements

36 thoughts on “Blessing: Looking for Blessings”

  1. It sounds like we’re learning the same lesson this summer, my friend! I’m learning that blessings have chubby cheeks, drooly gums, and pudgy hands. My agenda doesn’t matter. My relationships do–because they are what blesses me.

    Like

    1. Anita, please, please forgive the delayed response. It’s been one of those weekends. It does sound like we are both learning perspective lessons. Yours sound like a lot more fun though!! I still have days where I struggle with giving up my agenda, but I’m working to be better about this. Have a good Independence Day!

      Like

  2. I’m feeling the same way, exhausted and running around with boys doing swimming lessons and baseball and wishing for that relaxing summer! But you are so right, His blessings come in His timing and ways and we just hold on and wait for them, but only when we seek our eyes on Him.

    Like

    1. Bonnie, it sounds like you and I are experiencing a similar kind of summer. I hope you get some quiet moments and times to just “be.” And may we both be intentional about keeping our eyes on Jesus!

      Like

  3. Love this witness to God’s faithfulness, Jeanne!

    The biggest blessing in dying is that it’s opened my heart for God to teach me how to live, and how to love. Each moment’s precious, not to DO stuff, but to simply live as well as I can.

    And He’s shown me in that accepting help, I’m practicing love by allowing others to let His grace flow through them, to me.

    We’ll all miss you through July, and look forward with eager anticipation to your return in August.

    Like

    1. Andrew, sorry about the delayed response. Can I just say your comment ministered to me? I have mentioned to you before, and I’ll repeat it, I have definitely seen your heart toward God open and your faith and depth of understanding Him and His ways deepen. I loved your words about being willing to accept help and the blessings this choice brings to those who help you, and I’d bet to you, as well.

      Thank you for being such a faithful encourager at my blog home. I always appreciate your thoughts!

      Like

  4. how do I define blessings… things that make my life better even if I don’t always see it at the time. Some blessings sneak in..you know? 🙂

    Like

    1. Annette, I like your definition of blessing. God knows the best blessings to give us, even when we may not appreciate them in the moment, right? Thank you so much for sharing this!

      Like

  5. Jeanne, you are so wise. These years pass by so quickly although the days seem long now. But the blessing will surely come in the relationships which become solidified in these hard days now. May God bless you during your break!

    Like

    1. Joanne, I know you’re right. My boys are entering junior high and high school this year, and I’m trying to figure out where all the years have gone!! I keep hoping and praying that the purposeful investing of time into our sons’ lives will yield great relational blessings as they grow into adulthood. 🙂 Thank you for your words!

      Like

  6. One of the greatest blessings that has come to me through hardship has been an intimacy with the Lord that I never would have experienced without the pain. Oh, I whine about it some days. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. But would I trade that depth of relationship for anything? Nope.

    Enjoy your rest, dear Jeanne. We’ll be here when you get back. 🙂

    Like

    1. Marie, isn’t God amazing that way? As we walk through hardship—and we draw close to Him—we do experience a deeper intimacy with Him. I love, LOVE your perspective, my friend. Thank you for being here.

      Like

  7. Yes! I’m glad you’re taking time for yourself. Nothing will be lost. You will find renewal and strength through the quiet moments and listening to the Father. You are a wise woman, Jeanne! See you soon!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Christina. I know this break will be good. It will ease the crazy-busy schedule we have in July. 🙂 Thank you for the encouragements in your words. Can’t wait to see you!

      Like

    1. Yes, Linda. It’s hard to make the decision to take time off, but it’s definitely the right thing for now. And yes, I imagine we all face times when we need reminders of what’s most important. 🙂 Have a great Independence Day!

      Like

  8. jeanne, i enjoyed your post:) i wrote on some similar lines myself. i remember those busy years. i also remember those years of wanting children and then complaining b/c of the busy-ness involved in raising them! it’s natural of course, but we forget what our blessing bring with them.

    Like

    1. Martha, it’s so funny how we humans can always find something to complain about, right? God gives us what we beg for and then we realize it’s more than we expected and we complain. 🙂 Thank goodness for His patience! I’m beyond grateful for our sons, and I’m learning to be thankful even amid the hard and the crazy. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by! I am looking forward to reading your post in the next couple of days.

      Like

  9. “I’m discovering blessings are often linked with growing times, stretching-beyond-the-comfort-zone times, and with humbling times.” Yes to that! The blessing comes when surrendering is the only way too, I find.

    Like

    1. You’re right, Lynn. The blessings often do come after we surrender our wants, our expectations and wait, instead, for His best. Thank you, as always, for sharing your insights, my friend.

      Like

  10. Jeanne I thought about Esau and Jacob too. I like your closing comments. About blessings usually being now in all of these hard times. Instead of waiting for the better times
    I’ve been in a humbling time for the better part of two years. It’s been arduous but there have been unexpected blessings when I flip the coin of pain over and see the side of growth and life moving on
    I had a big unexpected blessing of a new job in something I’d Always secretly wished being given to me in May. Being this season of humbling I can only say it was from God. That’s one huge gift in humbling times. You can’t take any credit for things and you start to see life that way.
    Great post

    Like

    1. Somer, yes. We shouldn’t waste the hard times in expectation of better things. God is faithful to meet us in each moment, and to give us what we need in those hard seasons, as well as in the easier seasons.

      I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with pain. That is its own kind of hard. I love that God gave you a job that was something you’ve wished for. Isn’t it amazing that He not only knows the desires of our hearts but that He also gives some of them? I’m sending up a little praise on your behalf. May He continue to meet you in the humbling times and reveal more of Himself to you.

      Like

  11. Yes, how often we miss the blessings – of here and now – because we are waiting until tomorrow when we suppose they will arrive or we are too focused on the blessings of yesterday and missing those. I’m sometimes guilty of that. I am in those quiet days and some times get lost in remembering the blessings of years gone by…that I miss all the goodness that God has given me today – and in this very season. Thanks for a good reminder!

    Have a wonderful holiday tomorrow!

    Like

    1. Jennifer, you’re right. Sometimes we focus too much on yesterday’s blessings, at the expense of good things God has for us today. It’s a balance to look back and see God’s goodness I our pasts while still looking for His same faithfulness in today. Just this morning, I was remembering He is faithful every day, and He gives us what we need in each day . . . because He loves us. 🙂

      Like

  12. Wow, I so understand your sentiments here. Have you also said, “Stop the world; I wanna get off!” 🙂

    LOVED this: “I prayed for the braveness to write, and God gave me a story. And then friends who are writers. And an opportunity to begin blogging. God often uses the mundane—the busy, the stressful—to open our eyes to His blessings.”

    Wishing you a restful and refreshing summer ‘holiday’ with all of your guys!
    Shauna (fashionably-late today in FMF#89)

    Like

    1. Shauna, sometimes that has been my choruse through an entire day! But we keep riding out those tough days, seasons, and looking toward Jesus in the modst of them, don’t we? I hope you have some relaxing times this month too!

      Like

  13. Jeanne I’m learning some of those same lessons. For me, I was looking for summer from subbing and a slow easy pace too. It hasn’t been, and I keep grandchildren rather than children. With some remodeling, a new roof, and the grands I’m running too.

    I loved your quote, “God often uses the mundane—the busy, the stressful—to open our eyes to His blessings. But we’ll only see them if we look beyond the chaos in life and fix our eyes on Him.” Oh the blessings of children, grandchildren and a nice cool home in the summer to clean and update.

    He is chiseling us one moment at a time, and I love it.

    Like

    1. It sounds like you have had a busy summer! I’m sure your kids and your grands are thankful for your time. Remodeling sounds fun . . . Kind of. 🙂 The result is fun, right? 😉

      May we both keep the perspective that God has blessed us abundantly and that He is continually chiseling us and making us more like Him. Have a good rest of your July!

      Like

Comments are closed.