Thanks-counting!

Here I am again. I find myself in that place.

Wishing.  Hoping.  No.  Longing.  I am longing.

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I find myself desperately longing for that one thing.  The one thing that will make everything else in life alright.

The intense internal dialogue floods my mind. Familiar with the drill, I reason with my heart. I battle the deep-seated need making its way through the bottlenecked emotion.

My eyes well with tears, “God, if only You would…surely then….”

I trace the well-worn pathway. I follow the spiral downward. My gut heaves hard at the ache.

I plead, “Why, God? Why can’t You make it just so?”

“COUNT!”

I start to the word, but hear it with great clarity. Unmistakably clear the word interrupts the habitual dialogue.

I know what I hear. Yet, I respond with a puzzled, “What?”

“COUNT.”

“Count what?” I ask, feigning ignorance.

The weight of the truth presses upon my heart.

  • I am eating the fruit along with Eve, following in my mother’s footsteps.

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We learn in the beginning that God made every tree grow, pleasant to the sight and good for food. God tells His first son and daughter, Adam and Eve, they can freely eat of every tree of the garden but one. And Eve talking to the presumptuously slick serpent, says, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the tree in midst, God has said, ‘You shall not eat…’”

“You will surely not die,” the serpent plants doubts twisting the goodness of God. Eve counts – one fruit from that one tree. The Garden housed every tree. Trees plural, yet Eve counts the one – the one thing she did not have and could not have. She forfeits all she has for the one “have-not.”

And oh yes, right there by that tree, the enemy comes to kill, to steal and to destroy. Steal. Yep, that’s right.

  • The enemy comes to steal that I might lose count.

The great counterfeiter introduces his system and the numbers are askew.

It is true. I lose count. I get stuck on one. The one thing I can’t have. The one thing I don’t have. The one thing I long for that will make it all right.

I often say I can’t do math in public. Really!  It makes me anxious and I forget how to do the simplest of math. It appears, however, that I can’t do math in private either. I lose count. I’m stuck on one and I just can’t get past it. I get hung up.

Consider the meaning of the word “count.” Yeah, I know we all know what the word “count” means but indulge me. After all, the dictionary is one of my favorite books, and the name of this space is “Defining Word,” right?

The word “count” means: to name or list one by one in order to determine; to include in a reckoning; take account of; to believe or consider to be; to have importance; to have a specified importance or value.

Therefore when I count, I am naming and listing to determine, to see, to recognize, to acknowledge. When I count I am reckoning and taking stock of. When I count I am considering and believing it is so. When I count I am assigning importance and value.

Again, Truth presses upon my heart. Gentle gracious conviction prompts. With the tears spilling from my eyes, I count.

Five years cancer free.
Forty-six years of breath and life.
One committed servant-hearted husband.
Sixty seconds in the next minute.
Three well adjusted growing “human beans.” (Ask my thirteen about that.)

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Twenty-four hours dawning with the sun.
One bowl of warm oatmeal.
Two cups of hot coffee joe.
Twenty working fingers and toes.
Only one hundred thirty-one dollars and thirty-six cents of monthly school loan payments for ten years.

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One resident black squirrel owning my yard.
Hundreds of blood red berries hanging in my tree.

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Seventy times seven grace and forgiveness received…

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I count and I count.

I count – recognizing, acknowledging, taking stock, seeing, believing, assigning importance and value.

My spirit lightens. I follow the spiral upward. A new path forms.

You see I wasn’t just losing count:

I was mis-counting and I was dis-counting.
I failed to re-count and I failed to ac-count.

  • God’s gifts are not a dis-count but they are of great ac-count!

Count who He is providing not who isn’t providing.
Count what He has given not what hasn’t been given.
Count how He is blessing not the missed-out-on blessing.

  • While God holds out to us the best gifts we often hold out for the lesser gift.

“Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17

So, I am counting! I re-count and ac-count!

Friend, have you been there? You know I have.

  • “God, if she would just…then…”
  • “Lord, if I could only…then…”
  • “Jesus, if he’d just…then…”
  • “God, if you would please just…then…”

Sister, where are you stuck on one? What is your “if only”? Where have you lost count?

Will you count with me?

Instead of following in the steps of my mother Eve, I hear and sing with my grandmother Mary:

”When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

“Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, and you will be singing as the days go by.”

“When you look at others with their lands and gold, think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold, count your many blessings money cannot buy, your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.”

“So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, do not be discouraged, God is over all; count your many blessings, angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.”

“Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God hath done; count your blessings name them one by one; count your many blessings see what God hath done.”

And if you lose count and get stuck the one. Count this One…

One Jesus,
               the One and Only Savior of the one and only me
                                                       in this one and only world so loved!

I count. I lose count. I am overcome.

I am overwhelmed – to see what my God has done!

This Thanksgiving season it would be a great privilege to count together what our God has done. Will you count below in the comment section?

Or let me know via my facebook page Michelle Christy Defining Word or on Twitter @definingword using the hashtag #Icount.

You may easily access my social media icons at the top of this page in the upper right.

Happy Counting and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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