I often use the common phrase "what's on my plate," to describe the variety of tasks, chores, responsibilites and deadlines facing me. Just considering the load sometimes makes me feel defeated before I even start: "How can it all get done? How will I ever find the strength and will-power to keep going when the mountain of work looms higher than my energy level?? What about all those things that I would really LOVE to do, but can't take the time or don't have the money to do???"
Down, down, down the slippery slope to discouragement, self-pity and defeat. . . It's so easy to go there. It seems like such a reasonable way to view my "reality."
But then I open my Bible. In a slope-changing, breath-taking, bonds-breaking sentence, Psalm 68: 19 states, "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits. . ."
He daily loads us with benefits. If I can focus for just a minute on what that is saying, on the truth it is revealing, my perspective—along with my attitude, energy, joy-level, and approach to "what's on my plate"—will dramatically change.
I've been pondering this for days. Asking the Lord to open my eyes to see some of the benefits He's loading on my plate.
Oswald Chambers wrote, "The things that make God dear to us are not as much His great big blessings as the tiny things; because they show His amazing intimacy with us; He knows every detail of our individual lives."
So, in considering both the great and small blessings and benefits of my life, I have begun a list.
I have been married for more than thirty-two years to a man who is my best friend, who has shared this journey of faith, who loves me, laughs at my jokes, and eats what I cook with great enthusiasm. (I laugh at his jokes, too. They are usually much funnier than mine!)
I have had the precious joy of knowing my three children from their childhood to adulthood, and it has expanded my understanding of love, laughter, pain, togetherness, family, sacrifice, learning, friendship—beyond what I would have ever dreamed possible. I have in-laws and grandchildren who enlarge my love and family and hope and kindness and change and growth.
I have good health. I have a roof over my head. I have food to eat and clothes to wear. I live in a country where going to church does not put my life in jeopardy, where voting for government leaders is my responsibility and privilege. I have work that is meaningful and ongoing.
I have eyes to see and ears to hear and fingers to type and feet to stand and legs to walk and arms to hug.
I live on a planet where the sun warms, the rains cool, the grass grows, and the birds fly. . .Where flowers burst into gorgeous shapes and colors, and hummingbirds visit them within my range of vision. . .Where waves roll and fish jump and snow falls and spring comes. . .Where the beauty of sunrises and sunsets and storm clouds take my breath away.
I belong to Jesus because, in His great love, He reached into the prison of my darkness and set me free.
The list goes on and on and on, encompassing every aspect of life. And as I begin to consider it, thankfulness and joy and amazement and awe well up in my heart.
From macro to micro, day-in and day-out, His innumerable blessings are loaded on to us every day. I want to keep my eyes focused on this load as I continue to deal with what's on my plate.
I invite you to join me in the journey.