Showers of Blessings
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When I think about blessings, I automatically think about gratitude and what a former colleague once told me. “Gratitude and depression cannot live in the same mind at the same moment,” he said. I also think about how my gratitude is deepening for each of the blessings I’ve experienced.
Join me this week as we consider the blessings in our lives and how we might want to honor them. Stay with me.
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photo: Scott Lennox
Looking out the window at my flower beds during days of slow and steady rain brought an old hymn to mind. Written in the late eighteen-hundreds, the hymn There Shall Be Showers of Blessings is based on a passage from the book of Ezekiel in the Bible. The song and the verse each speak of seasons of refreshing and of mercy dropping around us like rain. Pondering that, I thought of some of the blessings that have given me strength and courage and comfort when I needed them.
There were blessings I didn’t recognize until long after they happened. Others were immediately obvious. Still others blessed me in ways that seemed to come completely “out of the blue.”
Some of the blessings seemed insignificant at the time but proved to have a lasting effect on my life. Some were on such a grand scale that I’ve given up trying to put words to them. And some still bring me to tears and a sense of awe when I think about them.
While thinking about blessings is nothing new to me, I find my gratitude for them deepening with the passing of time.
Years ago, following the recommendation of a good friend, I began writing them down in what I came to call my Gratitude Journals. After quickly filling the first one, I started a new one. I’m currently on my third, or is it my fourth? Looking back through them shows me that despite everything else that’s happening in the world or in my life, the blessings I experience far outweigh the struggles. It also intrigues me that the more intentional I become about looking for them, the more quickly I see them.
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This week, I hope to inspire you to consider some of the blessings in your own life and how they have affected you.
So, with that in mind (and in no particular order) allow me to share just a few of the things I’m grateful for. Who knows, they may encourage you to start your own Gratitude Journal.
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(Every Time You’re Near by Helmut Schenker courtesy of Epidemic Music)
…for being alive and for this day and for whatever it brings.
…for everything it took to bring me to this moment.
…for surviving all the things I’ve been through.
…for the surgery and radiation that saved my life.
…for the medical skills of all those who have treated me.
…for the ability to swallow and speak normally again.
…for stillness and the clarity of mind it offers me.
…for my deepening relationship with God.
…for my three remarkable sisters.
…for the strong legacy our parents left us.
…for the recording of my mother playing the piano.
…for the music that filled my childhood home.
…for poetry and art and music and dance.
…for the ability to play several musical instruments.
…for the ability to draw and paint and write.
…for the gifted artists who have taught me.
…for the peace I find at the Brazos River.
…for the vast sea of grass in the Kansas Flint Hills.
…for the magic of New Mexico and my friends there.
…for birds in flight and geese heading south.
…for the feeling of the wind on my face.
…for this beautiful garden outside my window.
…for the education I’ve received in and out of schools.
…for the ability to be constantly learning.
…for the people who encouraged me not to give up.
…for the people who continue to inspire me.
…for my extraordinary friends.
…for those who genuinely love and care about me.
…for every person who refused to give up on me.
…for those I love and care about.
…for my dog Cowboy and his unconditional affection.
…for meaningful work.
…for watching people heal and live effectively.
…for the ability to accept people as they are.
…for the ability to encourage and inspire people.
…for finally being fully in the present.
…for the encouragement of mentors.
…for those who have taught me how to think.
…for those who accept me as I am.
…for the sound of laughter, especially children’s laughter.
…for the tears I’ve shed and the tears of others.
…for my late brother’s inspiring courage.
…for the people who challenged me to grow.
…for the ability to challenge others to do the same.
…for the generosity and warmth of my friends.
…for my dear friend Philippe who made me a chef.
…for Hugh McKay who helped me heal from the inside out.
…for the sergeant who paid my way home from Vietnam.
…for the unnamed police officer who helped me.
…for the teacher who helped me find my gifts.
…for every storm I have survived.
…for passing clouds and changing seasons.
…for the stand of live oaks that has become my sanctuary.
…for these chattering birds outside my window.
…for my parents’ profound love for each other.
…for the role models they were for me.
…for the privilege of taking care of them.
…for my own space to work and grow and rest.
…for you reading or listening to this.
…for every time I’ve fallen and gotten back up.
…for the hospitality of some of the ranchers I know.
…for the open fields I played and delighted in as a boy.
…for the fields I’ve yet to discover.
…for lessons learned.
…for the lessons still to come.
…for the ability to stop and rest and heal.
…for the inextinguishable Light in each of us.
…for angels in human form.
…for loving and being loved purely and profoundly. I’m Grateful…
…for everything about you. You know exactly who you Are.
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This week’s two Beautiful Questions are meant to deepen your consideration of the blessings in your life. As you ponder them, I’ll be interested to hear what arises and the ways you choose to record and honor them.
Question One: What blessings, large or small, have you experienced and what impact have they had on your life?
Question Two: In what ways have you acknowledged or honored those blessings and your gratitude for them?
As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light
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Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing everything we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.
If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.
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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.
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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.