Typically I watch a sermon online before each work day begins. But today was an exception. I read the Bible and I spent time adding things to my Small Blessings list.
Why? Because my heart is aching. It's aching for my own loss, which is raw right now. I have these bouts of rawness from time to time, and I'm in the midst of one of those bouts right now.
My heart is aching for my friend whose mother is undergoing yet another cancer surgery.
My heart is aching for the people in Boston who were hurt or who lost someone yesterday in that terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon.
And finally my heart is aching for my friend who lost her home in a fire last night. She has a farm called "Adonai Acres," and she and her family are some of the most God-fearing people I know. When Scarlett was alive, she had a standing invitation to ride horses at Adonai Acres. Everyone was saved from the fire -- all the people and animals survived, even though one of the dogs ran back IN to the burning house and had to be pulled out a second time. But their home is gone.
It's so easy to sink into the heartache in times like this. But that's just following pain into the pit. Even when horrible things are happening, good things are happening too.
So it's important to note those things, to remind myself that there is good in the world.
When the explosions went off in Boston yesterday, people ran TO the blast to help. My friend who was told she would never have children, who has been on the list to adopt a baby for two years, just announced that she's pregnant. When Jeremy and I were driving to Kansas City two weekends ago, the wind was so bad, we didn't realize how much our gas mileage had been affected until we were under a quarter tank. We were able to get to a gas station with maybe a mile or two left in our tank. But we made it.
Good things continue to happen, even when bad things abound. It's too easy to forget that. So I write it down.
I suggest you do the same. When life gets you down, when your heart hurts, write a list of all the small blessings. The good coffee you had that morning, the meadowlark singing to you from the tree outside your window, the easy drive to work, the great conversation with your sister last night. They all count. Write them down. You'll see the good outweighs the bad.