Count Your (Spiritual) Blessings

Count Your (Spiritual) Blessings // by Leslie Ann Jones

Well, it's that time of year again. In just a couple of weeks, our social media feeds are going to blow up with people naming blessings—one for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. On one hand, I always enjoy these posts. I love seeing the people of God giving thanks for his good gifts. I also enjoy participating in the #Grateful movement. And yet, at the same time, I wonder if maybe we're missing the forest for the trees. 

I'm thankful for financial stability, food on the table, a loving husband, and my two sweet girls. I'll be the first to admit that I'm grateful for mocha lattes, crisp fall mornings, a few hours of quiet, and the roof over my head. When I count my blessings, these are some of the first things I name.

But I'm afraid that when we count our blessings, we sometimes stop too soon. We only name the things that are right in front of our faces, and we neglect to mention the things that matter most.

When we went through the Limitless study on Ephesians this summer, one of the first things that I noticed was the type of blessings that Paul named. I'm sure he was thankful for his friends and family, the people who supported his ministry, and for his good health. But those aren't the things that he names.

He names the spiritual blessings that each and every believer has in Christ. In his list, Paul says we have been blessed because we are chosen, adopted, redeemed, and forgiven. Through Christ, he goes on to say, we have received limitless grace, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and an inheritance that is incorruptible, unfading, and imperishable.

Here's the thing. Each and every one of the physical things that we're thankful for can be stripped away. You can lose your job. You can lose your livelihood. Your savings accounts can be emptied. You can find yourself not knowing where your next meal is coming from. You can be in a horrible car accident. You can get cancer. You can lose someone you love. 

When we count our blessings, the incorruptible, unfading, and imperishable gifts of God ought to be at the center of our thanksgiving. From "Count Your (Spiritual) Blessings" by Leslie Ann Jones.

It's good and right to be thankful for all kinds of blessings, but if the foundation of our thanksgiving lies only in earthly blessings, then our faith will be shaken by the first strong wind that blows our way. The incorruptible, unfading, and imperishable gifts of God ought to be at the center of our thanksgiving. These are the blessings that are the same now and in the future regardless of circumstances.

If we lose our jobs, we still have Christ. We still have salvation through him. We still have the peace that comes from him. We still have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. We still have grace in limitless abundance. And these are the things that Paul says we should cling to and hold onto because these are the things that never change. These are the things that never go away. These are the things that are true regardless of what's happening in the world around us.

God is good all the time. His goodness isn't dependent on the circumstances that surround us. Even when the future seems bleak, we maintain hope for something better. And the hope we have in Christ is guaranteed. We can depend on it because the God who has promised is faithful. He is who he says he is and he is able to do what he says he will do. When he says that he has blessed us, it means that we are blessed because we are his.

So this season, will you join me in changing things up? When we count our blessings, let's start with the spiritual ones. Let's count them out for all the world to see. Let's name them one by one and see what God has done. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Now and forever. Amen.

Until next time, grace and peace.

It's the Little Things

Give Thanks for Little Things

Lately, I'm learning that noticing and giving thanks for the little things makes all the difference in my attitude. It's easy to look past all that we have to be grateful for if we don't make a point to take note of it.

So, today, on this beautiful sunshiny day, I'm thankful for mercies that are new every morning, carefree summer days, and the chance to soak up some sun while my littles frolic. Every day isn't bright and shiny, but today is, and I'll take it.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places indeed (Psalm 16:6).

What are you thankful for today?

Until next time, grace and peace.

To All The Women Who Have Loved Me Well

Christian author and speaker Leslie Ann Jones with her daughters.

These two love me so well. I'm so glad that God saw fit to make them mine. Happy Mother's Day, y'all! As I think about mothering these two little ladies and helping them grow into the women that God has created them to be, I'm reminded of the precious women who did the same for me.

On this Mother's Day, I'm thankful not just for my mama and my mother-in-law, but also for all the women who have loved me and shaped me over the years. I had the sweet privilege of teaching an older ladies' Sunday school class this morning. After class one of the women (who happened to be my assistant second grade teacher) came up to me and spoke some encouragement over me. It blessed my heart in big ways.

The truth is that I wouldn't be who I am without the influence of the countless godly women who have "mothered" me throughout my life. I've been so blessed by their encouragement and wisdom, and I can't imagine how I would have turned out if they hadn't taken the time to pour into me. The Lord certainly knew what he was doing when he brought us together.

Who are you thankful for today? Who has loved you well and "mothered" you over the years?

Until next time, grace and peace.