Monday, 18 July 2016

Counting Our Blessings // Emily McConnell

Hello all! Today, please welcome to the blog Emily McConnell as she joins us in counting blessings! :D 

Blessings in the Little Things
I was so honored to have Blessing Counter contact me several months back, asking me if I would be able to do a blessing post on her blog. At the time I received the email, we were going through the intensive phase of my little sister’s cancer treatment, so I’d asked if I could wait a bit before I put one together. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling very much like writing about blessings while we were going through that particular time. There was very little I felt blessed about, and at some bleak moments it seemed more fake for me to say I was blessed when I very much did not feel blessed.
Fast forward several months forward and we’re in July. Wow. How time flies. My little sister R is now out of intensive cancer treatment and into maintenance, a true, true blessing! But when I look back on those months where there was so little I wanted to say about our struggles and few people I wanted to talk to, I realize there were so many little blessings that I didn’t see until later. Blessings that in hindsight are quite big. Now, if I were to delve into all of them we’d be here a long time. The moral of that little story is to point out that there are times where we really can’t see our blessings. Sometimes our blessings are hidden behind things we don’t understand until later.
Oftentimes I believe people expect blessings to be obvious things in their life- perhaps getting the job they prayed for, the puppy or horse they wanted, and so on. But I firmly believe the blessings that are the most prevalent are the little, little blessings we have no idea will be so important until later on.
So today my focus is on the little blessings, the ones that may seem insignificant or even contrary to what we’d ordinarily classify as a “blessing” from the Lord, but are so important in everything we experience and do. I hope these resonate with you as they do with me.

I think this is one of those things you don’t realize is so important and a blessing until you don’t have enough of it. ;) During the months of the most intensive phase of my little sister’s chemo, most nights would find me on the couch in the school room. My mother slept in the bedroom I shared with little sister R in case she got sick in the night. I slept alright on the couch, but a couple nights in a row starts to wear on your back. To top that off all of us were taking turns staying overnight at the hospital when R had inpatient stays, and hospitals are not exactly the most relaxing places to sleep. During that time I remember all of us were tired and exhausted, none of us was sleeping very well and we all were sort of on edge. What a blessing when R was back out of the hospital and things began to return back to normal in April. I cannot even begin to express how grateful I was to catch up on much needed sleep, how refreshing it was. After that experience over the last several, several months, I dare say none of us will ever take sleep for granted. Sleep is a blessing from the Lord and a wonderful thing he’s created for us, a time for our minds to rest and our bodies as well. :) 

This is a surprising one on my list. I am by no stretch of the imagination a quiet person. In fact I’m the opposite, I’m a rather boisterous and exuberant personality who has a very hard time being quiet. During the months at the hospital, though, I came to appreciate time alone and by myself, where you had a chance to contemplate and pray and separate from people enough to catch your breath again. Quietness is something that is quickly disappearing from our everyday lives, what with the invention of the smartphone, the iPod, portable radios, etc. Why, we even have music on our watches now! Having quietness where there is no one there, no noise, no distractions, is something truly priceless and important. I discovered that when I’m truly alone my mind always, always turns to God and I find myself praying. Quietness is a small blessing that can seem very frightening and uncomfortable to us extroverts, but oh, it is a necessity. I learned this from being around people 24/7 at the hospital with my sister and mom and the nurses. ;) “Be still, and know that I am God,” we find in Psalms 46:10. It isn’t just a suggestion, this is something I firmly believe God wants us to do to learn to trust Him in the silence, in the quietness, and especially when we feel like there is no one else there. Quietness has a way of showing us we are not alone. And that is a true blessing I daresay none of us want to miss out on.

Ah, waiting. A dreaded thing for me, but an important one. Waiting on important decisions. On life. On money. On health. Waiting for answers from the Lord and people. I am not a patient person. This one is a hard issue for me. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, waiting is a wonderful little blessing that trains us up for some pretty wonderful things. Being forced to wait makes you go over all the scenarios on whatever you want a decision on. It gives you a chance to consider some other options, and more often than not it also curbs some of that impatient energy that could have led to some disasters you more than likely would not have foreseen. Waiting is a little blessing that is tied with patience and love, that’s for sure. I’d say the best example of waiting I have to give right now was the impatient  waiting I went through to signup for a penpal site I wanted to join about two years ago. At first it was my parents who told me to wait and make sure it was safe, then it was my own conscience (and fear, to be honest) that held me back from signing up. Last month I finally did the deed and got an account, and have been blessed in the communication with several new friends around the world that have not only helped me with my own language learning but have given me more opportunities than I can ever recall to share my Lord and Savior with these new friends of mine. Waiting holds so many more blessings than we can ever realize. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. -Isaiah 40:31

There are a couple other things I’m waiting very anxiously for, particularly a single event that comes to mind in October, but who knows what God’s answer will be to that? I shall wait on the Lord and find what His will is! :) Waiting on Him is so much easier than fretting over everything. That I can assure you!

So those are my blessings to share with ya’ll, readers of Blessing! I hope these encouraged you in some small way. :) Thank you, Blessing, for asking me to share with your dear readers, and thank you readers for taking time to read my words. May the Lord bless you with rest and sleep, the time for quietness and the ability to wait. Take care and blessings!

-Emily McConnell


  1. Thanks so much for sharing those blessings, Emily!! I especially loved the Psalm 46:10 verse. You're right, it isn't a suggestion, it's a command. Glad you family is doing alright. Prayers for you!

  2. Thank you so much for this post and for sharing, Emily! This was a huge encouragement to me when I needed to hear it most. I think waiting is one thing I need to work on; I never even considered it a blessing before. Thank you so much for those wonderful verses you shared!

    And thank you for doing these posts, Blessings! I've really been enjoying them!

  3. Wow. Some great blessings, Emily. Thank you so much for sharing! Sleep is something I'd never really thought about as a blessing, really is. Quietness, too, and something I don't get enough of at times. Time to sit at Jesus' feet and soak up His presence. And waiting – so very hard for me. Especially when I'm praying about something. I want answers NOW. I want this scenario resolved, I want this person to be healed. But if it really happened that way, I would mess everything up. God's timing is always perfect. <3

    Amazing post and I enjoyed it lots! :)

  4. Wonderful blessings, all of them Emily! And when you take that time to find those small, unnoticed before blessing, you find a new joy in the Lord's goodness. :)


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Finally, brothers (and sisters!), whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things
~ Philippians 4: 8