I count my blessings

Our Christmas got off to a rocky start thanks to continued septic woes. No one wants to cancel Christmas Eve dinner because their toilet is overflowing, but that’s what we did. A few emergency stop-gap measures later and we’re not in the clear yet (think drain field overhaul and a couple thousand dollars needing to be invested) but we’re functioning, and that’s enough.

Of course, Christmas came, just the same. I’m not going to act like there wasn’t a shadow over the day because how could there not be? There’s no way you can forget that you’re in a bit of a bind when you have to shout, “Don’t flush!” every time someone heads to, um, use the facilities. At the same time, that left lots of room for Christmas Vacation/Uncle Eddie jokes, as well as some very practical realizations that guys, we are blessed. Yes… we’re pitching the dirty dish water into the field to save the load on the tank, but we didn’t walk five miles, barefoot, to haul that water here on our heads, the threat of rape and abduction a constant companion on the road.

So yeah… it was an incredible Christmas.

I count my blessings instead of sheep

Jesus was present. There was singing, and praying, and laughter. He was celebrated, invited, fully the reason for our day.

There were gifts. So many thoughtful, carefully chosen delights— many handmade, others sacrificially given from the bottom of grateful hearts.

I count my blessings instead of sheep

There was food. A ham generously gifted, a full ten pounds of potatoes mashed and consumed in one sitting, and a pie made from pumpkins and eggs from right here on Floating Axe Farm.

I count my blessings instead of sheep

We were together. We were loud and raucous, we were quiet and reflecting, we were simply us, in the middle of a life that keeps moving and changing and bringing challenges and blessings.

I count my blessings instead of sheep

At the end of the day, as we gathered together to say goodbye to the first day of Christmas, Christopher read to us from his devotional (affiliate link). Then, after Phin, Birdie, Simon, and Jude had been bundled off to bed, he read to those remaining yet again; this time Charles Spurgeon’s “A Christmas Question.” I sat knitting a sweet Barley Hat for Jude in a festive red, and paused to soak in the sound of my husband’s voice. On the opposite couch, Mathaus and John Mark were splayed feet to feet. Jack was sprawled on the floor, propped on a pile of pillows in front of the coffee table. Mary Hannah had pulled my reading chair into the circle and knitting, too. Looking around me, Bing Crosby’s I Count My Blessings came to life:

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings
And you know what? That’s just what I did.




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