October 22, 2018

By Amy Thompson

The beginning of this year marked a new journey for me as a new professional adventure began. The decision to pursue this new adventure was based in a lot prayer and reflection. The new professional adventure allowed me flexibility with my work schedule and provided the opportunity for me to pursue work that addressed prevention as well as intervention. As with any new adventure, I experienced a range of feelings from excitement to fear but amid the feelings found peace.
    
A couple of weeks into this transition, I found myself thinking what a joy it is to be home every evening to fix dinner. Cooking isn’t my favorite thing to do but I enjoyed the time preparing and enjoyed sharing in dinner with my family each evening as I had missed this at times in my previous professional life. My schedule now allowed for me to pick up my son after school. The seven minute drive home from school quickly became my favorite time of day as the conversations we had were so rich as we each talked about our day or the latest news headline. Then came a snow day and the excitement that I had as I was able to stay home with my son for the day because a snow day for him meant a snow day for me. 
    
On this snow day, I realized that I was experiencing blessings daily since transitioning to this new professional adventure. I decided that day to begin writing down the blessings I experienced each day and place them in a bucket. I was hoping that these written blessings could be a visible sign to me and my family of how God provides from little things to big things. Sometimes the blessings were very simple and related to my sleep or my feelings. Sometimes the blessings were relationship based and acknowledged the time I had with family or friends. Sometimes the blessings related to finances or the news of my contract being renewed. In the first few months, it was easy to see something each day and add it to the bucket. I found myself sometimes repeating blessings because I truly was thankful for that gift of time or presence or knowledge or peace. 
    
The bucket of blessings serves as a way to celebrate God’s promise to be present with us, to walk the journey with us. I must admit that I am not adding a blessing to the bucket everyday at this point in the year but I do spend time each day in prayer giving God thanks for the blessings that surround me. This experience has opened my eyes to seeing more blessings around me each day. I have also spent time reading the blessings in the bucket as a reminder to myself when I feel down or when I confront an obstacle that blessings live within each experience.
    
The bucket of blessings can serve as a reminder that we do not need to wait for November — the month of Thanksgiving — to acknowledge our blessings and lift up thanks. Our praise and thanks can be shared each and every day through prayer, through words, through actions. I challenge you to begin a practice of acknowledging the blessings in your life and giving thanks. Start this month but continue on throughout the year.