Friday, December 2, 2016

Counting and Sharing Blessings

This is the cover painting I made for my new book. I am pretty happy with it. The painting will grace the cover of Book 2 in my Unlikely Friends series. Personally, I think it is the most interesting book I have written thus far but I am probably biased. As we speak, it is with the editor, who I hope finds it to be nearly perfect. The story combines all the things I love in one book: God, horses, dogs, dolphins, family, Apologetics, mystery, healed relationships, love story, and redemption. I'm hoping to publish it by Christmas though everything would have to fall miraculously in place for that to happen.

I spent most of the day working on the cover painting after my morning Physical Therapy session. My PT is pleased with my progress. So pleased, that she is really cranking my frozen shoulder well beyond the comfortable range of motion. I am pretty wiped out when I return from PT. However, she says I am doing so well that she thinks I may not need the "dry needle" treatment which I was not at all enthused about. I am willing to suffer a little more stretching than I can stand if it means I don't need any "dry needling." (Honestly, can you think of a worse marketing name than "dry needling"? Who in their right mind would be clamoring after that??)

After therapy, I was so wiped out, I decided I was done decorating the Christmas tree. All it has are crystal icicles and snowflakes, and a few blue flowers. I decided this year, that will have to do. I will also hang the one beautiful crystal ornament my daughter and I find today as part of our annual Christmas tradition.

While I am making progress according to my PT, all use of my arm hurts. Hanging Christmas ornaments on the tree is not comfortable. Honestly, almost everything I do is uncomfortable. Getting dressed is an exercise in pain management. I hope by next year my shoulder is healed.

Next year I'll put all the ornaments on the tree. I just don't have it in me this year.

I was sitting on the couch, feeling a little bad about not putting all our ornaments on the tree when Hubby returned from work. He had dropped off our other tree along with a big box of ornaments to a mom I work with who chose life over abortion. I had sentimental attachment to the tree - it was the one my kids decorated - but it was silly for me to have two trees when the mom and her family had none. The mom said her children are so excited to have a tree and can't wait to begin decorating. She texted me to tell me she had sent a little gift home with my husband for me. I know she sometimes can't afford food and I felt bad that she spent any money on something for me. Still, I understand the dignity and joy it brings to bless others, so I told her, "Thank you. That is very kind of you."
I opened the little box. Here is what she sent me.

I had never told her I only decorate my elegant tree in clear ornaments. I always look for a new one each year, and I had no ornament that looked like the one she sent me. I quickly hung it on my tree. This one ornament, along with the one my daughter and I pick out today will be the only ones on the tree this year. They will be enough. Blessings upon blessings!

My arm my be stuck and move only with pain, but I am counting my blessings. I am alive. As far as we know, I am cancer free. My family is all healthy. I have a Christmas tree, however sparsely decorated, with an ornament a mama could ill-afford that warms my heart for what it represents. A child saved...and a son was born.

It reminds me that Jesus Himself was born to a family that could ill-afford Him, to a single mother who by faith obeyed God. The result of that decision changed the world, changed my destiny. A Savior was born to die that I might have eternal life. Really. With that truth in my heart, what is there to complain about?

Psalm 103:2

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. ...

Of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. ...


  1. So precious! 💙 New book cover is beautiful, Vicky! Praying for your arm's mobility and ease from pain. You're amazing, friend! 🌷

    1. thank you so much Joy! Merry Christmas season!