Counting My Blessings During Tax Season
Is it silly for me to be excited about running water? Some days when I stand at the sink to wash my hands or wash a dish it almost makes me catch my breath to think how fortunate I am to have running water. I don’t have to plan—I just turn a faucet. I even have my choice of hot or cold! It is such a luxury. Lots of people in the world have to cart water quite a distance before they can use it, and it may not even be clean water. But my water is clean and good and readily available, not only in the kitchen but several other areas of the house as well! What a treat!
Speaking of water—in addition to running water there are machines in my house that use this abundance of water to save me a lot of work. The other night I turned on the clothes washer and dishwasher right before heading to bed and was so grateful I could sleep while these machines did the work. This really is a luxury—there are even more people who don’t have access to these machines than people who don’t have access to water.
We have heat in our house too—plenty of it! I come home from being out in the cold and can sit next to the fire or turn up the furnace. I feel my shoulders relax as I warm up. Not everyone can return home to a warm home on a cold day. Even people who have homes may not be able to heat them for one reason or another. I smile as I feel warm and blessed to be able to experience these feelings.
My two children are at the point in their lives when it is still cool to hug Mommy. I regularly get hugs thoughout the day, and it is a mortal offense if I dare leave the house without giving hugs and kisses. I savor the feeling of these little arms around my neck, knowing they won’t always be so generous with their affection. Lots of people in the world go a whole day without a hug or any other sign of affection. I get teary just thinking about it.
In the past week the daffodils are starting to stick their heads up from the dark, hard earth. They are daring and hopeful. Even if the forecast anticipates more cold weather, they come up because the days are getting longer. Where I live, the daffodils are a sign of spring. Not everyone gets to see the beauty of nature unfold around them on a regular basis. Just this month my dark-colored jacket caught several exquisitely perfect snowflakes, but wasted in the multitude.
I own a pair of absolutely wonderful socks. I confess that I actually bought several more pairs just like them—that’s how much I like them. And I wear them a lot, sometimes two pairs at a time. The many choices of which socks to wear compounded by the choices of how I might wear them leave me with way more choices than I need. Some people have only one pair of socks, and even those are worn out or inadequate.
This year I have had the privilege of attending Women’s Bible Fellowship on Wednesday evenings. I am blessed to get to know women of all ages and walks of life whom I would not have rubbed shoulders with otherwise. I am continually amazed by the insight they bring and the ways God is active and present in their lives. They encourage, challenge, and support me as I pursue God in more deliberate ways. I used to think that faith was a personal thing and we didn’t really need people; it was just God and me. But as I get older I realize this is not the case. I need people to walk with me, to be a part of my life as we try to be obedient to God together. There are a lot of people in our world who are lonely and have no one in their lives who will walk with them.
None of these are extraordinary things, but noticing them on a regular basis sure helps me feel rich and blessed. I work in an accounting firm, and this time of year I work on people’s taxes. Sometimes I see how much money they have brought in over the course of a year. I get a little jealous and start thinking about how I’d spend that much. But when I take the time to add up all the blessings in my life (and this is a very small list compared to what I could come up with), I am rich beyond my Adjusted Gross Income and on things that cannot be taxed!
Laura Goodfellow has lived most of her life in the Newberg/Dundee area. She enjoys snuggling with her kids; being with her husband, Tim (Scotty); and good food—especially when she doesn’t have to make it.