Susie and I went to Mass last night. Honestly, we probably would not have went were it not for her being one of the lectors for the Mass. But, once there, it was apparent I needed a tap on the shoulder which was given during the homily.
The essence of the homily for me boiled down to using the twelve days of Christmas to look for the twelve blessings in my life. I am easily caught up in day to day business dealings, concern for the future, being frustrated when things go differently than I want – I am sure most have experienced this type of frustration. Especially during the Christmas season. I easily over look the blessing I have received – and continue to receive – throughout the year. So here are my twelve blessings for 2008:
1: My wife – loving, honest and direct and willing to put up with me, truly my greatest blessing.
2: My children. Both are kind, loving, hard working kids (surly a 31 year old and a 19 year old are still kids, right??). Add in a great son-in-law that treats my daughter with love and respect and is willing to sit and chat, what more could a parent truly ask for.
3: My two beautiful, happy and healthy grand daughters. They melt my heart with a smile and a giggle.
4: My close friends. This is a changing bunch that listen, laugh, grumble with me and seem to understand just who is at home in my head.
5: The folks I work with. They make everything our company does possible and easy. They have been a blessing for over 25 years and I am thankful to have them around every day!
6: Good health. Susie and I have been in good health this year with our cancers 25 and 5 years respectively behind us. God continues to bless us in this way and we are both grateful.
7: A healthy business. In this time of financial challenge for many, I am fortunate that my company is growing with its best year of the past 25 just ahead.
8: A curious mind. An odd blessing perhaps, but I find that I continue to want to learn and grow. Politics, science, electronics, computers, photography, video, astronomy, camping, canoeing – and eclectic list I know, but all of these areas drive a significant amount of my free time and I am the wiser for it.
9: A great church. Our parish is healthy and growing and willing to do its part to make the community and world better. I have been privileged to participate in a mission effort in Haiti supported by our parish which has been, and continues to be one of the most spiritually enriching things I have ever done.
10: Faith. Perhaps this is self evident, but I find it a blessing that I have faith in a loving God that has our best interests at heart and continues to love us regardless of our failings. A gift I will spend a life time trying to understand.
11: Time. I have been given the blessing of time. I have been able to structure my life so I could spend the important times – school events, birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, holidays with my family and friends. I realize how rare this blessing is and I am grateful for it.
12: Fun and humor. When I get out of my own way, relax and stop taking myself and life so seriously, I just have fun with family and friends and life.
So there you have it. Blessings in abundance! I am truly grateful for these many gifts and pray that I will find a way to keep them in my heart and remember what is truly important in life.