Back in college, for whatever reason, I ended up in an Advanced Grammar class. More than anything, I guess it was the professor who drew me to the class, because grammar just isn’t really my thing. Dr. Sepko was one of those professors who saw potential in students who couldn’t see it themselves. She believed in me.
I remember one day in which I sat in an old classroom in the upstairs of the Admin building when Dr. Speko began to sweetly sing the old hymn, Count Your Blessings. I will never forget that class. It’s been well over 12 years later and I can still hear her. Even today, God is using her to remind me to count my blessings, as they are indeed many.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
(If you have time, check out the whole song – it truly is a blessing: Count Your Blessings)
There are days when it is so easy to forget all the blessings that God has given to me. I get busy missing my family and friends back home. I get tired of the heat. I get entirely grossed out from worms and boils and ants everywhere. I feel defeated by language learning. And the list goes on and on. You know what I am talking about. We each have our own lists – they all just look a little different. But I wonder if all those things, those lists, are really just a distraction. A road that leads only to discontentment and disappointment.
If I take the time to open my eyes, to seek my Father and to listen to His voice, it’s there that I see, I find and I hear! The blessings truly are all around me. On every side.
So with all that being said, I want you to take a peek into a few of the many blessing the Lord has given my in this life that He has called me to!
For starters, it’s definitely a blessing being able to walk this road with my family. They make life so much fuller (and crazier!).
Another blessing is to be a part of a team. Recently, we have seen our team really come together and support one another as new families were welcomed, a baby was born, and a family left unexpected due to finding a brain tumor. We were not meant to do this on our own and I am so thankful we don’t have to!
A big blessing is watching our kids grow up in a much simpler life (below is a picture in our neighborhood and the other is from children’s church). They have been given an incredible an perspective on the world around them. We pray that this changes them for the better.
We get to love on the cutest little babies!!!
We live within minutes from the Indian Ocean. We see it everyday as we round a hill taking Selah to school. What a gift to be able to be refreshed by God’s creation.
We are greatly blessed to be able to send Selah to a private Christian school. It has been amazing to watch her confidence grow, make new friends and to see her read, spell words and do math problems all on her own.
And of course, it is the greatest blessing and privilege to be serving Jesus. So thankful for the local church here in Tanzania that has really taken us under her wing as we learn, grow and serve together!
I really could go on and on and on. This is just a tiny glimpse of the goodness of God. We are so unworthy, yet He loves us, cares for us, provides for us and pours His blessings down upon us.
May you be able to take a few minutes today to count your blessings.
Together Making Him Known,
-Jamie (for the Sharpes)
Aunt Janet says
Count Your Blessings is one of my favorite songs but somehow I forget to do that. I love the perspectives you share with us and though your ministry to the people of Tanzania is following God’s will, there is no doubt He knows you are “home” missionaries as well. I love you all!
I just read this and your previous post (for February) and God encouraged me through your writing! Sounds like you are learning a lot there in Tanzania and God is molding you a little bit each day, like He is each one of us! Thanks for sharing your heart and your struggles . . . you have been a blessing to me and I appreciate your willingness to serve the Lord wherever He leads. Keep trusting Him! My husband and I served with our family for a little over 3 years in Papua New Guinea and are en route to the Asia-Pacific region (same area, different location), so we are in the midst of some challenges, but your February post reminded me again to trust the Lord completely, no matter what. God bless you as you grow in Him through your time in Tanzania.
Aunt Angie says
What can anyone say after reading this. It makes all of us realize all our blessings. How little or how big they are we learn to appreciate them. Especially family. Love you.
Chandler and Jamie Sharpe says
Aww, Aunt Angie. I sure do love you and I am so thankful for you!!!