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Blessed.

It’s a word we hear and use pretty frequently, right? Like, the time when we bought our first home, or when we found out we were pregnant, or the moment we graduated from college or got the news that we’d been offered our dream job? We use this word to describe the moments we live for. It’s a word that sums up exactly what we are feeling on the inside to the world around us. It’s a wonderful word, and its a word that describes all that is good and well in this world.

However, this word means more than “happy.” Lately, I’ve been thinking about the context of the word blessed when it is used to describe the more difficult moments of life. The moments when we hear the news that someone we love has cancer. Or, the fight that we’ve just had with our husband over finances. The negative pregnancy test. Again. What about the days that are going so very fast that you don’t get a moment to catch your breath? You find yourself going, going, going and are so overwhelmed by all that you have to do. How can we use the word blessed in these scenarios?

I know for me, personally, I tend to feel really overwhelmed by my schedule at the beginning of a school year. I’m sure it has a lot to do with my family coming off summer and starting a new routine filled with co-curricular activities. I find myself planning out our days to the best of my ability and then running from place to place only to get home worn-out and ragged. I know that we are blessed but sometimes I don’t always feel blessed by all that there is to do. I’ve been trying to work on having (I know this sounds cheesy) more of an attitude of gratitude when it comes to our family schedule but it isn’t always easy. Yet, when I can focus on the things that are lovely through the hard, I begin to recognize and receive my blessings, which in turn makes our day a little more easy to bear.

This word, blessed, is used often by women of faith and is found throughout scripture. One of the most famous places that this word is used is Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount when He shares about the Beatitudes. Jesus proclaims that certain types of people are blessed: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers. He uses the word blessed not to describe our circumstances but to describe the spiritual joy that comes from those who recognize the kingdom of God in the midst of their daily living.

Today, I’m trying out this perspective of blessed and I invite you to join me. For you and I to look at our worlds through the lens of Jesus, we begin to see how our difficult moments and our happy times are both good reason to describe the state of our well-being: blessed.

I mentioned earlier this idea of having an attitude of gratitude and I believe that for us to be grateful, we’ve got to make some room to hear the words of Jesus spoken to us in love. I’d love for you to take a moment to receive His blessing on your life today by reading (or listening) to The Passion Translation of Jesus’ Sermon on the Hillside. Absorb these words for your life today, friend.

What wealth is offered to you when you feel your spiritual poverty! For there is no charge to enter the realm of heaven’s kingdom.

“What delight comes to you when you wait upon the Lord! For you will find what you long for.

“What blessing comes to you when gentleness lives in you! For you will inherit the earth.

“How enriched you are when you crave righteousness! For you will be surrounded with fruitfulness.

“How satisfied you are when you demonstrate tender mercy! For tender mercy will be demonstrated to you.

“What bliss you experience when your heart is pure! For then your eyes will open to see more and more of God.

“How blessed you are when you make peace! For then you will be recognized as a true child of God.

“How enriched you are when you bear the wounds of being persecuted for doing what is right! For that is when you experience the realm of heaven’s kingdom.

“How ecstatic you can be when people insult and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me! So leap for joy—since your heavenly reward is great. For you are being rejected the same way the prophets were before you.
— Matthew 5:3-11, The Passion Translation

How did these words make you feel? Did a certain part of the passage stand out to you today? Did one word pull at your heart? Were you able to take a moment to pause, just for a second, and think, “Yeah, I’m blessed.”

We are going to read this passage again. Pay attention to the word or passage that stands out to you. If it’s been a hard day, let those words pour over you. If it’s been a good day, thank God for your blessings. Receive these words today, friend.

What wealth is offered to you when you feel your spiritual poverty! For there is no charge to enter the realm of heaven’s kingdom.

“What delight comes to you when you wait upon the Lord! For you will find what you long for.

“What blessing comes to you when gentleness lives in you! For you will inherit the earth.

“How enriched you are when you crave righteousness! For you will be surrounded with fruitfulness.

“How satisfied you are when you demonstrate tender mercy! For tender mercy will be demonstrated to you.

“What bliss you experience when your heart is pure! For then your eyes will open to see more and more of God.

“How blessed you are when you make peace! For then you will be recognized as a true child of God.

“How enriched you are when you bear the wounds of being persecuted for doing what is right! For that is when you experience the realm of heaven’s kingdom.

“How ecstatic you can be when people insult and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me! So leap for joy—since your heavenly reward is great. For you are being rejected the same way the prophets were before you.
— Matthew 5:3-11, The Passion Translation

This is the word of God. Thanks be to God.

Celebrating you,

Christen

P.S. - The picture in today’s post of Adeline and Maralee was taken at Seaside, Florida on our fall break. As I mentioned before, the start of the school year is particularly hard and I’m so thankful that we have a fall break to help us unwind. #blessed

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