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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blessings unmeasured

"Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.”

- C.S. Lewis




* image credit: vendingventures.com

When Marc and I were dating, I remember having a conversation with him where we talked about how sometimes in life we look at blessings like buying from a vending machine. Here's what I mean... you put in your money and then get to choose what you want from the vending machine. It can be easy to look at life the same way... you put in the time and effort working towards obtaining some desirable thing, and then naturally expect to receive what it is you want.

Life doesn't always work like that, though... sometimes we get the blessing we desire and sometimes we don't. And, I guess depending on how you look at it, that can be unfortunate or it can be fortunate.

We tend to go for what we like, what we're comfortable with... but, sometimes there are other options that would get us out of our comfort zone and require us to be a little more courageous. And, while there can be some disappointment in not receiving what we think we want... I feel confident that in the end what we receive and the way we receive it turns out to be so much better than what we ever could have imagined for ourselves.

I have gotten the feeling lately that in the end I'll honestly be able to look back and feel grateful for the paths we have taken, for the things we've learned along the way, for the alternate routes that have provided a completely different view, more complex and beautiful than the one we thought we wanted. I wouldn't trade what we've been given with anyone. Even at my lowest low, I still feel that way... the blessings have always far outweighed the affliction.

We received this thoughtful gift for our anniversary that has helped us reflect on all of the blessings we've been given. Counting blessings is really like eating M&Ms... you can't stop with just one (I know they say that about potato chips, but I feel it's more true with M&Ms...) So, anyway, the effect is this incredible awareness of all the blessings that we continue to receive on a daily basis. We love having this reminder of how blessed we are! (A HUGE thank you to our friends for giving us this gift!)


I was listening to this CD the other day, and loved the third verse of "The Lord is My Shepherd." (If you click on "this CD" you can listen to part of this verse - it's beautiful!).

In the midst of affliction my table is spread.

With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er.

With perfume and oil thou annointest my head.

Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?

Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?

I don't think I've ever paid attention to the beauty of those words... but I've found them to be so true for us right now. In the midst of affliction, we really have been blessed with blessings unmeasured. I know grieving is healthy and it's necessary to experience, but I feel so grateful that the blessings we've received have helped heal the grief we feel. As blessings continue to flow into our lives, we feel so grateful for the tenderness of a loving Father in reminding us how much He loves us.

There is a relief that comes from knowing that God knows best what we need and how to bless us in His way and in His time. We are learning that His blessings to us are more than what we ever could have imagined for ourselves. With Him in charge, don't things always turn out better than how we hoped?

"I don’t know how it is for you, but I have felt so often in my life so greatly blessed for what little obedience I have given. My conclusion...is that the Lord’s ratio of blessings to our obedience is a very generous ratio indeed. He is so quick to reward us, so quick to reassure us, and so anxious to take delight when we serve Him. So... the only bottom line I can give you is that the ratio of blessings to our comparatively minuscule obedience is a very, very generous ratio indeed.”

- Neal A. Maxwell

6 comments:

Amy said...

Beautiful, Megan. You're always in my thoughts and prayers. Here's this for a wierd coincidence:

Not only do I have the exact same crystal frame with a wedding picture in it, I also have the pressed-petals frame. Exactly yhe same one. Lol. Too funny.

Thorny Tree Lady said...

I once got a Priesthood Blessing during an incredibly hard time in my life and was told that not only does the Lord cry when I cry, and weep when I weep, but that it hurts Him to not give me the things I ask for sometimes. However, it is because in the Pre-Existance I begged Him not to give me those things no matter how much I pleaded, knowing that I'd never learn the lessons I needed to if He did. He was just honoring our agreement, and I was asked to do my part in honoring it, too. Sometimes that veil can really feel thick, but I felt the assurance that I had made agreement with Him, and that I would not only make it through that particular trial, but that I would succeed beyond it. I'm almost through that trial now, and I'm just barely beginning to see the blessings. I know you will see them all for yourself one day, too.

Beckstead Family said...

Hi Megan, You can't tell from the name, but this is Jenny, Kelly Richardson's little sister. Kelly sent me alink to your blog a couple months ago and I've been reading it all summer. I always seem to find inspiration from your words. A lot of what you say is the same way I felt when one of our sons was diagnosed with Autism. So I have a suggestion for you. I think you should take the things you've written, and write a book about Learning to Submit. I have really enjoyed your insights and you write in a very clear and concise manner that is really great. I think there are a lot of people who would really like what you have to say and I would certainly purchase that book if it were published. And remember, should you decide to do it, the Lord will help. The Lord loves you and so do we.

Jennifer Beckstead (Templeman)

Marc said...

Thanks, Jenny! I've been encouraging Megan to write these things out in a book for a while. I'm happy to see some outside pressure, too ;-)

-Marc

Thorny Tree Lady said...

Add my pressure to your friend, Jenny's. I was just telling my husband that Megan should write a book. Although our trials are vastly different, the feelings we are having at virtually (pun intended) the same time are very much alike; and I, too, find much comfort from her perspective.

Andrea said...

I would have to agree with everyone. Megan, you should write a book. You are amazing. Thanks for everything Megan-- you have been so good to me!
Love,
Andrea