fall asleep counting my blessings

You know the scene I’m talking about, right? The scene from White Christmas where Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney meet in the middle of night because both can’t seem to sleep… and so the famous duet, “Counting My Blessings” emerged.

Today, I’m open-eyed, sleep-counting. The thing is, there are almost too many blessings to get sleep. I wonder what advice Bing Crosby would have for that…

I invented a recipe today and made a royal mess of the kitchen. I didn’t set out to be so creative, but I got there real quick after I got cavalier with the size of my baking pans. I was pretty hopeful when I poured the harvest brownie batter into three pans of different sizes and pretty disappointed when the baking soda/powder didn’t expand my desserts like I hoped.

So harvest brownies became chocolate cream cheese fudge layered brownie dessert. Yes, it became that. I mixed up a cream cheese frosting that failed, which led to the cream cheese, chocolate fudge number that succeeded (I think) and became the finger-licking middle to the two unfortunately thin layers of harvest brownie.

All this while the roast cooks in the crock pot and the bean salad waits to be made on the counter, because tomorrow is Food at First downtown and I’ve got friends to meet up with still tonight.

Blessings.

Full days and short sleeps can keep a person counting without ever falling asleep. It’s a place I could easily navigate as a 20-year-old and one I don’t want to admit is getting harder.

Prayer walking with high-schoolers in the afternoon, teaching college students this morning, baking with cinnamon and pumpkin: blessings. Football games, acoustic guitar sessions in the basement, sitting in the balcony to worship with new community, hearing the Word of God preached with power: blessings. Laughing in the fellowship hall after church, breathing in the breeze on an autumn walk, riding mo-peds under the star-speckled sky, clustering around a tailgate for celebration, stretching the late night hours until they break: blessings.

I am not falling asleep, but I will keep counting.

Counting my blessings.

delight; the overflow

A pumpkin stem.
Image via Wikipedia

Can harvest pumpkin brownies determine a day’s delight?

You can argue, but I have a Tuesday chock-full of evidence to hold up against your argument!

I have a sneaky little suspicion that this string of so-good-very-great days is no accident. It’s a little something called overflow. I’m no physicist, but I’ll propose a theory called “overflow” to explain this strange turn of events of the past week that has resulted in an abundance of joy. If you’d really like to know, the formula is complicated and cumbersome, so I will give you the wordier version (which happens to be my expertise).

I wish I could just write the numbers and letters and slashes and signs, because delight too often eludes description. Let me paint you a picture on this flat-screen canvas.

PAINT ME THIS:
fellowship with the saints by way of several amazing biographies…
hours… beautiful hours… spent with students who push me to be convinced about my convictions
words, words, words… in books and articles and conversations…
…listening to sermons around the world and here in the city with a grateful heart that I can do just that…
challenged to THINK … but completely and passionately, knowing that knowledge always produces acts of love
…baking a recipe for the first time with a wonderful partner in cooking crime… and filling almost every minute with laughter

I know… I just read over this “paint” list and I wish I could give each ambiguous phrase a story as perfect as the reality I am walking through. The bottom line is… my delight is not about the pumpkin brownies as much as it is about the overflow of my delight in the Lord. God keeps pouring more of Himself (Romans 5) out through His Spirit and I can’t help but burst with joy. I keep thinking it’s the coffee, but now I’m convinced it’s the overflow. The more the Spirit pours out into my life, the more overflows everywhere else.

People get blessed… God gets glorified… and it’s another good day.

But, tonight I feel I have to fail at any further explanation and ask you to take my word for it!

Here are some tangibles that have inspired:
Andrée Seu has an article on Psalm 40:3 that spoke directly to my heart
Tim Challies shares thoughts on being a better listener (a message I always need to hear) and also how we can make frugality an idol as Christians
I’ve got a little something stirring with my partner in cooking crime here … but only click if you want to discover the collision of two worlds in a kitchen 🙂
Desiring God National Conference just happened this past weekend and I am slowly but surely going to listen to as many of the messages as I can.

I hope the next time I start a blog submitting I have some sort of theory it ends better than this!