blessingConfession Time

In the effort to practice full disclosure, you should know that I think of myself as a rather selfish person. I get single-minded in my plans and goals. Often, I only want to do something if I can see how it will benefit me in some way. I worry more about the blessing I might receive than blessing other people by showing up.

I don’t enjoy visiting extended family members because I can only see the negative: The interruption of my plans annoys me. Discomfort irritates me (I once spent a week shivering each night at a relative’s because they kept the heat low and only had a sheet on the bed—in December).

I justify my actions based on the hard years of caregiving I have endured. Not a pretty picture I paint of myself.

My own little world of home suits me just fine, thank you very much. If I never had to talk on the phone or move outside of my comfort zone, I would count it a blessing.

Or would I?

Grandchildren Change Things

When our daughter and her husband announced that they’d be moving to Alaska this summer with our only grandchild, I immediately offered to come along. I may have even invited myself to stick around once they arrived. To top it off, I suggested that even more family members gather at the Red Eagle Lodge for an early birthday party for our grandson.

My daughter has a deadline looming, and I figured I could help her out with the baby AND get to spend time with her. So Pedro and I crashed their trip, shared hotel rooms with them, and helped them carry in the eight crates of stuff that they’ll make do with until their belonging arrive in a few weeks. Until then, we use camping chairs, paper plates, and sleeping bags.

I left all of my plans at home. Social media? I jump on every day or so (we’ve used almost all the data in our plan and the month has more days in it). Writing projects? I manage to get a blog post or two up each week. If I hit publish late, no problem.

blessingEvery morning I sit on the floor, snuggling an adorable almost 11-month-old in my lap. We read books. I build block towers and he destroys them. He climbs stairs and I follow behind on my hands and knees.

My daughter writes, my son-in-law catches up on sleep from a stressful school year, and I have conversations that consist of random syllables. “Bah!” is my new favorite word.

Who Blesses Whom?

I thought my great idea would provide a blessing to my daughter and her family. But the bigger blessing has come to me. My grandson’s ‘conversation’ and antics remind me of my daughters when they were young. Only now, I have the time to take delight in every giggle, chortle, and two-tooth grin he produces.

I take delight in the way my daughter interacts with her son—how she builds block towers and screeches to make him laugh. My son-in-law blesses me with his tender care and fierce protectiveness for his family.

Quotidian tasks that irritate me at home have become a blessing as well. I do dishes rather than check my email. Deciding between tweeting or cooking a meal has never been easier. And those hundred of birds in Alaska I’ve never met before? One of these days, I’ll have my chance. For now, I revel in the blessing of focusing on family and not on myself.

Have you ever received a #blessing by serving others and forgetting your own agenda? #fmfparty Click To Tweet

42 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing how your are being blessed by this time that you are spending with your daughter, son-in-law, and grandbaby. I have been on the receiving end on this type of blessing before as my Mom has traveled across the country to help me settle in when I brought my babies home from the hospital. I know how encouraging having my mom with me during times of transition has been. Thank you for sharing your story of being the blessing, and finding yourself blessed in return. I am visiting from Five Minute Friday.
    Jolene recently posted…Five Minute Friday BlessingsMy Profile

  2. Great essay, Anita. It bring to mind a recent revelation.

    My remaining ambitions are doomed to be stillborn. I won’t finish the books that I have partially written, let alone the ones I’d still like to write.

    But I can still cheer on my writer-friends; I can offer words of encouragement and hope, and in the end these small acts of love are worth far more than what I wanted for myself.

    1. Andrew, I know a little about your situation but I am not aware of your future. Would you like to elaborate? Your words to your friends are very sweet and loving and I am impressed.

  3. It is so hard to let go of our own plans. But yes, some of the best things in life come from doing just that. As a young mom, I can tell you what you did for your daughter sounds like the best gift every!

  4. Awe, I can see why that little guy changed everything. He’s a cutie. Nothing like getting outside of our routines to remind us of the “more” that’s out there. God’s had me pull back on a lot this summer so I can quiet my heart and my life. Doing things differently has been odd, yet comforting. 🙂 I pray you guys make lots of fun memories while you’re there. ((hug))
    Brenda recently posted…#ChasingCommunity Linkup 26My Profile

  5. Dear Anita, now I know we’really sisters! Honestly, I could written this post ( except change Alaska to northeast Missouri). Don’t you wonder if God laughs or thinks, “I told you so,” when we stumble into a lesson He’s been trying to teach us? I’m so happy you were wrapped up in the cycle of blessings. Thanks for your candor and encouragement.

  6. Thank you for being so transparent and for inspiring a stirring in us. I appreciate you and this post, friend. You are a gem. I love the pictures of your family!!! Sending love and blessings into your weekend. I’m #13 this week. #FMF

  7. This may be my favorite post of yours yet…you’ve been an enormous blessing to us! ❤ We want you back every summer all summer!

  8. Awww, Anita. I loved this post, and how God is changing your perspectives. I find it easier to find ways to be a blessing outside my home than inside it. I think I need to take on more of a ‘looking for wonder’ approach. It may make it easier to be a blessing to those I love the absolute most.

    Your grandson is cuteness personified!

  9. So much fun! Good for you for dropping your plans and following your family. God has His way of shuffling our priorities to match His. (Side note: I’ve had a love affair with Alaska since 3+ decades ago when we spent two weeks backing through Denali Park and touring the Kenai Pennisula. Jealous.) Enjoy every little mosquito you can.

  10. Surprising how often we are the ones blessed when serving others. I can’t wait to have grandchildren <3
    #ChasingCommunity Blessings, Misty

  11. Isn’t it funny how the things you hate to do at home become things you don’t mind at all when you’re in another environment? Sometimes we need to see the simple things in an entirely new light to recognize them as the gifts they truly are.
    Marie recently posted…Five Minute Friday: BlessingMy Profile

  12. i can identify with your comments re selfishness and the desire to be comfortable and in my own routine:) what would happen to us if it weren’t for grandchildren to force us out of ourselves? they push us to do things we don’t really want to do b/c we want to maintain or build relationships. it’s great! what a blessing.

  13. The greatest gift we can give others is ourselves and our time. Thankful for this reminder today as it’s some time to rest and spend with family. Visiting from Holley Gerth’s #CoffeeforYourHeart.

  14. Beautiful photos! I can see why you’re being blessed by the time with your grandson. And I love how when we are obedient to God and do something to bless others, it often results in blessing for us too!
    Lesley recently posted…June ReflectionsMy Profile

  15. This post made me laugh. Could so relate to this. The idea that we are going to bless someone, and then we are blessed in return. Oh, I don’t think I could count all the times this has happened to me. It shows me God has a sense of humor and I need to have one too! Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable.
    Theresa Boedeker recently posted…What Voices Are You Listening To?My Profile

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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