My 65th birthday was yesterday. You might have read about it in our Email Wrap-Up that my team sent. If you didn’t, check it out here: https://mailchi.mp/celebratekids/friday-five-we-waited-until-sunday-for-a-very-special-reason

The highlight of my birthday party was not about me.

The party was great. My brother and sister-in-law surprised me by inviting friends over for dinner. They have generously shared their friends with me through the years and especially because Debbie and I host a Christmas pin exchange party every year, I’ve gotten to know some people well.

They gave me beautiful homemade cards with meaningful messages and perfect gifts. The food and cake were perfect. They sang “Happy Birthday” which I haven’t heard in years. Our conversations were rich and refreshing. The night was all fun! But, the highlight of the night wasn’t about me.

My brother surprised us by having us close the party by having us sing the old song Count Your Blessings (by Johnson Oatman, Jr.; published in 1897). Throughout the night, in addition to fun stories, we discussed our country’s civil unrest, racial issues, Covid 19, the economy, unemployment, leadership, education, churches not being able to meet, and more. 

Dave brought our focus back to God and the reality that He is good. He challenged us to think about and remember all we have that’s good. We can’t lose hope! We still have much to hope in and hope about. I love that I have a brother who focuses on God and what’s right. He also consistently honors the way we were raised. Especially our mom would have loved singing this with us. Dave is aware of the troubles around us and prays optimistically. I’m grateful for him and his leadership in my life.


Do you know or remember this song?

Verse 1:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Chorus: 
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings;
See what God hath done.