Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Counting My Blessings

© Marta Stephens 2010 all rights reserved

“If we all threw our problems into a pile and saw everyone else’s,
we’d grab ours back.”
 (author unknown)

I’ve been thinking about writing this article for over a week and started more drafts of it than I can count, but no matter what, it all boils down to family, home, and feeling grateful for the many blessings and opportunities that have come our way.

Living in a state where unemployment is at 9.5%, I’m grateful that when my husband lost his job, he had options—retirement. I’m counting my blessings.

Two years ago, our governor instructed all state universities to cut back. Our budgets were drastically cut back along with raises, but the following year we had an increase. Thankfully, no one lost their job in the process. I’m counting my blessings.

I’m grateful for the life lessons our son and daughter have recently endured. No matter how good or bad things are, they will change and it’s those changes that force us to reflect, learn, and grow. I’m counting my blessings.

I finished writing another book this past summer and have been trying to find an agent. A frustrating experience to say the least, and although my manuscript is being considered by an agent at the moment, this experience gave me pause to evaluate my purpose and future direction. Crazy or not, I’ve decided to pursue a masters degree in creative writing in the fall of 2011. If by chance I’m able to secure representation for my novel, great! In the meantime, I’m grateful I don’t have to depend on book sales to pay the bills. I’m counting my blessings.

I’ve recently gotten hooked on the TV show, House Hunters/House Hunters International. Last night I watched in awe at a group of young buyers who thought having $2,000 plus monthly mortgage payments on 1,100 square-foot (or sometimes less) homes were bargains. Yup, I’m definitely counting my blessings!

Over the years, I’ve seen countless friends and co-workers pass too early in life—it’s disheartening. At times, I mindlessly complain about my aches and pains, but in truth, they remind me I’m still alive and make me constantly grateful for the otherwise good health I’m enjoying. I’m counting my blessings.

The bottom line is, no one ever said life would be fair or that the road would be flawless. Still, I’m a true believer in the old saying that for every door that closes, a new one opens. Often the path leads me in a completely different direction I hadn't expect and in the end, it’s not the bumps in the road that will matter five years from now, but what I do with them now.

I’m looking forward to having family and friends sitting around our dining room table tomorrow. I’ll be thinking of all my cyber friends as well. Many blessings to all and best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

About the author:
Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.

THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008), Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards, Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
ISBN: 978-1-905202-886-7
Tradebook: $15.99
E-book: $9.00 from Smashwords  

SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
ISBN: 798-1-905202-72-0
Tradebook: $15.50
E-book: $9.00 from Smashwords

Personal site:
Personal blog:


Kim Smith said...

I am counting you among my blessings this year dear Marta! Hope you have a fantastic holiday! Don't eat too much turkey!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

A lovely article, Marta, filled with truths we all can learn from. Thanks for this, and Kim... is is possible to eat too much turkey??? Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all!

Kim Smith said...

lol didnt think of that... guess i was thinking of too much food whatever it might be... but too much turkey could be good, i guess. so... okay, Marta, have all the turkey you want but stay away from that punkin pie!

s.w. vaughn said...

It's great to always be able to find blessings. :-) And I love that quote you used!

Have a happy holiday, Marta.

Marta Stephens said...

Thanks all. LOL, Kim haven't you been paying attention? Ya gotta eat dessert first, life is too unpredictable!! LOL

But seriously, if we don't see the blessings, we'd never stop crying! :) And I don't know about you, but I don't look good with puffy, red eyes. :()