There are seasons in every life. They might vary in length or in wins and struggles, and some people may not get to all of them, but the titles of those seasons are pretty common. Mostly, folks don't begin to even recognize the existence of life-seasons, let alone their own, personal ones, until they've been through a few of them. I cannot speak with authority about others but, as for me, the season of gratitude and counting my blessings came on after I was well into my own autumn. Oh, I had plenty to smile about in my younger years but I think those intervals were too focused on pursuing the dream to realize that I already had been well-blessed; more so than most. When that season of 'counting your blessings' comes along, a man pauses a bit, takes stock and smiles at God.
Dismountin' For Thanksgiving
I'd been gone a long time for sure
More'n two years to be more specific
Bein' back home seemed another world
After experiencing things so horrific
I'd done three sandbox tours
Both in Iraq and The Stan
Some days I wondered why we were there
Especially on those when I'd lost a man
My thoughts would drift back here
To this our family's spread
Grateful for my wife, dad and brother
Keepin' things up on our homestead
I stepped off my bay yesterday
And squatted down to admire
Our cattle grazin peaceful like
I've got more'n I ever did desire
A man gets to ponderin'
While looking over what he's built
How did it all come to be
This grace-filled life-quilt?
There amidst the herd was our windmill
Pumping water from the well
We dug that back in eighty-nine
Seemed we dug halfway to hell
Off to the north's the barn we raised
With other tasks it took us nearly a year
It's where we shelter our horses
And keep our feed, tack and gear
We finished the house our second year
It's a solid and comfy place
My family shelters and shares there
My bride makin' it pretty with flowers and lace
Speakin' of my sweet, caring bride
What a grace-gift she is to me
We share values, interests and faith
No accident how that came to be
Horizon-searchin' I turn
Gazing a full three-sixty look-around
We've tamed as far as I can see
God's entrusted us with this ground
The fencing and pastures
The healthy herd a' growin'
How many years we've built?
My family's hard work is showin'
And now it's a pure comfort
To merely pause here a spell
Reflect on my blessings and toil
As on my knees I Thanksgiving tell
Thank you Lord for your blessings
For your boundless mercy and grace
I give you all the honor and glory
For this, our branded home place
Time was I would'a said this spread
Was built by my own hustle and grind
But I know it never would'a come to be
But for being with You aligned
How's a man get to be so blessed?
Why glorify a sinner like me Lord?
Does God simply choose one here
While ignoring another in the horde?
Of course I know the answer
It's right there in Psalms thirty-seven
Delight in the Lord and He'll give you
The desires of your heart ... even before heaven
Copyright 2022 Rik Goodell
© 2022. All rights reserved
This painting, by Jack Sorenson, conjures up a man who is, indeed, taking in his blessings and naming them one by one. I appreciate his permission to use it here.
To see more of his work, go to his website: https://www.jacksorensonfineart.com