Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 27, 2013

Mark Maynard: Counting my many blessings: 11/28/13

Mark Maynard
The Independent

ASHLAND — The hymn “Count Your Blessings” has always been one of my favorites during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Although we should count them every day, it’s sometimes nice to step back and try to take a breath on the holiday reserved for giving thanks for what we have been given us.

Let’s put Black Friday (or Thursday) behind us for just a minute anyway. The sales will be there although with the hustle and bustle that goes along with them.

I have to admit, my blessings are more than anybody deserve and sometimes I feel a little guilty, especially when you take a close inspection of what others don’t have.

As a week of homeless awareness showed us, there are some who would be happy to have a roof over their head and a warm meal — for one night. Most of us not only have that roof but two or three warm meals a day and much more.

There are third world countries that have far less than what some of our homeless have for resources.

So count your blessings. Name them one by one. Here are just a few of mine:

‰Family. My oh my how blessed.

My wonderful wife of almost 33 years, who has the job of keeping me in line, remains a rock and the joy of my life. God bless her faithfulness as a teacher in Christian education for 34 years, her faithfulness to her Maker and her faithfulness to me and our family. She is an amazing woman.

My mother is in good health and living on her own. There aren’t many days that go by where somebody doesn’t ask how she’s doing. Her legacy of always being friendly and helpful to anyone she came across follows her to this day.

Our children are both married and successful and remain a source of pride. We wish they were living in Our Town but as long as they’re happy, we’re good.

My in-laws are two of the best people anywhere. Ask anybody, they’ll tell you the same. Make room for me at the dinner table today, too. Nobody cooks like my mother-in-law.

‰Amy for Africa. Over the last six months I’ve been part of a mission effort with distance runner Amy Compston and it has been simply unbelievable watching God work through it. We never imagined the impact it would make.

My wife and I have been welcomed into Amy’s family as extended family and we appreciate them so much. We have forged friendships that will last a lifetime while watching a mission work that has been nothing short of, well, divine.

‰Church family. Even as our church is going through a transition with the search for a new pastor, the church family stays strong. Being around dedicated Christians who want what is best for all make it a fantastic place to worship.

‰My job. Not only do I have a job, which shouldn’t be taken for granted these days, but I have one that I enjoy doing — make that love doing. It’s been that way for 38 years. Who else can say that?

‰Opie. Everybody, by now, has heard of Opie, the latest addition to our family. This rambunctious poodle has become a Facebook sensation thanks to yours truly. I get requests for more Opie videos almost every day. Hollywood will probably be calling soon. Just kidding.

I wasn’t sure how any dog could replace our precious Mopsy, who was with us for 17 years before we had to put her down last November, but Opie is doing his best. He has many of the same traits as Mopsy and keeps us on our toes with his motor-like speed. If you have recently lost a dog, I highly recommend getting another one. Opie has been a real source of joy in our house.

‰My readers. If it wasn’t for you, dear reader, what I write in this space every Thursday (and other days) wouldn’t matter. So I am truly blessed and honored to include you in this list of blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget to count your blessings!

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.