Sundown Devotional: Looking Back and Counting Blessings

Updated on December 27, 2019
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Sundown Devotional brings friends together on the back porch, as the sun sets on the workweek. Away from the stressful workplace and hustle and bustle in the streets, we relax, reminisce, reflect and share inspiration from our peaceful meditation on a short Scripture passage. In this year-end session, we focus on blessings. Christian or not, we will all be encouraged. Welcome!

Year end is a good time to look back at our blessings. (Photo by RDLH. Text added.)
Year end is a good time to look back at our blessings. (Photo by RDLH. Text added.) | Source

The Devotional

You crown the year with your good blessings.
Psalm 65:11 (NET)

The little girl knew that her mother was putting away the groceries. When her mother left the kitchen, she peeped into the pantry to see what was new. After glancing over each shelf, she expressed in disgust, “She didn’t buy anything!” Translation? “I will not acknowledge these food products, because I do not see the one thing I want―my little bag of potato chips.”

As we close out the year, will we pine over an unanswered prayer or will we recall the many blessings for which we did not even ask? Will we remain disgruntled over one person who withdrew from our friendship or blow kisses at these who keep cheering us on? Will we count what we lost, or what we still have?

Psalm 65 is a song suggesting a scene in which God provided for the people every day, of every month, of every season, for the whole year. Barnes’ Notes would have us personalize the year “as a beautiful female, perhaps, walking forward with a diadem on her brow.” The writer visualizes that on the head of this woman built from God’s goodness, He placed an additional crown of blessing.

This story of abundant blessings throughout the year is true for all of us. Along with the generic blessings like sunshine and rain, we received customized blessings: the item we needed but could not afford until we bumped into the one-day sale; the compassion we developed for the same individual who previously evoked our anger. We prospered in several ways, at different times. If we did not take time to count our blessings daily during the passing year, let us develop the habit of recognizing at least one blessing every day, in the coming year.

With the potato chips hidden in the pantry from the little girl’s view, her appetite for her dinner increased. Just so, the blessings which passed by us unnoticed, will increase our sense of appreciation for God’s goodness when we recognize them in retrospect. Let’s look back and count them. We will realize what a blessed year we have had.

Prayer: Bountiful Jehovah, we approach the end of another year with hearts full of love and gratitude for all the blessings we received, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Beecher Blessings Quote. (Photo by AllNikArt. Text added.)
Beecher Blessings Quote. (Photo by AllNikArt. Text added.) | Source

Ten Positive Perspectives on Blessings

  1. “Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.” ― Og Mandino
  2. “Count your blessings, not your problems. Count your own blessings, not someone else's. Remember that jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.” ― Roy T. Bennett
  3. “Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” ― Charles Dickens
  4. “My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
  5. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise” ― Oscar Wilde
  6. “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” ― Henry Ward Beecher
  7. “The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings: woods, health, music, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances, warm fireplaces, and all the footprints scattered throughout our days.” ― Sue Monk Kidd
  8. “Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.” ― A.W. Tozer
  9. “Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” ― Thomas Goodwin
  10. “Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.” ― Jan Karon

Blessings quote. Free download.
Blessings quote. Free download. | Source

Life During the Passing Year

Which of the following phrases best describes your life during the passing year?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Dora Weithers

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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Blessings to you, too Donna. Please read as much and as often as you want.

      • Donna-Rayne profile image

        Donna Rayne 

        2 months ago from Sutter Creek

        Ms. Dora, I just had to read this beautiful article again because I am blessed by your beautiful words and it teaches me to be more aware and more thankful every single day! Thank you again!

        Blessings,

        Donna

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 months ago from UK

        Happy Nee Year to you too.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Liz. Your conclusion is right on target. Let's continue counting our blessings all the way into the New Year. Happy 2020.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Shannon, happy to see you. Thanks for sharing your journey toward maturity in dealing with people and recognizing your blessings. Enjoy your growth and Happy New Year.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        This is a very positive way to end the year. Being thankful for what we have is much better for our overall well being than being negative about the things that have not worked out for us. I really appreciate the challenge to look beyond our own small world and see how we can be a blessing to others.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        3 months ago from Texas

        What a perfect article/devotional for me to read today. You certainly are a blessing to many, no doubt. And I love that sentiment about being a blessing to others. It feels like an even greater blessing to be one to someone else even in the smallest of ways. I discovered a few years ago that I am happiest when I am free to give to others somehow, whether it's a simple gesture such as a smile or something more thoughtful and meaningful to someone else.

        But this timely article is a wonderful reminder of my focus this past year; counting my many blessings and being content with who I am even if I fail or make a mistake. There's good in even the worst if we are willing to see it. Maybe my flaws will one day be a blessing I never saw coming to me or to someone else.

        On a side note, I have been fascinated with people lately. In general, I don't like crowds and I am not a people person per se. I prefer closer more intimate relationships with those I choose to befriend. The lasting and meaningful friendships. More introverted than extroverted, I guess you could say. But I also prefer to be around people who are positive most of the time. So I am able to do customer service because I generally remain positive and don't let people get under my skin the way some people allow angry customers or otherwise scheming customers to do. I guess I kind of digressed a bit. My point is that I have been fascinated because there are certain customers people constantly tell me are rude and that will yell at them who have not yelled at me once and have actually began telling me thank you. People whose preferences I should probably know by now but habit sometimes takes over instead or I forget. Times when I screw something up and admit that it's my fault. People respond to that differently than one would normally except. I'll admit I am still a bit of a pessimist about friendships and getting close to people, but sometimes when I lose some faith in people in general, it's as if God has a way of reminding me about compassion and kindness in unexpected ways. Just another blessing, I suppose.

        I hope that you have a peaceful year ahead filled with many blessings, MsDora!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Happy New Year to you, too Cynthia. We probably will never notice all our blessings, the more we pay attention, the more we will see. It would be a good past time to look back occasionally.

      • techygran profile image

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        3 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Loved this, as usual. I realize that there have been many overlooked blessings in my life over the past year and I am happy to be reminded of that while I still have a couple of days to thank God and contemplate the many mercies and kindnesses that have populated my days. Thank you and Happy New Year to you Dora!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        New Year, Bill! Thank you also for the blessings you have shared in the past, and for those we expect from you, going forward.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Good spin, Kari. Making a New Year Resolution to count your blessings is a brilliant idea. Thank you.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        3 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        Thank you, Dora, for the blessing of this article. You gave us much to think about and challenged us to a better new year, Happy New Year, my friend!

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        3 months ago

        To MsDora.

        I think if every nation in the world read this subject about Counting Blessings, and applied what it said, the world would become a better place overnight.

        So many nations over the past few years have been reminiscing about how great their nation was in the past, but really it all comes down to attitude, been grateful for Life itself and everything we have. "Counting Blessings". How many Israelites after leaving Egypt died as a result of their attitude, by not seeing how God was actually providing for them despite harsh conditions ?

        ( Oscar Wilde No5 ) If we have enough Wisdom we may never need to discover the harsh realities of life at times, but if we don't we may soon find ourselves agreeing with Oscar after any bitter trial, but the trials themselves could turn out to be a waist if we don't have the right attitude while going through them.

        ( James 1:2-4 ) perseverance through trials is what makes us grow and develop, but if we lack Wisdom we can always ask for it in Vs5.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        3 months ago

        Thanks Dora. I Love everybody now, and that's why i had to leave my former associates.

        Last summer i was sitting outsite a restaurant eating. This woman in her late 30s mid 40s who looked as though she had, or was recovering from some kind mental health issue, came and sat directly opposite me looking at me for some time while eating.

        I thought she wanted food and said to her tell me what you want and i will order it for you, but she replied, i have lots of food in the house, and then said "I Love everybody" I looked at her and said "I know exactly what you mean"

        I sometimes wonder if there's a fine line between "Love and Mental Health" ? Either way If i had have stayed with my former associates i would never have been able to communicate those thoughts with her, or choose the friends that really do cheer you on, such as yourself :)

        Just read ( Psalms 65 ) Great chapter. Vs2 "The hearer of Prayers" I found God hearing and answering more prayers after leaving where i was.

      • k@ri profile image

        Kari Poulsen 

        3 months ago from Ohio

        Dora, I love this article on counting our blessings. Recognizing our blessings daily is a worthy New Year's resolution. It is easy and can be done anywhere, plus it will make us happier. Have a wonderful New Year's.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Antonio, I appreciate your love and concern. Thank you very much.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        3 months ago

        To MsDora.

        Great subject.

        Without going into all the positves about what you said, one thing stood out loud and clear to me.

        I know the subject is about counting our blessings, but that point you made about "One person withdrawing from our friendship" I felt was a little cold & too personal for some. Those are the kind of comments i used to hear all the while back with my former associates. The one time i even heard in a Talk.....

        "God does not need you, if you walk out the meeting ( Church Doors ) God's organization will function just as well without you, but God wants you here"

        I know God doesn't need any of us, but i wonder what part of that sentence little children would remember the most ? And why the need for the first part ? In the end i left them "because" of comments like that. If we don't get challenged at times Dora, how will we know we're on the right road ? Is it us that needs to be cheered on, Or the sheep if you get my meaning ?

        Love you Dora, but you know what i find beautiful in a woman "more than looks, intelligence, and a good figure" ? It's HUMILITY. I know you have that, but i also know none of us are complete in every sense, therefore we all need cheering on.

        It's all about Love.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Linda. It is important to recognize our blessings as you readily have done. Wishing you many more in the coming year.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Your reminder to appreciate our blessings is important. I am blessed by the presence of those who are close to me, including my pets. I hope you have a very happy 2020, Dora.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Manatita. I will take your suggestion. Sri Chinmoy's quotes are very insightful and empowering. Love and blessings to you, too.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Flourish, you encourage me by including me among your blessings. My sentiment toward you is the same, as are the wonderful New Year wishes. Thanks.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Lora. You have given us a good reminder, that as we have been blessed, we should seek to bless others. Best to you also, as you go forward into the New Year.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        3 months ago from london

        An incredible and gifted moment to count our blessings. Like you, I desire for all, even while knowing that some won't. It is easier to disbelieve than to believe.

        Let me not spoil your Hub, though. We are progressing according to His plans … awakening to a new Consciousness. More work is needed, but some has been done. Praise be!

        Your quotes are beautiful! Since I'm your friend and you embrace me, why don't you take one from my Guru. We have about 1300 free books on line and just googling something like 'sri chinmoy and blessings' are highly likely to bring something up and you can choose. Remember for the next devotional.

        Infinite blessings to you, Dee. The prose itself is very exquisite!

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 months ago from USA

        These were wonderful quotes and beautiful reminders about the abundance of goodness we have in our lives if we just take the time to reflect. I cherish all the good things in my life, the people, my sweet pets and the fact that I am alive. I count you among my blessings, dear Dora. May you have a superior New Year and have all you wish for in terms of happiness, health, and success in the new year.

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        3 months ago

        This is another wonderful devotional with a great message, Ms Dora. God has given me many blessings to be thankful for and it is good to reflect on these as we go forward into the new year and be compassionate and generous to others as He has been to us. Blessings to you and best wishes for the New Year!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Eune P, thanks for sharing your testimony about God's blessings. May He continue to favor you now and throughout the coming year.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Donna, I am accepting and grateful of your love and I extend the same sentiments to you. May you continue to experience God's blessings now and throughout the new year.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Rev, I am much encouraged by your kind comment. It is also my pleasure to know you and benefit from your work. I feel your love and acceptance. Thank you.

      • profile image

        Eune P 

        3 months ago

        My God is the best when it comes to dish out blessings. He gives me huge amounts; more than I can ever ask for. Thanks for the reminder, Dora.

      • Donna-Rayne profile image

        Donna Rayne 

        3 months ago from Sutter Creek

        My sweet MsDora, I count my blessings one by one and am thankful for each one. I do not deserve such blessings but the Lord is gracious and giving and love and is good to all that love him!

        Much love to you, Sister,

        Donna

      • revmjm profile image

        Margaret Minnicks 

        3 months ago from Richmond, VA

        MsDora, I count you among my blessings during the year. Whenever I see your name, I know there is something good to follow not only in your articles but also in your comments on other people's articles.

        I am glad we are fellow hubbers and sisters in Christ. I am truly blessed!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        M.Victor, thanks for the comment. Blessings to you also, today and throughout the coming year!

      • MVKilgore profile image

        M. Victor Kilgore 

        3 months ago

        Thank God for many, many blessings to count. Blessings to you!!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Whonu. Blessings to you now and throughout the coming year.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Devika, thanks for your kind comment. Believe, me my positivity feeds off yours. Happy New Year!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Pam. HAPPY New Year to you. It's been my pleasure to know you also. Best to us, going forward!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Bill, it is my pleasure to have crossed paths with you. Best to us, going forward.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        Eric, you have always given me a positive perspective. Thank you.

      • whonunuwho profile image

        whonunuwho 

        3 months ago from United States

        Hello MsDora. Many blessings at this wonderful time of the year. A very well received work you have done. Thank you for sharing. whonu

      • profile image

        Devika Primic 

        3 months ago

        Hi Dora you are a great person at heart and I see that through your writing. I keep positive and have many blessings this year. Thank you for a wonderful hub of positive and blessed notes.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        3 months ago from Sunny Florida

        Ms Dora, I think this is the perfect message for the end of the year. Counting your blessings feels wonderful and it keeps us focusing on the positive. One of my blessings is all the people I have come to know on Hubpages, including you of course. I really love these devotional messages and hope you will continue writing them. Have a happy new year!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Writing my memoir was cathartic for me. My life has been filled with blessings, and you are one of them.Thank you for your friendship Dora!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        I am messing it up right now. And thank you for bringing me back to it. My elder son did also. We must look back with glee and forward with fortitude lest we have lost our way.

        Let us forge even more love this year

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