Counting to Ten – Guest Post by Russ

December is a month of counting.

Our daughters had a dry erase board up all month, erasing and writing how many days till Christmas. Counting.
I worked on our budget no less than four times this month to see how much money we could use for gifts. Counting.
We talked about whether or not we should exchange gifts for the adults or just the kids, how many gifts. Counting.
Retail stores report record sales. Counting.
Kids are going through the presents under the tree (yes, even if they are told not to) to see how many presents there are. Counting.
Now we are making bread and desserts and looking at the clock to see if we have time to do all the things. Counting.
We often hear people refer to counting their blessings this year. Counting.

So I have a bit of an obsession with counting. Not quite OCD, but I like to count things.

Every year we lead our preschool Sunday School class in making a craft called “Peanut Baby Jesus,” which is a styrofoam cup, decorated, with fake hay, a peanut with a happy face, and a felt blanket.

Two years ago, amidst concerns of peanut allergies, I attempted to shorten a wood dowel clothespin to peanut size. Using a steak knife.  In a hurry.  I came pretty close to shortening my thumb instead.


After some stitches that year, my favorite is just counting to ten on my fingers without taking my shoes off.


Ok, here is the super cheezy message: focus on what really “counts” this Christmas and going forward into the new year.

I spent some time reflecting over the last couple of days on whether or not we had good Christmas traditions and were making good Christmas memories at our house. It was hard this year to get out some of the decorations and hard to get into the spirit of things. This is partly because we both have new jobs and are working more hours and different schedules that we are not yet fully used to.  More, I think, because 2011 was a pretty hard year for us.


I decided though, not to focus on how hard some of the things we dealt with were and still are, and instead to focus on the things that are great. We do have good Christmas traditions. We have a purple Christmas tree. We make peanut baby Jesus every year. We spend Christmas Eve with the Finch Family and Christmas day with the Nelson Family. We make cookies with Nieces and Nephews. Christmas is super fun.

Now, look at your fingers.

Fingers are not necessarily pretty or perfect. There are usually scars or wrinkles, dirt or bandaids. Don’t focus on them, but use them now to count to ten.

With each number you count, focus on one great thing about your life right now.
Write them down. Tomorrow or next week, count to ten again.
Do this once a month and you have 120 things worth focusing on. Once a week and it is 520 things. Daily, 3650 things.

That is worth counting.

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2 Responses to “Counting to Ten – Guest Post by Russ”

  1. Other Mom says:

    Wow, Russ! You should have read this for us before the crazys hit.

  2. Ken Finch says:

    Excellent! A FAMILY full of gifted authors. I would be shocked if Amanda and Abby don’t have that same way with words.

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