Thankful for the not so obvious

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 29, 2017

I’ll be on my way to the dentist a little later for a fractured tooth. It happened the Saturday before Christmas while eating scrambled eggs, so it wasn’t as if I bit something hard enough to finish it off. That was a bad day to break a tooth. Everyone was out for the holiday. As the weekend progressed, pieces of the tooth continued to disappear, along with the filling. I assume I swallowed them.

Frustrating? Yes. Inconvenient? Yes. Painful? No.

I could dwell on the fact that it happened right after I had been in for a 6-month check-up and knew the tooth was cracked and needed to be repaired, but what good would that do? I am dwelling on the fact that I had no toothache all week-end. Trust me when I say that is a miracle in itself.

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My grandson wanted a boomerang for Christmas. I bought him one off of e-bay that was from a renowned boomerang maker in Australia, including art carvings. If that’s what he wanted, that’s what I wanted to get. Thinking he is only six years old, I figured he would throw it a few times and it wouldn’t come back to him for years to come if he was still interested.

I underestimated his enthusiasm and his strength. After about thirty throws and retrieving his prize a little closer each time, he threw a wild one that caught his dad in the forehead as he ducked. I’m glad that I wasn’t there to see the blood and horror of a three inch gash in his forehead, and a trip to the ER.

In my son’s words, “I’m just thankful I ducked, and it didn’t get me in the eye. I’m thankful it didn’t come back and hit him. I’m thankful none of the other kids were outside playing at the time.”

How we view life and the negative things that happen to us is all a matter of perspective. We can whine about how bad we have it all the time, or we can look for the blessings all the time. No matter what happens, there is always something for which we can be thankful.

I’ve often thought about the times I know that God delivered a loved one, or me from harm’s way. It is easy to give thanks in those times. But what about all the times God watches over us or gives His angels charge over us and protects us from near misses that we don’t appreciate, or don’t even know about?

Have you ever been held up at home by lost keys, or a phone call that lasted a couple of minutes, only to pass a bad accident on the very path you would have been on had you not been delayed? Have you ever had circumstances change your plans, your schedule, or your timing, and because your timing was rearranged, run in to someone special you hadn’t seen in years, or been in the right place at the right time to help someone?

I believe my steps are ordered by the Lord, just as every other person who has faith in Him that He will do so. I often ask Him to go before me and order my steps, or direct my paths. Time and time again, I am aware that He has done exactly that.

At the end of 2017, I am thankful for all my obvious blessings. It has been a good year. When I think back over the year, I can’t even remember all the little things that God has done in my life, or all the times disaster was avoided. Some of those incidents stand out more than others. I want to be engulfed by a spirit of gratitude for the big things and small. From an open parking spot right in front of a store in the pouring rain, to NOT stepping on a copperhead along a woodland path, and even for a broken tooth that didn’t hurt when I couldn’t get help over Christmas, I want to always be thankful for it all.

Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.