PennDel Women of Purpose | The Guest Book: Blessings in Disguise
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The Guest Book: Blessings in Disguise

I was the one asked to vacate my bedroom when missionaries came to stay.  As the youngest of three girls in a pastor’s home, I had the only room with a single bed.  It made perfect sense that my room was the best location for a solo visitor, but it didn’t seem fair that I had to abandon my bed more than anyone else in our family.  My mother must have sensed my frustration when I was asked to move to the attic on a hot summer night.  She placed a guest book on my nightstand and encouraged the visiting missionary to write a note.  When I returned to my room after they left, I found the guest book with its first entry.  It contained the date of their visit, their name, the country where they served, and a thank you note. I was touched to the point of tears. It dawned on me that someone God was using to reach people around the world had slept in my bed. That night I laid there dreaming about the places that person had been and the lives they had touched for Jesus. From that point on, I gladly gave up my bed to each new visitor believing that my Heavenly Father would anoint my bed, and I would have a special resting place to return to because they had been there. My attitude changed with each guest entry. Their notes of appreciation for having a good bed to sleep in and a quiet place to rest filled my heart to overflowing. My guest book taught me to count my blessings, rather than view the negative. Now, I look back at those of years of “giving up” my room and I realize that God has allowed me to minister in many of the countries my guest book visitors had served.

 

 

The Psalmist, David, does the very same thing as my guest book when he journals about the gifts of God.  Literally, he “inventories” God’s blessings in Psalm 103.

 

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles,” Psalm 103:2-5 (NIV).

 

 

I read a recent article that confirmed the power of praise. It was written by US News reporter, Bret Beir, stating that his family had been in a serious car accident last winter. They were traveling on a snowy mountain road when their car was hit head-on by a truck, forcing their car to flip over. Bret, his wife, and two boy’s lives were spared. He started a social media message tagged as #countyourblessings to help people remember that every day is a gift from God and family is everything. It went viral. Many people since then have responded to that message in agreement. People began listing all the things for which they were thankful. Someone posted the chorus from an old hymn we used to sing in church, “count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done.”  This may be a message from the past, but the truth bears repeating today.

 

 

There is power in a written record of what God has done. It is worth starting a journal just to record our blessings.  Ann Voskamp wrote a book entitled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.  Ann asks the hard question: “What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long—and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?”  In her book, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts.

 

 

Looking back at my Guest Book entries, it dawned on me that God’s personal entry in my book has been the signature of His presence as our invited guest at each Women of Purpose conference and planned event for the past 21 years. I am beyond grateful for all that God has done in the lives of women who came searching for more of God.  It also dawned on me that each woman who served on our team, and every woman who prayed for this ministry and our leadership, have made an “entry” in my book. Traveling the world with mission teams has been a rare privilege that filled many pages of my journal with reminders of God’s power and love that transcends every culture. The faces of the nations will forever be etched in my mind and heart.

 

 

Much like my childhood guest book, the expressions of love and words of appreciation during my transition year have filled my heart to overflowing.  The Women of Purpose team has done an incredible job showering me with flowers, gifts and powerful words of promise to remind me once again that God has my future in His hands. It will take me from now until eternity to count all of my blessings that have come to me over the years from all of you. Thank you for loving me in so many tangible ways.  You will not be forgotten.

 

 

As I write this final blog as the Women of Purpose Director, my heart and mind are filled with thankfulness for all the blessings I have been given over the years.  May I encourage you to start counting your blessings. I am convinced that you and I will be surprised to discover all that God has done in our lives until now. I pray God increases our faith to believe Him for even more in the future. The best is yet to come!

 

 

Count Your Blessings (Hymn)

 

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

 

 

#countyourblessings

 

Ruth Puleo
Ruth Puleo
ruth@penndelwomenofpurpose.org

Ruth Puleo is an ordained minister, conference speaker, writer, mentor, and serves as the Women of Purpose Director for the Penn-Del District of the Assemblies of God. She passionately seeks to impact the lives of women and girls with courage and inspiration to follow God’s call on their lives. Ruth and her husband, John were called to pastoral ministry for 38 years while raising their three children. The ultimate blessing has been the gift of eight precious grandchildren.