Count Your Blessings this Holiday Season

November 26, 2013

By Mercy's Kate Miller

Midwest, U.S. – Songwriters have been urging us to “count our blessings” for years, from the popular hymn penned in 1897 by Johnson Oatman Jr., to the Irving Berlin tune crooned by Bing Crosby in the holiday classic, “White Christmas.”

For the second year, Mercy is providing an opportunity to pause in the midst of a busy holiday season to count the many ways we are blessed.

Mercy’s website allows visitors to post messages and photos about the blessings in their lives. Last year, nearly 6,800 blessings – some sweet and silly, others heartwarming and uplifting – were posted to the site and viewed by more than 100,000 visitors, making it clear that people like to count their blessings as well as enjoy the blessings of others.

The site has been enhanced this year to allow for easier viewing and better sharing, including allowing visitors to automatically post their blessings to both Facebook and Twitter.

“Blessings are very often taken for granted,” said Sister of Mercy Mary Roch Rocklage. “But if we take the time to stop and consider the many ways we are blessed every day, it will give us a sense of joy and put a smile on our faces very quickly.”

And judging from last year’s postings, blessings come in all sizes and sentiments. Family is a familiar theme, from Jake’s appreciation for “a brother who doesn’t mind being seen with me on his college campus” to Sandy’s excitement that “my three sons in the military will all be home for Thanksgiving!” Others lauded friendships, new babies, good health and the support of co-workers, often accompanied by photos.

“By focusing on our blessings, we learn to appreciate and enjoy who we are and what we have – rather than worrying about what we might think we do not have,” said Sr. Roch. “And what better time than Thanksgiving and Christmas to stop and count our many blessings!”

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 39,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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