How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways.

ASL CountingNo… This is not a blog about Love. Although there have been more words written about the definition and expression of love, including the familiar title by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I do not feel the need to add to it today.

This is a blog about counting, numbering and valuing the results.

Remember those words, you know, back when you were really, really young. You were learning to count on your fingers and this little nursery rhyme, along with the associated actions, helped you memorize, and know, how to count from 1 through 10.

One, two, Buckle my shoe;
Three, four, Open the door;
Five, six, Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight, Lay them straight:
Nine, ten, A big, fat hen;

I’m sure you can locate other versions, but this one is commonly noted throughout my research and memory. This particular one was in use as early as 1780 in Colonial Times.

Remember road trips?!! We used to count cars, license plates, road kill, and just about anything countable. We planned Mr Smith’s trip to Washington with the 26 letters of the alphabet and he always started out, it seems, with an Apple and Banana!

Throughout my travels I have noted rode side markers that show the mileage countdown between two main points. You could use these markers to tell where you were in your travels, and know that certain things existed at certain mileposts. There are about 879 markers from the Texas-New Mexico border, across the state to the the Texas-Louisiana border. I’ve driven this segment a number of times, but Interstate 10 is the longest Interstate highway of any.

Number of Miles– 2460

  • California – 237 miles
  • Arizona – 392.33 miles
  • New Mexico – 160 miles
  • Texas – 879 miles
  • Louisiana – 279 miles
  • Mississippi – 77.192 miles
  • Alabama – 67 miles
  • Florida – 369 miles

And if you drive this round trip, you will only make the journey from Houston to Anchorage, AK about one time (depending on whose mapping service you believe!). I’ve driven that route a dozen times and have no hesitation of doing it again. Today. Let’s go!

You see. Counting, and knowing numbers, is an important act. I’ve written before about that wonderful catalog of a magazine called “The Alaskan Milepost” that tells you all the needed information you must have in order to enjoy your drive from the Lower 48, through Canada, and to all points North in that huge state. It follows the Milepost numbering system from the beginning number “0” of the Alaskan Canada Highway (AlCan), through Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and winding up at various locations in Alaska.

We count our days from one year to the next to know our age. I never understood how Jack Benny never aged past 39! We have anniversaries of special markers of life, as in marriage and career. We know the number of days in a year and if you understand the Julian calendar, then you know 01/01 of any given years is Day 1, and 12/31 is Day 365. We tally up our collection of stuff with numbers that can scare you – total quantity and maybe even total worth!

I woke this morning and an old song ran through my mind. I do not remember singing all the verses, though I’ve included them here. It was published by Johnson Oatman in 1897 and some scripture references to it are included below… [This Link has it playing in the background.]

  1. 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 has done.

    • Refrain:
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      Count your blessings, see what God has done!
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      *Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
      [*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.]
  2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will keep singing as the days go by.
  3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
    Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
    Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
  4. So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
    Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.(Psalms 40:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 1:3)

When times are tough, take a moment and start counting your blessings! Remembering and reflecting upon them should make the dark clouds a little bit lighter. If truth be known, then counting our blessings should be easier than counting our losses. Every day is a blessing from God, and we should count them one by one. If every day counts as one, then I’ve been blessed with 22,507 blessings! Go ahead. Count your days here.

One of my favorite Psalms is found in the 139 Psalms…

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
(Psalms 139:7-18 NKJV)

Take a few minutes today and count your blessings. Number them one by one. Use your fingers and toes, matches, toothpicks, or marbles, and count all those blessings and rejoice today… Go ahead… I challenge you!


2 thoughts on “How Do I Love Thee?

  1. Needed this. Thank you for a great reminder.
    Rich and I won’t be in church tomorrow, family gathering. Miss those Sundays.


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