Fortunate or Blessed?

By Susan Burkepile, Contributing Writer

DSCN7417-001We try to teach our kids to treat animals with kindness.  But our dog,  Nessa, gets sat on, ears pulled, and bones stolen.

I told my oldest daughter, Abby, that we are fortunate that we have had animals that are patient with children.  Normally, I would use the word blessed but I guess it just came out a little different today.

And now I had an eight year old staring at me wondering what the word fortunate means.    According to the Mirram-Webster Online Dictionary, the words mean:

fortunate:  bringing some good thing not foreseen as certain; receiving some unexpected good

blessed:  of or enjoying happiness;  specifically:  enjoying the bliss of heaven – used as title for a beatified person

The dictionary, however, doesn’t begin to capture the connotation.  In fact, they even further describe blessed as good fortune.

But I have always considered the word fortune to imply luck.  And blessed to imply a God centered certainty.

And in reference to my marriage, this distinction makes all the difference.

There are days when he is tired and I have spent all day refereeing crabby children. We are both worn. Anxious. And tired.

In that moment – if I consider my husband my good fortune – then I am ready to give up.  The good fortune and uncertain goodness evaporates.

But in that very same moment, I can make a different choice.  I can choose to remember that God purposely chose my husband for me.  That he is a blessing.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17 NIV


My husband is a precious gift from God.  I should treasure Him.  Even when I don’t feel like it.  Even when he doesn’t deserve it.

And in that perspective of my spouse, I quit going through the motions of marriage.  I can look at him as a blessing.  And I can look for new opportunities to bless him.

As I seek to bless my husband, he feels  loved, appreciated, and respected.  And so, for my husband, here are a few acts of love that remind him of how much of a blessing he is to his family:

  • Write him a love note.
  • Hug him as soon as he comes in.  And get off the phone or computer to welcome him home.
  • Pray for him.
  • Text him a <3
  • Plan a surprise date.
  • Bring him coke or a coffee at work.
  • Brag on him (especially if he is with me).
  • Keep his ice water full when he is doing yard work.
  • Throw out all his old socks and underwear.  And fill the drawer with new ones.
  • Let him take a short nap before dinner.

I appreciate him so much more when I am busy loving him instead of trying to satisfy my needs in our marriage.

And in that same perspective, I am much less anxious.   God created me to pour out His love to others.  And when I am living in His shadow, I can concentrate on

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” ~ Philippians 4:8


And in that, my heart can rest.

Truly rest.