Not all of life’s gifts come packaged in adorably functional baskets tied together in harmony with glittery bows and swirly ribbon. Some of our biggest blessings are disguised as difficult challenges or humorous occurrences that teach us a valuable lesson. Is it presumptuous to say that some of the best blessings may as well come to us in wet cardboard boxes? Gasp! Gross. We know it’s what’s on the inside that counts, even if we take pride in dressing up the outside of gifts we give others.

Sometimes, we are so deep in our own, ehem, stuff, to recognize the irreplaceable gifts we are given in life as they arrive.

Gift Book Girl isn't just about learning how to package a gift that looks impressive. It's about recognizing the gifts that we can't fit into a box, the ones that don't come with instructions, the ones we often take for granted, the ones that aren't perfect. 

These are the blessings that fuel our genuine gift-giving mission in the first place!

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes – as beings and as things. It’s important to take the time to reflect and appreciate the blessings in our life while also realizing that we, as humans, are naturally going to complain about them. Too often do we feel a strong responsibility to be thankful that we hesitate to voice our frustrations about a challenging situation. There are also times when the challenges of a learning experience are too consuming for us to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yes, we are grateful, but can we gripe without being ungrateful? If we’re being genuine, we may as well get a few things off our chests.

For example:

The amazing meal our husbands cook for us is a blessing, but their tendency to leave the kitchen a little messy after the fact is frustrating. Remembering just how much effort our men put into baking a delicious dinner will help us cope with cleaning up greasy counters after the fact.

Yes, we are so blessed to have a dog who is funny, adorable, and filled with spirit. Remembering his quirks will help us handle cleaning muddy paw prints off the couch and living room carpet on occasion.

Motherhood is a blessing. Perhaps the greatest gift of all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the time to shower or find the energy to make a cup of coffee. It’s important to remember our children are blessings when we find ourselves strapped for sleep.

With all of this being said, as with all things in life, there is always good. Focusing on the good and celebrating the bright side is good for the soul.

Finding a balance in our own lives is just like balancing a thoughtful, well-crafted gift basket. Too deep? That’s fine – so long as it’s not dark. Think bright, happy, sunshine and buttercups. The icing on the cake. The silver lining. The clouds that give our sun-kissed skin a break on a hot summer day.

The Blessings Blog is a tell-all tale of life's greatest gifts - some of which come packaged in not-so pretty wrapping - all of which can be bundled as important life lessons and reminders to hug our closest loved ones or thank our neighbors for being great humans. It's about sharing real experiences that remind us to give thanks and help us connect.

From marriage to motherhood, parenting to teaching, friends to neighbors, sororities to weddings, babies to children, etc. etc., it’s good practice to know that in spite of all the stress – we are so, so blessed.