Counting Our BlessingsApr 30, 2020 08:28PM ● By Annalise Combs
I want to use this space today to say, “Thank you, North Texas. Thank you for the privilege of serving you for the last 10 years.” Do you want to know what it’s like publishing 120 consecutive issues of Natural Awakenings Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex magazine? It’s like having a baby every month. During the weeks prior to each birth, you nurture that baby, feeding it everything you feel will make it the best it can be. You also engage with your family of communities for sustenance, support and encouragement (you provide the same for them and their babies. too).
Then at the end of the monthly gestation period, you deliver something you hope to be proud of; a child eagerly awaited by her family and village of supporters who ultimately benefit from her. She generates employment for those who brought her to life and continue to shepherd her through it; she generates information leading to a better quality and quantity of life for all who come into contact with her; and she generates more births and more children and more supporters in other villages, where other people can enjoy her, too.
For me, publishing this monthly magazine is a God-given mission, one for which I am immensely grateful. It’s often said that while mission work inherently benefits those who are served, it rarely follows the path of least resistance; in fact the exact opposite is usually true. But there’s a funny paradox about following God’s path for you. No matter how challenging or time-consuming, the work is always as great a blessing to the servant as it is to the recipient.
Let me tell you about my blessings. Every day, I learn something new from the many people I have the privilege of interacting with through my work—the health and wellness practitioners, the scientific professionals and the ordinary folks seeking to live better, greener, healthier lives. Every day, I am stretched, challenged, purified and forced to grow toward being a kinder, gentler person; someone compassionate, generous, thankful, patient, grateful and loving.
I am also conquering the sin of worry. After 120 print-pregnancies, I now trust that the baby will come out every month—one way or another. The two most recent issues are a perfect example. I’ve delivered those babies knowing that many of the locations where readers would normally find them have closed due to COVID-19 guidelines, and that many “villagers” who make it possible to print and present the baby to everyone else, free of charge, are also closed down and/or financially challenged.
Then, at just the right time, always, I get what a friend of mine calls God Nods—like this lovely embossed note I received from a reader named Scott: “I ran across your letter from the publisher of Natural Awakenings magazine. Wow! You are one of the most articulate and enjoyable-to-read writers I have ever come across! Awesome!” And this note from Cecelia: “I love natural awakenings Dallas-Fort Worth Magazine, I pick it up every month at the Sunflower Shoppe, in Fort Worth. The articles are great! Keep up the good work.” And this one from Wendy: “By reading Natural Awakenings, I found a doctor that has resolved some health issues I have had for over six years. Thank you for publishing this wonderful magazine!”
Then there are the many, many phone calls I receive weekly—some of them very humbling when I’m asked for health advice, which of course I can’t give because I am not an expert. Fortunately, I know plenty of North Texas experts to whom I can refer callers.
I consider it all joy that I can focus on my blessings and be so thankful during this time when the world is in crisis. Our instruction manual, the Bible, admonishes us that our Creator “is working in all things for our good.” I’m going to hold on to this wisdom, and I encourage you to do so, too. I say this not to minimize the fact that many of us are suffering, but to encourage you to focus on He who controls all things, our heavenly Father, and to move forward with acts of compassion and generosity that are within your control.
Please enjoy our 10th anniversary issue and check out the many articles offering advice for boosting your immunity. Consider making the changes that work for your lifestyle to help your body defend itself against Covid-19 and all illness.