Not Taking Blessings for Granted

It is easy to get used to blessings, big and small. Take orange juice for example. It is not too expensive. We buy the Great Value orange juice at Walmart. The one not made from concentrate. It is affordable to us and tastes good. To me, orange juice is like drinking a little bit of sunshine. Maybe orange juice is so common in some homes that it is just expected. In some other homes it may be downright disliked.

I like grape juice and V8 too, but orange juice tastes really good to me. What’s the point of this? Well, I am an insulin-dependent diabetic. I am careful about how much juice I drink. The V8 has the lowest carbs, and grape juice is higher than orange juice in carbs. It is in the middle and tastes the best to me.

Orange juice is my go-to drink when I am having or know I am likely to have a low blood glucose level. Going hypoglycemic is not fun. That is, unless you like to break out in a sweat, feel your heart pounding, get very weak and shaky, and have it all come on in a couple of minutes. Anyone who takes insulin is likely to have struggled with balancing activity, food intake and insulin dosing. It never works out perfect, and sometimes the balance can be way off due to any number of factors. A few ounces of orange juice perks me up fast, and I enjoy the taste. No, I do not try to have a low blood glucose level just to justify a glass of orange juice.

Away from home I have glucose tabs to raise my blood glucose level when necessary. They are dry, and sometimes they burn my throat. Sure, the gels and drinks might be a better option, but they are much more expensive and maybe more difficult to tote in my pants’ pocket. Though the coconut flavored ReliOn brand of glucose tabs in the Tropical Fruit bottle are tasty, I think I would prefer a glass of orange juice instead. Maybe it is because that juice reminds me of summer. After all, it is the color of many childhood crayon drawings of sunsets that are on refrigerators everywhere.

Maybe orange juice reminds me of some fast-food and diner breakfasts with family and friends way back when I did not have so much concern over healthy eating. Come on, who has not had an orange juice with breakfast at McDonald’s or Denny’s? I have lived through all the name incarnations of Denny’s. Years ago a meal at the diner had to include bacon or sausage or some kind of beef or chicken, but  now I get a veggie patty on a bun with no cheese, and a side of steamed broccoli and macaroni and cheese. The last breakfast I had there was a bagel and a fruit cup. No orange juice.

As a teen I could down a full glass of orange juice along with a big meal and not think anything about it. Now, to avoid the pounds and to push back increasing severity of complications of diabetes, I watch what I eat and drink. I enjoy unsweetened tea with no lemon. I have been drinking it like that for years. I also enjoy black decaf coffee. I used to drink an excess of the full caffeine kind. I have not had a diet pop—soda to some of you folks—for over a year. However, when my blood glucose is or is about to go low, I enjoy a little orange juice. If I cut out  26 grams of carbs from my regular breakfast, I can have eight ounces of orange juice. I cannot just down a big glass of the stuff anymore. The carb count would be more than what a whole meal should be.

It is just a little blessing to have it when the situation is right. A blessing I do not take for granted. There are some blessings in my life that I do still take too much for granted. I just wrote this to point out to you that you might want to take a look at the little and big blessing in your life. Blessings from orange juice to your children. Little blessings like toast to the big blessing of your home that you make it in. The blessing of fresh fruit shipped from more than a thousand miles away to the provision of income you have to purchase it. Things that maybe you think will always be there because, well, they have always been there!

When something comes to mind that is a blessing, big or small, humble your heart for just a moment and thank your Creator for it. Understand that if you have a roof over your head, food in your cupboards and a refrigerator along with fresh water to drink, you have more than the majority of the world’s population.

Matthew 6:8

Philippians 4:6-8