Count your blessings. We have all heard it and probably said it. It helps us get through tough times and put our trials in perspective. There is certainly nothing wrong with counting your blessings. But how often do we contemplate our blessings and what happens when we do.
A while back I spoke to a priest because I felt like my relationship with God had kind of stagnated. The priest introduced me to the daily examen prayer. In the daily examen prayer you look at your day with gratitude and spend time reflecting on the blessing that you received that day. And even though there are other parts to the prayer, it was through it that I discovered the difference between counting blessings and contemplating blessings.
I have become very interested in this prayer because through it I can really see how God is in my life. It allows me to understand how strong that relationship is. Before I found this prayer I might go all day without thinking about God much at all except during times of active engagement with him. Prayer, reading scripture or talking specifically about Him.
However, with this prayer, because I spend time looking at the proceeding day and seeing how God moved though it I am more attentive to finding Him in the present. In other words, when I spend time contemplating the blessings of the prior day, it helps my see and appreciate blessings that I receive as I receive them. Thus keeping me more connected with God throughout the normal course of the day.
So go ahead and count you blessings when life gets tough and you need some help getting through. If you want to grow in your relationship with God, contemplating your blessings might be helpful.