The Joy of Counting

numbersMy toddler grandsons love to count. Chairs, stuffed animals, toys, ears, toes, freckles, trees, stars—you name it—they will count it.

The joy of counting begins early. One-two buckle my shoe anyone?

But somewhere along the way the simple pleasure of numbering gets distorted.

As adults, we place a numerical value on everything—calories, steps, social media likes and follows, friends, points, wins, clients, money, possessions, etc.

Three-four I want some more.

But all this counting makes me feel like I’m…I don’t know…missing something. 

Keeping track of every calorie I inhale makes me mad. I hate it. I even created a daily calorie bank and logged each eating withdrawal. I made it a full week before ripping the paper to shreds. (I think the ripping motion may have burned a couple of calories. Enough to consume an extra tic-tac or so.)

Counting steps leads to weight gain. Well, for me it did. Seriously, within six months of owning a step-counter, I gained five pounds. Probably something to do with the mindset of hey, I took 8000 steps today. I can now eat two cheeseburgers and a double-chocolate shake.

facebook-like-buttonCounting likes and follows makes me a slave to comparison. Oh, yeah. Someone “liked” my tweet. Life is good, oh, so good. Who needs to be a movie-star or politician? This girl got a like.

Counting my stuff makes me discontent. Yes, I have a house. But it’s not a beach house. Yes, I have a car, but it’s old. I have a few dollars, but it’s never enough.

With all the stumbling blocks to grown-up numbering, how do we maintain a godly perspective? How do we retain the joys of counting freckles and stars?

There is good news. Our urge to count is not a defect—it’s an inherited trait from our Creator. We just get a little off track from the intended purpose.

I love this verse in Isaiah:

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: stars
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing
(Isaiah 40:26).


Our God counts the stars and names them? Why? And why does that seem infinitely more thrilling than counting “likes” on social media?

I’m ready to explore. In the next post or two, I’d like to take a closer look at how and what our God numbers and what difference it makes in how we approach each day.

I hope you’ll join me!


Have a blessed week!


Leigh Ann 🙂

One thought on “The Joy of Counting

  1. Pingback: The Love of Counting | Heart Undivided

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