As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I will be touching on the topic of Spiritual Preparedness every so often here.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA. I am so glad that the country I live in, as well as many other nations, encourages its citizens to set aside a day every year to focus on what they HAVE instead of what they DO NOT have. That spirit of abundance in turn encourages both a recognition of God’s hand in our lives as well as a greater willingness to give and share what we have with others. This, in turn, benefits society as a whole.
Why It’s Hard to Be Grateful?
Personally, I have so much to be grateful for. But on a day-to-day basis, it is sometimes much easier to focus on all the things I don’t have. Do you ever feel the same?
The busyness of my life sometimes prevents me from seeing all the small, wonderful things that are mine every day. Or, at least it makes it more difficult to focus on them. I have so many goals and dreams and aspirations. Sometimes I get caught up in focusing on how my present life compares to what I want in my future life And I’m often left feeling uneasy, stressed, and even a bit bitter on occasion when I really think about all the things I wish had but don’t. That is not a fun way to live and doesn’t benefit society because when I feel like that, I become selfish.
But when I take just a minute to focus on what I do have, suddenly all those stressed, uneasy, and bitter feelings leave, and they are replaced by calm, peaceful, and more giving thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, I find time to do this in my nightly prayers….other times, I don’t make the effort. Sometimes, I see something in my children’s eyes as they dance or play or sing or pretend that reminds me of just how much I have. When I have the presence of mind to stop and recognize that, I find joy.
Be Grateful For Everything!
I would like to publicly express some of my gratitude here in an effort to help myself focus on what I have. If you’d like, I would encourage you to join me. Take just a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve been given and what you are grateful for. Leave a comment and share one or two or more things you are thankful for in your life.
I am Grateful For:
My Savior Jesus Christ, His Atonement for my sins, weaknesses, and trials. His incredible sacrifice offers me so much daily and eternally. He has changed me and made me better than I could ever be otherwise. Knowing of my own unworthiness for such a gift has allowed me to be more accepting of others as they struggle to change as well. I am so grateful that because of Christ I, and those around me, can change and become better and more than who we currently are.
The power of God in my daily life. The tiny moments when I know he is guiding me. I am especially grateful for His power and guidance in my life as a wife and mother.
My wonderful husband. He understands, accepts, and completely fulfills his responsibility as the provider for our family. He also loves me and is willing to sacrifice to make me happy. He puts me first and gives 110% percent to our relationship even when I don’t. He makes me laugh more than anyone I know and has a way of getting me to relax and enjoy life a little more. (for those of you who know me, you know why this is so amazing) He makes regular efforts to understand me better and change himself in order to make me happier.
My beautiful children. The fact that they were conceived (we were once told this would never happen). The fact that they are here. The fact that they are perfectly healthy. The opportunity the Lord has given me to do my best to teach them of his love and plan. I can think of no greater blessing than the opportunity to be a mother, and it is a privilege that not everyone gets in this life. I am deeply grateful for their smiles, giggles, hugs, silly faces, imaginations, patience, and most of all their incredibly quick forgiveness when I mess up.
My devoted parents. I will forever be grateful that I was raised in a home where I regularly felt the spirit of God. I am coming to realize more and more what incredible people my parents are. There is an amazing spirit in their home and I am slowly coming to understand how hard they have worked/are working to make it that way. My parent put nothing before each other and their children. Few parents take their responsibility as seriously as mine do.
My supportive siblings. I love each of my brothers and sisters. I would call them my dearest friends. We can laugh, cry, play together, and learn from each other.
Living in the USA, and the opportunities that afford: I can worship as I want, learn and improve myself as I wish, speak my mind, and live free of oppression. I am grateful to those who have sacrificed to make it so.
The ability and opportunity to be self-reliant, prosperous, and charitable. This has become far easier since I started this blog & joined THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) as a consultant. I earn free food every month that I add to our “home store.” I earn income that allows us to pay down debt and build up savings. And I regularly have the opportunity to share some of those blessings with others. It feels so good to be in a position where I have more than I need and can give back. I’ve not always been in that situation, but this business has provided that for us and I am grateful.
And this is all possible because of YOU: my readers, subscribers, and customers. Please know that I am so very grateful to you.
I’m Grateful for Lots of Small Things:
And now some less obvious, but significant things. I am grateful for:
- two, four, and six-year-old imaginations
- sibling hugs and kisses between my kids
- a clean kitchen in the morning
- chocolate ice cream and berries
- hot baths and a good book
- the sound of running water…rivers, and streams and the peace it can bring me
- blogs/Facebook/staying in touch with friends
- long walks and fresh air
- the fact that my kids love being the “Marsh Family”
- naps, blankets, and warm beds
- imperfect, but good mothers as friends
- lots of closet space
- the words “It’s okay Mom”
- the smell on rainy days
- amazing school teachers
- imperfectly colored, but sincerely given pictures from my kids
- hot chocolate while it is snowing
- cheese (it is my favorite food)
- the way my husband belly laughs over ridiculous movies
- big open windows
- the color yellow
- freshly vacuumed floors
- board games and the laughs they bring
- thrive Brownie mix
- knock knock jokes told by 6-year-olds that don’t really “get them
- the cleanliness of the white
- the ability to learn new things every day
- 6-year-olds that seek out those with “no friends” at school
- having my arms “tickled” by my husband and kids when I stressed
- otter pops
- other adults who love my children
- music and its ability to affect my mood
- watching my 6 year old teach my 4-year-old to read
- the beauty of the world we live in and the evidence that is of God’s love
- good books
When I take a minute to focus on it, I can’t even put into words how grateful I am. I have so much. Where much is given, much is required. My commitment to doing God’s will and striving to bless the lives of others has been renewed as I have thought about all these blessings: my blessings.
How about you? What are you grateful for?