|Photo by The Purple Lady.|
Last year at this time, I decided to join The Purple Lady in a 30 days of Gratitude Challenge, wherein we wrote a blog post about something for which we were grateful for every day in the month of November. That experience was awesome because it kept me in a constant state of gratitude, and I felt I was always looking around for new things to be thankful for - or rather, to recognize the blessings in my life and focus on being more grateful for all of it.
This year, we kind of started talking about doing something a little different as the month of November was approaching, but we hadn't come to any final decisions. So, for the last nine days, I have simply been posting something that I am grateful for every day on my personal Facebook page. Then, the Purple Lady approached me tonight with an awesome idea. Instead of doing a blog post every day about one thing we are thankful for (as we did last year), or just posting a simple message of gratitude every day on Facebook, we would take three Sundays and write ten things we are thankful for instead. This way, we still get to focus on 30 things we are thankful for, but it kind of adds a little twist to the challenge. What can I say? She is a purple genius. ;)
So, without further ado:
I am thankful for...
1. Missionaries of the world who sacrifice their time (whether it be for 18 months or 2 years) to preach the gospel and share the wonderful, joyous message of our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness;
2. Men and women of the armed forces who give up so much - often their lives - to defend our country so that I can have the freedoms that I enjoy;
3. A living Prophet of the Lord to guide and direct us toward righteousness in a world that is clouded by disorder and sin;
5. My talents - though I know I need to improve my level of obedience in increasing them, I am grateful for the passions in which I delight, and the things that have always come naturally to me: reading, writing, cooking, language, grammar, etc;
6. Children who challenge my abilities as a parent, but love me unconditionally. They are each such a blessing in my life, and each has special qualities that contribute to my eternal happiness. I am so grateful for the fact that Heavenly father found me worthy enough to entrust their little spirits to me, and I know that being their mother causes me to become a better person daily;
7. A home that provides shelter from the elements and many comforts for my family and me;
8. My calling - as a nursery teacher, I have gained such an enormous amount of patience, along with a new appreciation for how the gospel can influence our lives from such a young age. I have also come to love each of the children in our class individually. They each have such a sweet spirit, and it is so amazing to watch their little testimonies blossom and grow. I am truly going to be sad to lose the few that are moving up to Sunbeams in January;
9. Netflix and baby gates . I know it sounds silly, but without these two amazing inventions, there would be many days when I would not even get a shower. Haha; and
10. Delicious, nourishing food to eat - especially considering the fact that there are so many in this world (and in this very country) who go without food every day. I sincerely count my blessings in the fact that I have always been able to provide this necessity for my children as well. That they have never known what it is to go hungry is something for which I am eternally grateful.
I pray that each of us will take the time to have an attitude of gratitude, praising the Lord for the blessings we are so fortunate to receive - during this Thanksgiving season, and always. After all, as President Monson has said, "We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude." ("An Attitude of Gratitude," First Presidency Message - February, 2000).