Sunday, December 30, 2012

A grateful heart, and it's written down!

Can I ever be grateful enough?

My mother was one of the most influential people in my life.  She taught me to appreciate all the parts of my life - both the good and the not-so-good.  She was not a despondent person, and I never once saw her depressed.

One thing she emphasized to me a lot was the attitude of being grateful.  She said that if I whined about things too much, the Lord just might give me something to whine about.  She had learned this from her parents, who learned it from their parents, who learned it from...

Because of her good example, I have tried to be grateful for all things in my life.  I am thankful for the good times, when life has been a bit flush and is going smoothly.  But, I am also thankful for the trials that have come into my life.  They have taught me to appreciate the good times.  And, there is usually a lesson to be learned.

A few years ago, my sister gave me a small, skinny, spiral-bound blank book.  It was cute, but I didn't really know what I was going to do with it.  Then, one day it dawned on me what it would be perfect for - a gratitude journal!
It took me two years to fill it up, for I would do it during the passing of the sacrament (communion) at church.  It was a perfect time to reflect on just how much the Lord has done for me in my life.

Some of the things that are included may seem a bit odd when first looking through it.  There are the normal things, like family, grandchildren, home, husband, parents, etc.

But then, I stretch it out to include things that we may take for granted.  In the words of a very wise man:  "Sometimes the things we take for granted are the things other people are praying for."
These have grown to include:  good dental care, tears, my five senses, technology, windshields, hair, etc.  The list goes on and on.

I could fill volumes with the things I am thankful for.  And, I intend to do just that.  I want my posterity to see and notice those things that their grandmother did not take for granted.

And, it's in my own handwriting.  It would be much easier and much faster to do such a volume on the computer, but I want them to know what my handwriting looked like.  I would give anything to see what some of my ancestors' handwriting looked like.

So, 2012 is coming to a close, and so is my fourth Gratitude Journal.  Next week, I'll begin a new one with a whole new list of things to record.

And, it will be different than all of the previous ones.  The older we get, the more of a reverence we have for life...including our own.

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