Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just woke up to the sounds of a traditional family Thanksgiving. Sounds of feet scurrying, family talking in the kitchen, cousins playing the piano, the TV blaring... I'm excited to go join the chaos fun. The day is going to be filled with lots of family. We will cook, and talk, and laugh. I'm sure it will be a good time. But before it all starts, I want to make a list of some of my biggest blessings. The two biggest being my family and the gospel.

Family: These are the people I love the most. They are the ones I share the most memories with. The parents: They taught me what real love is. They support me. They respect me. They listen to me. They are the people that taught me everything I need to know... and more :) They are the ones that I can count on no matter what, and I love them for it. The siblings and their spouses: my siblings have been with me from the very beginning. They have seen me at my best, and they have pushed me to my worst. They have watched me go through every stage of life, awkward years and all. Individually, each one of them has played a very important role in my life. Logan danced with me on Christmas morning one year. I think I will probably always remember that. Griffin taught me how to throw a football in our backyard. I owe all my football skills to him. While we were in Nauvoo, Haley led me through poison ivy which led me to get impetigo and caused me to essentially have the worst week of my life :) She is also one of my favorite people to talk to in this world. Allison was my partner in crime on the one and only day I've ever been grounded. We sat in our room together for a long time. I don't remember it being much of a punishment. In recent years, their spouses have added a lot to our family and I am thankful for each of them. Rachel took me to my favorite place to eat for lunch one day. I've always thought that was so nice of her to do. She is one of the most thoughtful people I know. Matt talked to me at the end of a very bad day. I was an absolute emotional wreck, and he just calmly talked to me. He probably wasn't completely aware at the time, but he said all the right things in all the right ways. I still think about that conversation all the time. Last summer when I was in Oklahoma, everyone went out swimming except for me and Ash. We stayed home and she talked to me about life-- school, careers, marriage, and the gospel. I loved hearing her insights and stories. This is also a conversation that I think about often. I also loved snowboarding with her last Christmas :) The rest of them: Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. I am a very lucky girl to say that I know and care for each of these people. Each one of them is a part of my life. I love talking to me aunts. My cousins are my best friends, and my grandparents are the best examples I could ever hope for. Bottom line--I have been richly blessed with a good family. I love them more than anything.
The gospel: Last night I slept on the futon. It was alright until 2:59 when my eyes popped open and wouldn't close again. I had a kink in my neck and my cat was taking up way more than her fair share of space. Eventually, I gave up on trying to sleep, and my mind began to wander. It drifted from one thing to the next until it stopped at the gospel. How lucky I am to have it in my life! I thought for a long time about everything the gospel has given me. As I laid there I realized how grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation and for the knowledge and peace it brings me. I am so thankful for the Atonement. I realized, in that quiet time of the night that, as weak as my testimony may feel and seem sometimes, the gospel is something that I will never doubt. I will never deny what I know. The gospel is something that is literally a part of me. I am so thankful for the strength and perspective that it brings to my life.

In addition to these two major blessings, I am also thankful for my education. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for service, and for seasons. I am thankful for my home. It is a warm, safe place where I can express myself, and the only place where I can burp whenever I want :) I am thankful for little things that get overlooked, like measuring cups. What would we do without them? I am thankful for the scriptures, the temple, and a prophet. I am thankful for cars, computers, and mirrors. I am thankful for holidays. I am thankful for the beauty of nature. I am thankful for modern medicine and medical advances. I am thankful for my good health and the good health of my family members. The list could go on and on. And on and on and on.

So how do I show my gratitude? I feel like it isn't enough just to say, "I'm thankful for (fill in the blank.) A few months ago in my journal I wrote,

"I am among the most privileged in every sense of the word: physically, financially, spiritually, academically. I have been given so much and all I can think is, "Why me?" or "How did I get so lucky?" . . . No matter how hard I think about the "whys," I am left with no answer that satisfies me. The only thing I can think is that I am so blessed and so thankful that I have a desire to serve. A desire to share what I have. A desire to share what I know . . . I know that a wonderful way to show gratitude . . . is to serve those around you-- to freely and generously give."

So, this Thanksgiving I want to do more than make a list. This Thanksgiving I want to show my gratitude through my attitude.

Now go eat!
Laugh a lot and be thankful for today! 
Until next time,
so long  

1 comment:

  1. awwwwww...emotional. You are an excellent writer and an excellent human being and I am lucky to be the sister that lead you through poison ivy. I love you.