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Monday, November 1, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Part 1


Out of the Mouth of Prophets - Part 2

Dear Readers,

Today is my 100th post.  I believe I said somewhere on my blog that once you hit that number then you were an expert or something.........oops, not true.  I still hardly know anything about blogging, but I definitely know what I believe, so I'll keep sharing it with you.  I am in awe (and grateful!) that I continue to get new readers.  Hi to all of you.  I count you all among my friends.

With today being the first day of November, I thought that I would talk about President Monson's talk "The Divine Gift of Gratitude".  After reviewing the talk I have decided that I am not even going to try to cover it in one post.  For today I have picked out a couple of things to highlight and will share more in the next couple of posts.

First quote:

Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ” (see talk reference 12)
Oh yes, this is me.  I feel grateful a lot.  I know I should express gratitude to a certain person, but I put it off, and then it happens.  However, I NEVER have wrapped a present and put off giving it for so long that I never get around to giving it.  Thinking in terms of gift giving shows how much effort that showing gratitude requires.

I have been grateful this past weekend for 4 people.  These 4 people each thanked me for something.  A woman that I visit teach loves getting my cards that I mail each month (never would have guessed).  Husband expressed thanks for something specific I had done in a prayer.  A compliment was passed on to me about the Primary Program.  Someone left a comment with the word "thanks" included on my blog.  Receiving so much thanks in 2 days made me realize how little I am thanked.  Now, it's not a big deal, because I obviously go about my business regardless of whether or not  I am thanked, but wow!!! the difference that thanks makes.  It was really nice to hear.  It lifted me up and helped sustain me on this journey we call life.

It also made me think.  If I am never thanked, who else is never thanked?  Am I thanking others or making them trudge along never knowing the positive impact that they have?  Yeah, think about that. 

"A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort—at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude."
An "Attitude of Gratitude".   That line has been running through my mind ever since I heard it.  It is like a personal anthem or something for me.  Call it a mission statement, whatever.  I want to have an Attitude of Gratitude.  I want it to be natural to me so that it doesn't require "conscious effort".

In an effort to reach this goal of "learning and cultivating" this desired attitude, for my 100th post here is a list of 100 things that I am grateful for...

1. Husband  2. Husband takes out the trash  3. Daughter  4. Parents paid thousands of dollars for piano lessons  5. R.G. believed that I could teach piano lessons and lined up my first students  6. dry socks  7.  spices to season my food  8. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon  9. My grandparents have kept in close contact though we have different religious beliefs  10. The Gift of the Holy Ghost  11. P.B. is my friend  12. A. let me borrow clothes even though I wouldn't let her wear any of mine  13. a working car  14. I sang in my High School Choir  15. That my parents made me do band in addition to sing in the choir  16. peas  17. warmth from the sun  18. I could afford enough pairs of running shoes to train for running a marathon  19. all of the chauffeuring my parents did for me as a child  20. Atonement of Jesus Christ  21. People who say thank you 22.  paper towels  23. I have taken risks in my life  24. Temple Ordinances  25. I am sealed to my family for all eternity  26. hairbrushes  27. beautiful sunsets  28. crunchy leaves on the ground  29. D. C. taught me about leadership  30. I volunteered my time at an Alzheimer's care facility  31. phone calls from my brother  32. dishwashers  33. my daughter loves to sing  34. our prophet, Thomas S. Monson  35. free calls on Skype  36. rhododendrons  37. hydrangeas  38. chocolate  39. car seats  40. I can pray anytime that I want  41. Heavenly Father will always answer my prayers  42. I can read  43. I can write  44.  Husband changed all of the diapers if he was home (back when Daughter wore diapers)  45. I came in contact with G.P.'s infectious enthusiasm for life  46. Mr. D the children's librarian  47. played volleyball in junior high/ high school  48. quit volleyball my senior year for color guard  49. received scholarship money for color guard to finance my college education  50. weekly meetings with F.M.  51. my Mom  52.  my Dad  53. Joseph Smith prayed to know which church was right  54. soft sweaters  55. ability to repent and change  56. forks  57. microwaves  58. calming sound of the surf  59. family photographs  60. journal writing  61.  my big big big comfy bed  62. Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ  63. those who clean the lint out from between my toes :)  64. swings and slides at the park  65. blessings of a priesthood holder in my home  66. I tried out for the school musical on a whim and made it  67. I did 2 more musicals after that  68. siblings  69. family vacation  70. broccoli  71.ice cream  72. Husband's family  73. waking up in the country in the morning, dew on the grass, birds chirping  74. mountains  75. valleys  76. oceans  77. beef  78. the wheel  79. peanuts  80. recycling or reusing things  81. General Conference  82. opportunity to take the Sacrament weekly and renew my baptismal covenants  83. ability to voice my opinion through voting  84. fingernail clippers  85. Husband and I go on dates  86. popcorn  87. I have been able to strengthen my back and avoid pain  88. G.P. helped me to become a stronger writer  89. Mrs. A encouraged my volunteerism  90. Husband supports my dancing  91. Daughter loves to dance  92. word processing technology  93. copy machines  94. spaghetti  95. K.B. is such a generous friend to me  96. C.H. inspired me  97. I serve in the Primary  98. camping  99. washing machines  100. that I have learned how to have hope

And there could be many more things listed.  There is much to be grateful for in my life.

I love that Pres. Monson used "the divine GIFT" in the title of his address.  You mean to tell me that gratitude is a gift from Heavenly Father?  I had to think about that for awhile.  What a merciful and loving God we have.

"Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love."
There have been far too many times in my life that I have not allowed myself to feel of God's love.  I see that it is because I was being full of selfishness rather than full of gratitude.  That is a great gift.

"My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."
Touch heaven?  I would love to.  I imagine that would be like being full of Spirit all of the time, constantly heeding the Holy Ghost's counsel (because it's crystal clear with no distractions), and never doubting that God loves you because you are filled with it.  Oh yes, that is a divine gift.

God asks so little, but gives so much.

If you wish to watch this conference address by President Monson, click here.  Just find this talk (Sunday Morning Session), and watch, download, whatever you want.

What are you grateful for?  How do you show your gratitude?  What did you enjoy from this talk?  My email is lettersfromlindsay at gmail dot com.

Stay tuned for Attitude of Gratitude Part 2 coming soon!  There is so much more that I want to share.

Thankfully,
Lindsay

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