Thoughts on Gratitude

I feel like that title needs to be followed up with a fa la la la la, la la la la… but that would be meshing Holidays:-) I have been thinking about gratitude a lot lately (shocking this time of year).  I just finished reading the second novel in a series.  It is pretty much a clean chick flick via paper back.  The main female character in the stories goes through several trials throughout the book.  As she is faced with each new challenge in life she remembers all she has been blessed with and chooses to focus on all the good in her life instead of the comparatively few problems she is working through.  I was constantly amazed by the example this fictional character showed me:-)

While it may be easier to have a positive attitude in the face of trials on paper, we all know someone similar to this character.  I doubt my mom remembers this conversation, but I do.  Sometime in high school I asked her how she managed to stay so positive when she had had health problem after health problem.  Her response was, “I would rather have a hundred things that don’t kill me than one thing that does.”  She taught me a great lesson that day.  She taught me in moments of difficulty or trial to look for the light in the situation.  I will be the first to admit that this is still something I am working on, but the examples of others in my life and even those of a fictional character help me strive for that ideal.    IMG_9003_2I know that our lives are not perfect.  We all have moments that feel like life is bearing down and threatening to crush us, but hopefully these experiences do not make the majority of our lives.  Every day there are so many blessings placed in our way that are ours for the taking.  The elderly man standing behind you in the grocery store on a day when you feel frazzled that tells you that you have a nice smile, a random warm day in the fall, the hug of a child, the sound of laughter, good health, a call with a loved one.  The list could go on and on.  We are so richly blessed.DSCN1667After dinner yesterday most of the adults gathered and we each shared a few things we are grateful for.  I love making gratitude lists; it is a quirky hobby of mine.  It helps me get a clearer vision of my life and always puts a smile on my face.  So I was happy to have another opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful things in my life and choose what I wanted to share.  I am grateful every day that I have a comfortable home to live in.  Especially as winter inches closer I think of all those who don’t share that blessing and my heart aches for them.  I am grateful for my incredible family and friends.  I have a kind, supportive and loving husband.  I have been insanely blessed with the family I was born into, married into and the families I consider myself to have been adopted into.  I look up to the amazing examples that surround me and I am grateful to learn from how they live their lives.  I am grateful for a personal relationship with my Father in Heaven.  I know He knows me and He loves me despite all my shortcomings.  I am grateful that He sacrificed His son so that we could all have the opportunity to live with Him again.IMG_9025I started this blog opening up about my insecurities, mostly insecurities in regard to body image and how I view myself.  We all have insecurities we have to overcome and I have found that one method to helps us keep a truer perspective is to count our blessings.  If body image is something you struggle with than focus on all your physical blessings.  Be grateful for all the things your body allows you to do instead of the physical goals you haven’t achieved.  For others their insecurity could be making crafts, public speaking, or social discomforts.  In those cases, focus on all the things that you are good at and all the areas where you excel.  We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses.  It helps keep life balanced and it forces us to constantly strive to better ourselves.1463127_10151989294828556_585903948_nI have a goal.  I want to be more like my mom and the character from the book I read.  I don’t expect to conquer this overnight, but rather to slowly change my ways and learn to focus on the abundance of good in my life instead of dwelling on the negative aspects.  I want to remember to think of all that I have been given instead of what I lack.  I know I will fall short of this several times before getting it right, but I hope to improve a little every time.

I think that wraps up my thoughts on gratitude for the day.  I included pictures of just a small sampling of the blessings I am grateful for to help bring them to life:-)  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I will be back Monday… with a new theme:-) I can’t believe December is only two days away.  How time flies!

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