Because it's good to be inspired in the middle of the week, don't you think?
I have the opportunity each week to work with the youth of my church congregation, specifically the sixteen and seventeen year old young women. This past Sunday I taught a lesson about gratitude and used this talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf entitled, Gratitude in Any Circumstance. I love everything about this talk, but I especially like this paragraph,
Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.
At the end of my lesson I gave the girls a challenge to try and take one whole week to only express gratitude in their prayers, and not ask for anything. Of course, I also took the challenge on myself. It's been interesting so far. Yesterday was day one. I am already very much in the habit of giving thanks to my Heavenly Father on a daily basis, so that part has been easy. But I also have become aware of how much I ask for from my Heavenly Father every single day. Focusing my prayers on what I'm grateful has helped me look for the good even when "good" isn't exactly smacking me in the face. Sometime we have to look at little harder to find the blessings, especially when we're in the middle of really hard challenges. I am dead center in the middle of a very hard trial right now. It's there when I wake up, it's there when I go to sleep, and a lot of times it's even there in my dreams. But, what I've also found that's always there, is my Savior's love and my Heavenly Father's love carrying me from day to day and sometimes just minute to minute. In the middle of all this hard, I've gained a much greater sense of gratitude for all that is so very good in my life.
These are some flower pots on my back porch.
When my life went crazy five months ago, I planted these little Vincas and whispered to them,"You are my new life now. Grow and bloom and be happy"
I have never, in all the years I've been growing flowers, had more beautiful blooms then these.
Every day I talk to my flowers and thank them for growing and thank them for making me smile.
Asking God for what I need each day is something He wants me to do. I am is daughter and He loves me and knows my heart better than anyone. I also want Him to know that my heart is a heart full of gratitude. As someone once said, "My cup runneth over, and it is messy!". Isn't that just life, the good and the bad, and all the crazy that comes with it. Each day I want to be able to not only be thankful for things, but just be thankful to be on this journey itself and all that it encompasses.
Like these little flowers.
They remind me each and every morning
and be happy.
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