Friday, November 23, 2012

Another year older

This week I had my 31st birthday and there's something about a birthday that seems to make me gloomy all day.  I'm not sure why.  I love getting older and I love this stage in life but all day I struggled with a vague, non-specific feeling of discouragement.  As I tried to grasp onto any sort of optimism for the day, I read a friend's expression of gratitude for the challenges in her life because of the beauty she had learned to discover in life because of those trials.   As common as this might be to hear people say, it takes on a deeper meaning when we understand who the statement is coming from.  This came from a mother of several young children who's world was unexpectedly and completely turned upside down in a shocking and cruel twist of fate.  Yet even through the unimaginable nature of her trials, she has blossomed from a sweet and wonderful woman into a woman of unprecedented optimism and strength.

With the Thanksgiving season upon us, I wanted my list of things I am grateful for to be a little different this year.  So in honor of my friend's example, here they are:

-I am grateful for the tight budget we have to live on because it means we get to share that budget with four of God's sweetest children.

-I am grateful for the three times Lauren spilled milk at lunch the other day because it means I had enough milk in the refrigerator to refill her cup each time.

-I am grateful for the loud and obnoxious nature of the presidential elections because it means people can speak openly without fear of incarceration or death.

-I am grateful for this cold, blustery day because I know summer will only be all the sweeter.

-I am grateful for the weekends and evenings we spend without my husband because it almost always means he is busy doing service for someone somewhere.

-I am grateful for the monotony and tediousness I sometimes feel as a stay-at-home mom because I would take it any day over working outside the home.

-I am grateful for the many bitter regrets I have about my past because of the motivation they give me to try to improve on myself.

-I am grateful for the times I have felt hurt or betrayed because it has opened my eyes to how it feels when I have done the same to others.

-I am grateful for the post-baby funk I fell into after Calista was born because of the much needed soul searching I had to do to climb out of it.

-I am grateful for bedtime because life invariably looks brighter in the morning.


Cher said...

really cool perspective. love this

Nashina and Nate Jagielski said...

This is so great. Perspective plays the biggest part in the way we get through our trials. You are amazing for coming up with these reasons, how inspiring. I am going to try and do this same thing with my challenges. I love this post. Especially the 3 cups of spilled milk, and grateful you had enough! thats priceless. Now if only I could look at things this way, my house would run a whole lot smoother. I have been reading and absorbing President Monson's talk "An Attitude of Gratitude". It is so solid. What pure inspiration from above. i'll leave ya with a scripture and a few quotes that I love concerning gratitude:

In 1st Nephi 18:16 Nephi states “I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions”

"Thinking of things we are grateful for is a healing balm. It helps us get outside ourselves. It changes the focus from our pains and our trials to the abundance of this beautiful world we live in." -Joseph B. Wirthlin

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”- Denis Waitley

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”- John Milton

(ps I did a talk the sunday after thanksgiving and it was on gratitude ;) )

Rita said...

Those are great quotes! Thanks for sharing!

Me said...

I often cry or am returned to my grounded home within when I read your posts. Such was the case with this one. My feet landed on the ground. Your truth triggered a strong truth-response in my body. It gave me balm for a current situation. Thanks again for your free gift of writing. Percy