Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude - turns what we have into enough...

A few months ago we had a small, tender mercy that I have thought about over and over again.  As I sat in Sacrament Meeting today and listened to a friend's sweet talk on gratitude I remembered my little experience and wanted to document it and share it with people I love.

We were driving down the road one morning.  I think we were headed to church....normally this involves me frantically putting my makeup on in the car, the kids fighting about whether or not we had brought crayons to draw with at church, and general feelings of mayhem.  But in the midst of that it was quiet and calm for a moment and Gabe said, "Mom, Dad?  I just wanted to say thanks for taking us to a movie this weekend."

That was it - he just wanted to say THANKS.

He didn't want to express gratitude in hopes for something more.  He wasn't saying thanks so that I'd remember how fun it was and take him to another movie right away - he simply wanted to express gratitude - nothing more.  It made my heart fill with love for my children.  I'm sure it wasn't something he remembers doing and my husband says he doesn't remember it even happening, but it was a big moment for me.  My child was recognizing the value of expressing thanks for something.  It made me want to express gratitude more, and it made his simple expression of gratitude mean even more to me.

It made me think of my own expression of gratitude to my Heavenly Father.  How often do I pause to just say thank you?  How often do I not think about other things I could ask for, but simply tell Him I'm grateful for all He has richly blessed me with?  My prayers do involve gratitude - but all together too often that expression of gratitude is then followed with a list of things I also "need" or "want".  Most of the time I'm asking for good things, and frequently I'm even asking for things for other people - but inevitably my prayers are asking for things.

It made me think about how my Heavenly Father would feel if my prayers occasionally were only prayers of gratitude?  It made me want to spend more time in communication with my Heavenly Father and telling Him thank-you for the people He's placed in my life, the work we've had, the callings He has blessed me with, the physical blessings I've been given.  It made me want to acknowledge His hand in every aspect of my life.

So I encourage you to go and read this talk on gratitude by my sweet friend. During this spirit of Thanksgiving please have an "attitude of gratitude" and let the peace that can come from expressing that gratitude fill your lives, your homes and your heart.  I know I am so richly blessed and I hope I can adequately express my appreciation for that to my Heavenly Father.

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