Friday, November 4, 2011

Grateful for Something

Years ago after visiting with a family whose mother had suddenly passed away, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for positive mental health. (Depression had ultimately taken it's toll on the lady who passed away.) It jump-started me to finally start something I had been thinking about for years, a Gratitude Journal. It sits by my bed, and at least 3-4 times a week I get something written in it.

The other day, Megan came home from school, fired up and enthused by what she had learned in one of her classes. She was thrilled to have learned that showing gratitude not only makes people happier, but can make them physically healthier too. Of course it was not new information to me, but I was happy that Megan was so eager to begin showing more gratitude in her life.

It was the perfect conversation to have had on November 1st, considering our November tradition we began in 2005. Each November we hang on our pantry doors a paper that says, "We're Thankful For..." and invite family members to write a couple of things every day of the month that they are thankful for.

Last night, Mike was rolling his eyes as I handed him a pen and nagged gently reminded him he hadn't written anything on it. As his eyes rolled back, I began to summarize one of my favorite quotes,

“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues."
President Thomas S. Monson

I am fully aware and beyond grateful for all of the blessings I have in abundance, but sometimes reality kicks in just a little. The other night after a more challenging bedtime routine with the children, Mike and I climbed into bed exhausted and frustrated and gave each other that discouraging look of 'Why are our children so disobedient?'

Knowing I needed to recognize the good in my children, I picked up my gratitude journal to make an entry. I guess I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with the whole mothering thing, because as hard as I tried, only one grateful thought came to my mind. And so I wrote it down:

"I'm grateful that my children will one day be all grown up."

Some days are like that.

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