Month of Gratitude

gratitude-rainbowspiral1As I’ve posted different things on my blog, I’ve never made it much of a secret that I am rather negatively oriented towards life. I totally identify with the idea of my alter-ego being “Worst-Case Scenario Girl.”  I can borrow trouble from an empty account. I have frustrated friends because my life experiences have taught me to see attacks around every corner. Thankfully, living the gospel is teaching me how to heal.

A couple of months ago, as the missionaries were teaching a friend in my home, we were both challenged to begin keeping a record of the ways Heavenly Father touches and blesses my life. The challenge was given at a point when I was close to a breakdown, but I took the challenge anyway. The first records are interesting, because sometimes the only blessing I could see was that I had made it through the day without breaking down. Fortunately, the entries are much fuller and in touch with the positive realities of my life now.

During this same period, I managed to lose another friend, but regained one that I thought I had lost forever. Those experiences led me to understand that everyone has the basic human needs to feel important, significant, valued, and worthwhile. If we are fortunate, those needs are met and our worth is ingrained in us as children. For some of us, we have to do it for ourselves as adults, and it becomes our responsibility to notice when something shows us that we are significant, valuable, important, and worthwhile. As adults, we have to fill that account.

Finally, while I was in church the other day listening to testimonies being given of gratitude for blessings, the thought occurred to me that there is no blessing so big that ingratitude cannot cheapen it, and no blessing so small that gratitude cannot make it feel like a miracle.

So, these are the thoughts swirling in my head as I officially start making a record of my month of gratitude.

 Things I Am Thankful For

Here are some of the things I have found so far that tell me that I am significant, valuable, important, and worthwhile:

  • I have a fiance who is fiercely devoted to me and regularly goes above and beyond the call of his duty to get me out of the messes I make for myself.
  • I have only been teaching at my second school since August, and I’m only there one day a week. One of my third graders recently brought something from home to show me – not any other teacher at the school, ME. The recognition that my attention and approval are that important to her sent me quickly through the halls right before dismissal so that I could see what she brought. This was a totally powerful message that I matter to her, and she matters to me.
  • I have friends who have stood by me for more than a decade. They know my weaknesses and failings, and find me important and significant enough to hang in there with me anyway.
  • It is a smallish group of people, but I have several women in my church that I can turn to for support whenever I need it.
  • Through the Holy Spirit, Heavenly Father speaks to me regularly, and has asked me to contact people and work with people for Him. He trusts me enough to send me on His errands.