Friday, November 30, 2007

November 30, 2007

This is my last "grateful" blog for November. I can't believe I set this goal almost a month ago and now it is the end of the month. I have written all the things I'm grateful for this month on paper and I am adding it to my journal. That way I can look at it often. I have noticed that throughout this month I have become more aware of things around me that I would have a difficult time living without, things that I totally take for granted and don't even think about most of the time. I have also become more aware of my circumstances and how lucky I am to be where I am, living with the family I have, and being a member of the true Church on the Earth. There are so many people in this world that don't have a home, or clothes, or warmth. There are people who are so oppressed that they are told what to believe, where to live, what work they can do, how many kids they can have, and what to wear. I have become more aware of how people in other countries live. I read an article in the paper this past Sunday about North Korea. The reporter told about his trip. They were told where they could go and were escorted everywhere they went. They were not allowed to talk to anyone who lived there. Every where they went they noticed that all the people had to wear buttons with Kim Jong-il's picture on them. Certain kinds of technology are not allowed there. Cell phones are illegal (the reporter's cell phone was confiscated when they got there are returned to him as they left the country), all the newspapers are filled with anti-other country (especially America) propaganda, and the few houses that have televisions or radios only get a few government run channels. People are not allowed to travel outside of the country, and they are completely cut off from the rest of the world. Every house, hotel, and building has pictures on the walls of their leader. Soldiers are allowed to enter any home at any time to make sure there are no illegal internet, or television, cell phones, etc. and to make sure the pictures are on the walls. If you are caught breaking the law, you are severely punished. I can't imagine living in a place that is so oppressive, but this is how these people were raised, and most of them don't know there is any other life. I feel for these people and I am glad that I have the freedoms I do. I feel extremely blessed that I was allowed to be born into a family that lived in America, that already had the Gospel, and that was already sealed in the Temple. Out of all the billions of people who have been on this Earth, why am I so blessed? Maybe one day I will know.

Anyway, here are my last five things for this month-

1. I am grateful for my talents. I have been blessed to be able to meet people throughout my life who have helped me discover some of my talents. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I had never met these people.

2. I am grateful for the schooling I have received. I wasn't grateful at the time, and I'll admit that I didn't take advantage of the opportunities that were given to me and for that I'm very sad. I hope to go back to school one day.

3. I am grateful for patience. I don't have a lot of it some days, and I always wish I had more, but I am grateful for what I have.

4. I am grateful for the November and the May Ensign magazines. I am blessed by the words of the living prophets that I can read over and over. I need to do more of that.

5. And finally, I am grateful for the last six weeks of the year. I get to hear Christmas carols on the radio, and there are reminders of my Savior everywhere. I think about Him many times a day during this part of the year, and I am grateful for those reminders.

Bonus: 6. I think I already mentioned this, but I am grateful that I made this goal. I have been blessed because I have kept this list and thought about my blessings. I am more grateful for the things I have now than I was at the beginning of the month. I read the blog of a lady named Lisa Bearnson ( If you don't know who she is, she is an LDS lady who lives in Highland, and she started the magazine "Creating Keepsakes". It's a scrapbook magazine. Anyway, yesterday she wrote about an activity they did for Activity Days. She is one of the leaders and they have about a dozen girls. They got some simple composition books and had the girls cover the front with their favorite patterned paper and add a piece that said "Gratitude". They put a quote in the front of the book from Henry B. Eyring and challenged the girls to write five things every night before bed that they are grateful for that day. Here is the quote-
"As you start to write, you could ask yourself, 'How did God bless me today?' If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God's hand in your life. Preserve (these memories) for the day that (you) and those you love will need to remember how much God loves (you) and how much (you) need Him."

It works, it really does. Try it. I have 151 things on my grateful list. I never thought I would be able to think of five things a day, but then I thought "It's only five things. That's not very many." It isn't very many things, but when you are counting different things everyday, they add up. If you are ever having a bad day, try thinking of all the things you have that others don't. I have realized that I don't need to think of those in Africa, or Guatemala, or North Korea. There are homeless people here in Utah, and some of my neighbors and even some of my family who really struggle every day. There are people I know who don't have a kind and gentle spouse. They have a spouse that they are afraid of.

I am so blessed!!


Kati said...

I have really enjoyed your grateful posts! I love knowing that I can check in everyday and KNOW that there would be a new post just waiting for me!!!!

sara said...

I've loved reading your posts every day, they helped me to think of all the things I was grateful for! Now that it's December- what is your theme going to be? I've loooved being able to read new posts every day- keep it up! Love you!