Grace and Gratitude Sundays are not my attempt to brag or boast about what we have and what you don't. It is simply my way of taking time to be more grateful to the Lord for all that He has given us. I hope that these series of posts bring you encouragement, and raise our spirits, and encourage all of us to be thankful for what we do have, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves about what we don't.
Preparing for this series of posts, I have been thinking about the word "gratitude" and what it really means to be grateful for the blessings in my life. There was a quote floating around Pintrest this week that summed it all up for me:
Reading The Divine Gift of Gratitude, by Thomas S. Monson, I stumbled upon the following story, an example of gratitude that Jesus Christ gives to us:
In the book of Matthew in the Bible, we have another account of gratitude, this time as an expression from the Savior. As He traveled in the wilderness for three days, more than 4,000 people followed and traveled with Him. He took compassion on them, for they may not have eaten during the entire three days. His disciples, however, questioned, “Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?” Like many of us, the disciples saw only what was lacking.
“And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And [the disciples] said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
“And [Jesus] commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”
Notice that the Savior gave thanks for what they had—and a miracle followed: “And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.” 4
I myself have not had many seasons of life that have required me to "do without", or even "make the best of it". But I have experienced times of trial, just as most of us have, instances where I wish I had more, or something different, or even a different circumstance all together. Here is another great reminder from The Divine Gift of Gratitude:
We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”
My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.
My beloved friend President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.”Let us remember to look around and give thanks for the blessings that our Heavenly Father has given us, through Christ's example, growing an attitude of gratitude.
This week I am grateful for:
- Two afternoons of sweet summer rain.
- Great friends.
- Our new camera.
- Renewed cellular service. Our cell phones mysteriously stopped working a week ago, today. They seemed to work fine everywhere but at our home. We tried everything. We updated them to the latest versions of the software via downloads from the internet. We rebooted them. We turned them off and on and back off and on again. Just as we were getting ready to call the cell provider, they started working again on Wednesday morning, and in came the voice mails, the text messages, and the missed calls. :) We still don't know what was going on, but we are thankful that we are able to use our phones again.
- Reimbursement for Kyle's Biology class. Kyle recently had to go to Japan to do service with the NAVY. This meant he was required to drop a Biology class that we had already paid for. Because he was required to drop the course due to military service, the college he was attending fully reimbursed us for the cost of the class this week.
I would love to hear how the Lord has blessed your life, and what you are grateful for this week, if you would like to share.