Friday, November 18, 2011


It's so interesting the things we're thankful for at different times in our lives. I remember being eternally grateful for nap time and bedtime. I remember being grateful for the energy to run up and down three flights of stairs all day long doing laundry and housework. My 4 year old daughter finally sat down on the stairs and said, "Mommy, can't we just sit down for a few minutes? My legs are tired." When I said she didn't have to come with me on all those trips, she reminded me that she wanted to be with me---all day long. Not just sometime.
I remember feeling gratitude for phone calls in the middle of the night telling me my husband had landed safely in some far part of the world. And I remember crying with gratitude when I finally received letters from my missionary son (after six weeks of not hearing from him) telling me that he had been sent into a new area to open a district, and oh, by the way, it was actually head-hunter country in the heart of Venezuela, but don't worry, Mom. I'll be fine.
I'm making a Shutterfly book of our tiny son who only lived 14 short months and I remembered today for the first time in ages (funny how we put painful memories out of our minds as much as possible) feeling a sense of relief and gratitude when the Lord took him home so he didn't have to suffer anymore, didn't have to have tubes sticking out of his frail little body, then feeling guilty about those feelings.
The Thanksgiving we spent in Armenia was frigid. My gratitude knew no bounds for the small space heater we could afford to have in our little apartment. We moved it from room to room - from our kitchen to our office to our bedroom. Our electric bill was more than all the other residents in our entire building put together because we were Americans with money. They had no employment, little opportunity at the time to make enough money for luxuries like that. Most of them had a wood burning stove they set up in their living room, piped the smoke out a window, and used whatever wood they could scrounge for heat. A war with a neighboring country resulted in their gas being cut off and that had been their major source of heat. Their electricity had been cut off so people just went to bed when it got dark. Some had to walk up 14 flights of stairs in the dark - no windows in the old Soviet Style apartments. I was grateful we arrived after the nuclear power plant was repaired and we at least had electricity! We had hot water for a shower because the Church had installed a tank above the shower which we could fill when the water was on from 5 - 7 a.m. We had to fill all our pitchers and containers during those hours to have water during the day.
I'm so grateful for the experiences and adventures we had in Armenia. Everyone in America should have that opportunity so they will truly appreciate what an incredible country we live in and how magnificently blessed we are.
And what am I grateful for today? For my children who are raising their children in the gospel and are upstanding citizens. Every mother prays for that. I know how blessed I am. And I still pray for one errant daughter that she will return to the flock. I'm grateful for health and strength and energy to fulfill my callings - and for those callings that keep me working on talents that might otherwise gather dust and be lost. And even those that take me out of my comfort zone! :)
I'm grateful for a husband who has loved me for 55 years and put up with me for 53 years of marriage. He is my best friend.
The blessings of belonging to the Church simply can't be calculated; they are far too numerous, but I'm thankful for a Father in Heaven who loves me, who knows me, who needs me to do His work, and helps me do it.
Every Thanksgiving we play a little game. I type the letters that make up the word Thanksgiving and run them down the page leaving a line for everyone to write on, and I print up one for everyone. They all get to tell what they are thankful for that begins with that letter. I can't wait to do it again this year because I have so many new blessings that I didn't have last year and it's very important to count them and acknowledge them, every one. And not the least of these will be all the technology that allows us to do things like this to stay connected!

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

It's wonderful to contemplate the blessings in our lives. I suppose that's part of why I enjoy this time of year, and why I resent how the world seems to jump from Halloween straight into Christmas. Like you, I think it's a needful thing to take time out to count our blessings and express gratitude for each one.