Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Every day I make mistakes. Sometimes I make really big ones; mistakes spanning years and causing heartache that is not often forgiven. Sometimes I make small ones --easily rectified, easily changed and they give me educational experience. Quite often, I find myself frustrated and angry with my inability to stop making mistakes. I berate myself because I can't pull out of a depression funk, I overreact emotionally to others' mistakes, I yell at my children, and as I get older my mistakes never seem to end. I say rude things. I put myself before others. I assume the worst in people. I expect perfection out of others while I expect others to show compassion to me. I neglect my home and family; I neglect the scriptures and prayer. I focus on my despair and I wish away the ones I love most.
How is this possible? How is this fair? Why haven't I figured it out, yet? Why do I keep messing up? Why can't I just be perfect already!? (See all that "self" talk going on? Yeah, it's awful!)
Then I remember I am grateful for my mistakes. I'm grateful for my weaknesses:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I'm grateful I chose to be given a broken body so I can mess up over and over again. I'm grateful for my mortality because with it comes the chance for immortality. I'm grateful for my weaknesses because I know if I turn them over to the Lord, He will help me overcome them and become stronger. Does this make it easier? Yes, actually, it does. Does this mean my weaknesses will go away? No, it doesn't. Behind every weakness-turned-strength there is another weakness waiting to be put through the fire. I am human; I am mortal. I will always make mistakes. And you know what? It's exhausting! But today, I am grateful for the exhaustion, because it means I have so much more to learn; with all of the learning, I'm bound to figure it out eventually. I mean, I've already learned how to be grateful, right? That's progress!
Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.
This week I am grateful for:
*My husband, who forgives so easily.
*My children, who love me in spite of me.
*The Gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives me knowledge of who I am, why I'm here, and where I'm going.
*My parents, who gave me the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
*My siblings, who do love me in spite of their many protests (ha!).
*The written word, in many forms, which gives me greater wisdom and insight.
*Music, which heals my pain and gives me indescribable joy!
*My friends, who always know just what to say to lift me up and help me face another day.
*You, dear reader, who validates my reason for writing.
*My Lord and Savior, my Father in Heaven, and the Holy Ghost, for without Them, I would definitely, completely, and utterly fail.
And so I say Thank You!
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
What are you grateful for, dear reader?