Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Day of Gratitude

This post is in response to the challenge* to arbitrarily choose one day to focus on being grateful. You all probably had the annual "gratitude" talks in sacrament meeting today, just as we did. Gratitude is something that we should cultivate daily, but it doesn't hurt to practice emphasizing it for one day. In fact, it probably helps. Maybe I should try this exercise on a monthly basis for 2014. That sounds like a good goal.

Anyway, I wrote the days of the week on little pieces of paper, folded them up, mixed them up, and picked one. Monday, November 18th was the winner. So, here are some of the things I decided I was grateful for last Monday:
  • a working alarm clock
  • hot water
  • the habit of wiping down the glass shower door after each use so it's staying spot-free
  • the answering machine which took a message from our son after we had gone to bed
  • a new blog-post from a daughter-in-law
  • that the next conference talk in my rotation of daily reading dealt directly with a concern for that day
  • a beautiful full moon
  • that the young men fulfilled their duty to set up the seminary room after the last block
  • that the Spirit was present during class
  • guidance to make small changes to lesson plan
  • that my class now knows what "impart of your substance" means
  • a student's prayer to be good examples at school
  • that my scriptures weren't lost or misplaced (as I tried to help someone look for theirs)
  • for our beautiful world
    that beautiful full moon at 5:30 AM, the view down our street and from our balcony
  • routines
  • that Monday is "laundry day"
  • that I can just push a button and machines start working, making daily jobs quite easy
  • that doing laundry reminds me of temple covenants
  • resources for preparing lessons
  • opportunities to serve and help others grow
  • a reminder that past inconveniences help me appreciate little things now
  • like multiple butter dishes so I can replace the butter without washing the dish
  • like the hook to keep the cord for the blinds from falling into the sink
  • kitchen gadgets like the knife sharpener and the Cutco vegetable peeler
  • the memory of lessons learned by the son who sold Cutco for a summer
  • that I was taught to be frugal (which includes washing out and re-using ziploc bags)
  • gifts that are used often 
  • china from my in-laws
  • pots and pans and the kitchen mat from my children
more memories of the kids - their service in repainting the house, FHE lesson after mission which came in handy while preparing seminary lesson, boxes of memorabilia to sort (the week's project)
  • the computer and the ability to pull up old reports, send messages to people, and find recipe ideas for dinner, along with many other things
  • especially the weekly email from our missionary son
  • a menu plan that can be adapted according to my wishes
  • air conditioning in November
  • a car that works so that I don't have to walk everywhere
  • a garage door opener that works so I don't have to get out of the car to close it
  • an auto repair shop that I can trust
  • someone else milking the cow so I can just buy the carton at the store
  • a stocked refrigerator and pantry which makes meal preparation quite enjoyable
  • traffic laws and signs
  • the ability to trust people to obey them (and knowledge that if they don't I can still be protected)
  • ability to play the piano
  • Christmas cards and letters from friends
  • finally being able to cross something off the to-do list
  • reminders throughout the day of my loving husband and the things he's done to make my life easier
  • a shiny faucet that turns without difficulty (I had to wrestle with the one that came with the house - replacing it was at the top of our original to-do list!)
  • door handles I can open with one finger or elbow when my hands are filled with grocery sacks
  • parking bumpers in the garage so I don't have to worry about running into the wall
  • progress being made on the linen closet remodeling job
  • knowledge that I don't have to season the soup because he'll willingly add spices until it tastes better than I could ever make it

  • our weekly habit of FHE
  • advice from living prophets
  • a big tv and comfortable couch to make listening to their words even more enjoyable
So, those are just some of the things I jotted down last week. I truly do have many things for which to be grateful. As I prepared another seminary lesson later, this time on gratitude and counting our blessings, I was struck by the example we receive from President Monson. In his closing remarks at the latest general conference, at least half of them were directed toward expressing gratitude. After mentioning the thing for which he was grateful, he added an additional statement telling why. Isn't that a great pattern for us to follow? I hope I can do better at that in the future. 

*Here's the original challenge which is also a blog hop. Have fun seeing what other people chose to be thankful for!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanksgiving Acrostics

One of this week's projects has been to go through the boxes of kids' memorabilia. In doing so I came across two timely pieces of creative writing.

Table, Tom
Ham, Happy
Nuts, Nice
Kids, Kitchen
Singing, Salads
Giving, Group
Indians, Ideal
Gravy, Gifts

by Jeffrey (age 8)

George Washington

by David (age 9)

If you were writing a Thanksgiving acrostic poem this year, what would it include?