Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gratitude 101

100 things

Our stake president recently challenged the members of the high council to list 100 things they were thankful for each day for 10 days. Some of them (and the wife of one) have talked about what an extraordinary experience it has been for them. Care to join me?

1. nightfall
2. shadows of bare tree branches
3. generous and genuine hugs and snuggles from K~
4. how L~ asked me to cut her hair last night (huge show of trust) and really liked it
5. how even though I haven't cut hair for a decade I managed to do a decent job and I liked it, too
6, 7, 8. L~'s passion, energy and openness
9. the hope implied an inherent in each new day
10. Sandy Olsen's loving phone call last night when she heard about Shane
11. The promise of prayers--more now from the Olsen's and from Sandy's mother who, apparently has faith to make things happen (those are the kind of people you want on your side when tragedy strikes for sure!)
12. kids who make a greater effort (on most days) to do better: go to bed early (L~), get up and be to early morning seminary on time (Z~)
13. how K~ wanted to teach FHE last night and did so
14. that for once I was smart enough to help him w/ the funky way they do math these days
15. seeing the return of one of my work friends after his recovery from a vicious attack
16. having a work environment that feels like family
17. words
18. having my brother who doesn't call much, call me Sunday
19. knowing how much he meant it when he said he wishes he were here to give me a big hug
20. the prayers of the children
21. modern medicine
22. living in a place where a miracle like the Huntsman Institute can be created, exist and thrive
23. warmth of central heating
24. knocking several bills off my to-pay list
25. having simple hope that things will work out (the bills)
26. having simple hope that we will be able to manage (the bills)
27. the very real blessings that come from having a missionary out serving the Lord
28. fine, I'll list some: the good spirit that prevails (most of the time--more than before) in your home
29. the feeling of peace you have
30. the fact that you don't worry--you really don't--because you know God and angels--both of earth and of heaven--attend him
31. the blessing that come from praying so much more for the missionaries
32. learning that you've been bearing witness, testimony, to his companions mother this whole time believe she too was a member when in fact she is not
33. feeling good about the way you've been bearing witness and testimony because your son has been challenging you to have missionary experiences and you realize that in some small way here you have
34. bearing witness and testimony in general--it feels good to be a witness for the good and truth you see in your life
35. the beauty of the earth, specifically:
36. the sound of rain
37. the feel of rain
38. the scent of rain
39. the thought of rain filling up reservoirs and quenching thirst, both literally and
40. I don't know the word, somehow spiritually and emotionally, too
41. knowing how the rain will make the flowers grow
42. hearing the haunting melody of the that song (Eponine's song--Les Mis) as I wrote those words "the rain will make the flowers grow"
43. falling snow
44. the way the snow blankets the earth
45. the promise of the water within the snow
46. the way the snow muffles sound and brings peace and quiet to your world, your life
47. watching kids play in the snow
48. snow angels
49. the feeling I had looking at all the pictures people have posted on Facebook of their families playing in the snow
50. especially b.'s family having fun together sledding on mattress
51. the morning
52. watching the day break
53. seeing the lights turn on slowly, one by one, in the houses dotting my street
54. imagining the warming houses as the heat turns on and the hustle and bustle as families wake and prepare for their day
55. the gift of another day
56. watching shadows fall away
57. appreciating the beauty of those shadows
58. but also embracing the light
59. the fact that there are different shades, tones, colors and nuances in the light
60. being able to pray sincerely for people who wound me
61. being able to hope I can love and serve them better even though they bring pain into my life
62. I guess just the hope that I can be a better person
63. and try/learn to not be as selfish
64. and instead be more generous
65. and that hurt will heal
66. and I can overcome
67. and maybe rise above
68. and hopefully bless the people who hurt me
69. hoping I can do that in a sincere and meaningful way
70. quiet
71. thinking
72. feeling
73. being aware
74. and in some ways oblivious
75. being an "in the moment" kind of gal
76. at least mostly anyway
77. trust
78. I trust God
79. realizing that isn't something that comes easily to people, but knowing I do
80. and appreciating the way it lessens my fear
81. and my worries
82. the fact that though I am a bit crazy, I am less so because of some combination of #75 and #77 above
83. being OK w/ my own level of craziness (at least on most days)
84. that darn cat
85. and loving how it has worked its way into our hearts (even though we are allergic)
86. that so far it hasn't eaten our bird (although yesterday it tried)
87. leftovers
88. hand-me-downs that more often than coincidence would allow end up being the right thing at the right time
89. my husband (this is the introduction--I want to do a full one hundred on each of my family members)
90. being reminded of the difference he makes in the lives of others (OK, more later)
91. Tuesday
92. and how I know it leads into Wednesday--which is the day of missionary mail
93. and how waiting on Tuesday
94. and receiving on Wednesday gets me halfway through the week
95. the way the moon sometimes shines through the branches of the tree outside my west bedroom window and draws beautiful and mysterious shadows on my bed
96. and the walls of my room
97. and my awareness of the beauty in that
98. having a flex spend account
99. knowing we upped the withholding for it this year
100. knowing I can do what it takes to appeal denied insurance claims when I need to
101. being an extra-mile kind of girl when it comes to counting blessings

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