For as long as I can remember, I have had a grateful heart. I believe strongly that my blessings come from God. I know He is not only my God but He is also my Father in Heaven. I believe I am literally His Spirit daughter. I believe I lived with Him before I was born and I believe that I will return to live with Him after I die. I know I have to qualify for that eternal blessing by keeping His commandments and staying true to the covenants I made with Him when I received the Holy ordinances He has offered me, such as baptism and temple ordinances. It's important to me to pray every day, and not just once. In my prayers, I express gratitude for my blessings.
In reality then, I express gratitude everyday. Sometimes I express gratitude more than once. Some of the sweetest prayers I have ever had have been during quiet times when I simply enumerate countless blessings I know God has given me. Those kinds of prayers humble me because it is impossible to name everything. The list is endless. Those prayers are long and when sincere gratitude is expressed, tears always flow.
I went to the temple yesterday. I wanted some quiet time to thank God for my blessings. I like that we set aside one day each year to remember to thank Him. Although I express gratitude daily, I like that we have a season of thanks and a day of thanks and remembrance. Instead of wanting anything, Thanksgiving is a day to stop and remember God and to thank Him for His multitude of kindnesses and tender mercies.
If someone wants to know who God is, a great way to start is by closing their eyes, bowing their head, and saying thank you to Him for His blessings. If someone doesn't know where to start, they simply need to keep their eyes closed for a minute or two until an idea comes to their mind. A joy in their life such as a spouse or a child or a sunset or a job or a day in nature are all things to be grateful for. Expressing thanks to God for them is a way to know that He exists. A peace will come to that person's heart that God, their Heavenly Father, heard their prayer and acknowledges it. Joy always follows expressions of gratitude.
In our family we have a Thanksgiving tradition of expressing gratitude. One is our gratitude wall. The other is our expressions of thanks as we circle through the guests at the Thanksgiving table seven times expressing thanks for our blessings. We set out seven pop corn kernels on each plate as tally markers.
Here is today's list. The problem is I have many, many more than seven but at least I will enumerate seven as a start.
- I am thankful for my new hip which allows me to function.
- I am thankful for my missionary son who willingly serves God.
- I am thankful for the love of my life, Jim.
- I am thankful for Elisa, Sarah, Emma, Ian, and Seth. They are eternal joys.
- I am thankful for two beautiful grandchildren!!!!!!!!
- I am thankful beyond words for the scriptures...the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. They are God's word and they fill my heart with joy.
- I am thankful for God's love and mercy manifest in so many ways in my life, most particularly, the gift of His Son Jesus Christ, my Savior.