Blessings. If we take the time to really ponder on our blessed lives, to truly count each one, I think we would be surprised at how blessed we truly are.
I've been thinking about how blessed we are recently. Not because Thanksgiving is coming. Not because Christmas is around the corner. I've been thinking about it because life has been really hard lately. That's not so say that others don't have it much more difficult than we do. There are many with harder, more testing trials than I have right now. But life can be tough. And when it is tough it seems that we are more humble, maybe, and more aware of the little blessings that are constantly pouring down on us from Heaven.
I listened to a wonderful speaker recently who spoke of blessings. Some of his words have really stayed with me. (You can find the full talk here.)
"Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true.8 By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.”9
True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will."
There have been many times when it would have been easier to simply be angry. Angry with everyone and everything. Angry at the world. But I learned that I would never find happiness unless I found a way to be happy in any circumstance. There are still times when it's difficult. Living in Texas for a year was a very trying time for us. At the same time, we can see many blessings that came from it.
"Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us.
His commandments are the loving instructions and the divine help for us to close the umbrella so we can receive the shower of heavenly blessings." Dieter F Uctdorf's talk.
Yesterday I was pondering the many blessings in our lives right now. Our 15 year old son shot his first deer. It was an exciting afternoon in our house.
But first I need to tell the back story. The boys and my husband got up at 6 am and got ready to hunt. It was raining out so they had to postpone until the rain stopped. The boys finished chores and asked permission to get out their laptops to play a game. I gave permission before realizing that the rain had stopped and they could finally go out. When I realized the rain had stopped and their Papa was ready to take them and their dad out hunting I told them they needed to put the laptops away. They were angry. They fought with me and were grumpy because they had to quit their game. I promised them that if they changed their attitude and went out hunting they could play their game when they got home. But if they chose to stay home they could sit on their beds and be grumpy. They chose to go. And they are so thankful they did!
Not only was it a thrill, a rush, an awesome experience...it is a blessing. Our son just provided more meat for our family for the winter. He learned that he CAN in fact sit quietly and wait and watch and hit his target. He is so happy.
Even though life is tough at times we need to remember that Heavenly Father is watching over us. He WANTS us to be happy. He is blessing us. As we strive to be good people and follow Him, He will continue to bless us.