When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Cup Has Overflowed

As we start the season of Thanksgiving here in America, I am reminded of how very much I have to be thankful for.   Sometimes, life can be overwhelming, and it can be easy to overlook our many blessings because we are busy living in the moment.  Sometimes, we each need a reminder to be thankful for every good thing. 
Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings.  It is so easy to sacrifice what is most important for what we want right now.  I think that one of the reason we can be so willing to sacrifice those things which are most important, is because we start to take them for granted.  Sometimes, we need to step back and see with new eyes.  Then we can behold the abundance of every good thing with which the Lord blesses us. 

Sarah Ban Breathnach said: “Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”
How amazing is that?  We can experience heaven on earth simply by seeing and being thankful for that which is already present in our lives.   I know that I am never happier than when I acknowledge that which I already have.  It just touches your heart in so many ways to be grateful. 
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are told by the Apostle Paul, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God.”

Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. They must know how much we care.  We assume that they want the same things we want, and we take them for granted because they will always be there.  But we should never assume; we should let them know. William Shakespeare once wrote, “They do not love that do not show their love.”   We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. But we will later regret it, if those things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.
This has been a hard lesson for me in my life.  It is so easy to get involves with what other people need from me.  It is so easy to go to work, and work some more.  Bake a cake for a neighbor, babysit someone else's child, take chicken soup to someone who is sick.  And then I am too tired to give the same courtesy to my family. 
President Monson said:  "Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parentsa hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of “what if” and “if only.” Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” 
This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."
I love that quote.  I love the idea of finding joy in the journey.  I think it is never to late to try and become who we need to be.  Hopefully, it is not too late to let my family know how very much I love them.  

Remember account of the 10 lepers:
“And as [Jesus] entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
“There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.”  Luke 17:12-18

This is one of the most amazing scriptures.  I used to not understand how they could receive so great a miracle and not even come back to say thank you.  But, now, I understand better.  I can't tell you how many times I do something for someone at the Post Office or in the Ambulance and they never even think to come back and say "thanks".   It happens so seldom, that I really cherish the few people that do come in.  I know that I too am guilty of that.  The really sad part is that I usually remember to say thank you to strangers, but I struggle to remember to say it to my own family. 
Said the Lord in a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith,   D&C 59:21 
“In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.”
May we be found among those who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father. His hand truly is in all things.  Sometimes we can't see the blessings because we are so busy looking for the things we want.  If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.
Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we cherish all those that we hold dear and express our love to them in word and action.  My we fill our days with those things that matter most of all. 

I've never made a fortune and it's probably too late now

but I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow.
And as I go along life's way, I'm reaping better than I sow
I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven't got a lot of riches and sometimes the going's tough
but I've got loving ones around me and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings and the mercies He's bestowed
I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.

Oh, remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin
but all at once the dark clouds broke and sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I've hoed,
I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage when the way grows steep and rough
I'll not ask for other blessings - I'm already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads
then I'll keep drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed!!

Author Unknown

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