"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.
No Americans have been more impoverished than these who,
nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." ~H.U. Westermayer
So many things this week that fill my heart and soul with gratefulness. I am minded that we each have difficulties. Some are seen, some are unseen. No matter what those around us believe, we each have trials that strengthen and help us grow. Yet, no matter what trials I am in the midst of, I still find so many things to be grateful for in my life.
I have learned that gratitude is a positive experience. It comes from recognizing our blessings and feeling thankful for them. It is also an attitude. It affects our perceptions of the things around us.
Once, many years ago, I injured my knee in a skiing accident. After being on crutches for a couple of months, I was finally put in a leg brace and allowed to return to work. During my first week at work, I was attacked by a dog and injured my knee even worse than before. I was devastated.
My family depended on me to be able to work and pay the bills. There was no one else that I could turn to for help. I was discouraged and depressed. I saw my situation as hopeless.
One day, someone reminded me that, although things had gone wrong in my life, I still had much to be grateful for. Just because I couldn't see past that one injury did not mean that I was forgotten. I spent many months on crutches before I was finally able to have surgery. The work that I did sitting, ended up being the experience I needed later and was largely responsible for the promotions that I received.
Changing my own attitude made doing new things a joy instead of a drudgery. I learned to recognize that opportunities often look like difficulties before they are resolved. I learned that blessings always come from adversities, although we don't always see them until much later in our lives. The Lord never leaves us alone. He really is there and knows what we need to get through.
I learned to appreciate the blessings of service given by others. I learned to receive priesthood blessings and to follow the council that I heard. I learned to ask when I needed something and not just expect others to see. I felt a great dependence on my Heavenly Father and learned to seek His help for all my challenges. I truly learned in a very personal way, the meaning of one of my favorite songs by Michael McLean:
You're not alone, even though right now you're on your own
You are loved in ways that can't be shown, your needs are known
You're not alone.
And when you cry you're just letting go a heartache deep inside
So tomorrow there'll be sunshine and sky and love close by
You're not alone.
Well I know that it's not easy, but I know that it won't last
Cause one who loves you more than me
is sending blessings fast.
You're not alone.....Say it one more time, "I'm not alone"
And even when it's hard to find the words
Your prayers are always heard
Your're not alone.
President Thomas S. Monson spoke of the power of when he stated,
“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of ." Thomas S. Monson, “An Attitude of Gratitude,” and Feb. 2000, 2.So, what are you feeling grateful for today.