How easy is it, to look around us at others, and wish that we had their lives, their things, their family? How easy is it to want to keep up with the Jones's or the Smith's or the Miller's? How easy is it to look at what we have, not see it or use it, and want even more. We live in a throw away society today. A place where, when something isn't perfect, we just throw it away and get another one. We put it on plastic, and use next month to have to pay for what we want today. We forget to be thankful for that which we already have.
I am as guilty of this as anyone else. Last night for instance, I looked around my house and it was so messy! Sometimes it seems impossible for me to do everything that needs doing. I don't even know where to start. And the thing that I want most right this minute is a housekeeper! Someone to help me change my life with cleanliness and order. Alas, that is not in the budget for us. But I am learning that I can change things a little at a time. I can start with one thing, and move on from there. So this week, we are starting on the living room. That is the first place I see when I walk in the door. Peace does not live in my home. But this week, it is going to visit, one small step at a time.
As I read that first quote, I realized that we can't just sit and wait for the grass to be green. (Especially in Arizona). This lesson has been a real part of my life. I have had yards that were nothing but hard, baked, heated, dusty earth. In Arizona, if you want to have green grass, you have to plan for it, plant seeds, fertilize it and water it. The grass does not grow here without water and we don't get enough of our own to make it grow naturally, so we use sprinklers. We put the water on timers, and water every day. This helps the grass to grow and cuts down on the dust that seems to permiate everywhere here.
When I moved up to the mountains, we have pine trees everywhere, and absolutely no grass. I can't say that I am often disappointed, although, I do miss having it in the yard for the kids to play on. However, I know that if I want grass, I have to be willing to go through the work to have it.
I have decided that a thankful heart is much like growing grass. If I want a thankful heart, I have to be willing to cultivate it and work for it. I have to be willing to acknowledge the gifts that I have already been given. If I want to see the blessings that I have been given, then I have to learn to first express that gratitude. I love the saying,
"Gratitude that is unexpressed is just plain,
So, won't you join me in expressing the things you are grateful for during this thanksgiving. I don't think it matters how many things, so long as you focus every day on those things that you are most grateful for. I am going to try and do five a day. Here are the first ones for my November List of Thankfulness.
1. My husband - He loves me in spite of myself.
2. My little girls - They have taught me so much more as an older mother. I am grateful for the challenges and the blessings that I have received by this amazing opportunity.
3. My older children - They have become adults and friends as they have grown. They are confidants and shoulders to lean on. They have taught me to stretch and grow and reach, and most of all, to love.
4. My Savior - Each day that I live, I come to know Him just a little bit better. I come to realize more and more how much I need Him in my life and how much He means to me.
5. My Heavenly Father - He has taught me what it means to have unconditional love. To accept people just as they are and not for what we expect them to be.
A Thankful Heart Is A Happy Heart