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Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Grateful Heart

When we are grateful, we will have greater happiness and satisfaction in our lives.

Here is a good article (Three Good Things) that shares 
"how purposefully cultivating an attitude of gratitude can positively impact your health and happiness while improving your quality of life." (also see The Power of Happy Thoughts)

This article suggests that you take the time to write down three positive things that happened to you during the course of your day. 
I have listed things that I am grateful for on a daily basis, even on this blog for a time, but I don't recall actually trying to list three things daily.  I'm not sure how I'll go about this task of writing three things daily, but I do want to recognize and write about something each day.  

A while ago I was watching (on BYU-TV) a message that inspired me. I didn't write down the info about who gave the talk or where and when it was given, but his message has remained in my mind for all this time.  I could feel that his advice was a good thing to do.
He suggested that each evening we should write down at least one thing that happened in that day that we could see the Lord had a hand in - some way that the Lord blessed us.  I love that advice and can see that it would be a great thing to do.  I have been slacking at doing it, but want to do it, and feel a need to do it. I have finally decided to put that suggestion into action.

I have also been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving and being thankful lately. Maybe it's because I know that this year's Thanksgiving day is going to be very different than any other. 
I love the holiday, the family, the gathering for a feast, the love that seems to be present during this gathering, and the many other great things about this special day, including (and especially) the thoughts of giving thanks. I think it is the grateful heart that makes that holiday so special. 

 Our family has, a few times, written about something we are grateful for each day of the month of November or week before Thanksgiving. It's always been a blessing to do so and I often wish we would continue that practice daily. I have tried to do that occasionally and I like how it feels.

(You can read a bit about the jar we filled in 2010 on this post if you wish.) 

I have often felt the need to try a little harder to have an attitude of gratitude. For awhile now I have been trying to come up with a plan, and I have finally determined that a weekly post could help me with my desire.

Once a week (each Thursday, simply because Thanksgiving is on a Thursday) I will post about something that I am grateful for, something that I could see the hand of the Lord in. It will be something personal for me.  It could be something quite simple and trivial or something more complex and profound, depending upon the day, and probably about actions or words more than tangible items (though I will not be excluding those tangible things).  

Whatever I write about will be because of something that happened in my life during that week - I will choose to post about just one from among the many positive things that happen daily, but I will be personally recording many.

I hope that sharing it will help it sink deeper into my heart. I hope this act helps me become better at recognizing the daily things that I should be grateful for.
I hope it helps me remember to express my gratitude to others that have blessed my life in whatever large or small way.
I hope it helps me come closer to my Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ.  For it is through Them that we receive every good thing.  

I especially want to be better at expressing my gratitude to our Father in Heaven.  I know that as I think about these things more and express them openly, I will be more inclined to remember them privately too.  It will become a part of my inner heart and soul.

Maybe I will even learn how to better express myself.

"A  grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort—at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

(presents image borrowed from here)

So, I'm off on another journey of the heart. Join me if you'd like, each Thursday from now until Thanksgiving, for A Grateful Heart adventure ..., trying a little harder to recognize the Lord in every minute of our lives.


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