Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today is my Birthday. I give Thanks!

I don't walk around telling people that it's my birthday.  In fact, I'm a private person and do not like the attention.  In past years I've almost dreaded it and hoped that the sadness I felt - would just go away (unmet expectations, disappointments, hardships in life that seemed to linger etc.) is different somehow.  My perspective has changed - thanks to new insights that have come from some of those challenges.

Today I feel to give THANKS to all those who have made my life better.  I wish to express gratitude for the bounteous spiritual blessings that the Lord has granted to me out of His goodness and mercy.

I share a special thanks to my mother who was willing to bring me in to this world.  Despite the difficulties of raising children (I'm 4th in a family of 8) my parents felt the need and desire to obey Prophetic counsel and provide tabernacles for as many as they could.  It wasn't easy.  But, I wouldn't be here had they not made that decision.  So, for them, I am deeply grateful. (I hope that they are, too.) 
I also express deep appreciation for the things I've learned in life.  They have been many and ...often very challenging for me.  I have gone to the depths as well as felt great joy and rejoicing in the glorious truths of the gospel.  Overcoming is one of the most wonderful things in life.

Recently I've pondered on negativity.  Am I too much that way?  Have I forgotten my blessings?  Do I focus too much on the trials and hardships etc.?  I hope that I've been reprimanded enough to put my focus on the sweet blessings that I have been given.  They are many and worth more to me than the earthly treasures to which we often credit as 'success'.

In my quest to be more grateful I read this by President Monson.
"A grateful heart … comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love."

I believe that he is right.  So, today my heart goes out in gratitude to the Lord, and to all who have blessed my life.  Throughout my sojourn on this earth - nearly half a century now - I have had kind teachers, relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have touched my life.  I'm grateful for any and all who have lifted me, strengthened me, supported me in my troubles and/or joys, and shared the Kindness of the Light of the World with me in my time of need.

I'm deeply grateful that I was born!!!  --- and hope that I will live my life so that I may be able to enjoy future blessings that come only from obeying our Father and living according to His glorious plan.  Most of all,  I thank Him and the Savior for providing me the chance to make-it-back someday.  I pray and strive to live worthy of that blessing.