Nov 24, 2013

Heavenly Father Has Got Your Back

On Thursday, as I went out to check the mail, there was a green envelope with crazy stickers all over it, and some of the most beautiful handwriting I have ever seen.  It was a letter from Lexie!  (Can I just say that I love Australia!  The letter was postmarked on the 18th, and was in my hands on the 21st!  Bless them for having such a great postal service!)  Since she won't be here for Thanksgiving, she wanted to share with us why she was grateful.  She then proceeded to tell each one of us why she was thankful for us.  Of course I cried!  But I also laughed because she is funny, and faithful and just all around amazing. 

Love this girl!
She said something in the letter though that just stood out to me.  She told one of her siblings that she knew that Heavenly Father had her back.  It is so true.  He has all of our backs.  Just in the past couple of weeks I have seen His hand so often in our lives.  Answers to prayers, blessings, and even miracles.  Many "significant, but subtle" blessings, that have lifted me or members of my family through hard times, or just brought the simple reassurance that He is mindful of us and will help us through anything that comes our way.  Challenges are always around us, but I am so grateful to know who has my back.  I have full confidence in Him.

Nov 14, 2013

Thankful November

I see so many who post pictures or comments of what they are thankful for every day in November.  I think it is such a great idea, but let's get real- there is no way I would remember to do that every single day for a whole month.  That does not mean that I am not grateful though.  In fact quite the opposite is true. Just last night I was in tears at the immense feelings of gratitude that I had.  Truth be told I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  One of my favorite quotes from this past General Conference was from Elder Bednar.  He said, " A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment." I have much to be grateful for, I could not possibly list them all, but here are some of the things that stand out right now.
  • My missionary daughter.  Hello, who is the parent here?  I feel like I learn more from her each week in her letters than I have ever taught her.  She is busy serving the Lord in Australia, but somehow she seems to know exactly what I  or one of her siblings need to hear.  She has been out 8 months already, and I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity she has to serve, and for the immense blessings that service has brought to our family.
  • My 12 year old son.  Last night that moment I experienced was because of him.  The last home football game is Saturday, and he was supposed to go with his Dad.  However we have a big church activity Friday and Saturday.  We told him he could still go to the game if that was what he wanted to do.  He said he would think about it.  Well last night he told us he wanted to go the meeting on Saturday, where he has to wear a white shirt and tie!  I was amazed! Who chooses a meeting over a football game?  Once again the parent was taught by the child.
  • My 16 year old bottomless pit of hunger son.  Last night he gave me a description of the varying degrees of hunger that he experiences.  The list took several minutes to describe.  He makes me laugh!  I love his sense of humor, and his genuine goodness.  Last night we were attempting to have a serious discussion about the 4th Article of Faith ( we decided as a family to memorize and study the doctrine of the Articles of Faith thanks to Elder Perry) and I asked what we needed to do to repent?  He immediately responded, "Sin."  I suppose some people might find that offensive, but I have had a rough few days, and I just laughed.  I am grateful that he always tries to lighten my load, and helps me not take myself too seriously. 
  • Beautiful Breanna.  She is so kind and compassionate.  I love her sense of style, I love her obsession with One Direction.  I love that she is continuing the "hott man wall" that her sister Lexie started.  I love that she too can always make me laugh with her antics. I love that she helps me be more enthusiastic about life.
  • My oldest and wise daughter. Last week she had her recital preview.  Stressful thing-you have to pass or you can't do your recital and then have to wait another semester.  She passed!!! So grateful. The recital is three weeks away. Can't believe I almost have a college graduate.  I love that she fights through really hard things with faith and determination, and is willing to accept the Lord's will for her.
  • My husband.  I have had lots of opportunities recently to analyze our relationship.  And you know what I found out? I am one blessed lady.  I feel so grateful that we have 100% agreement on the things that matter in life and how we want to live the gospel.  We have disagreements, yes we have even fought, but we agree on the things that matter.  I appreciate his love and support, his patience to listen to me even when I am being irrational.  
  •  General Conference.  After having read through all the talks now, I feel so blessed from the lessons I have learned.  It's like one of those gifts that just keeps on giving.
  • Crunchy leaves!  I will go out of my way to walk through leaves right now.  We have several trees in our neighborhood that drop crimson and gold leaves all from the same tree.  They look so beautiful in piles on the sidewalk.  
  • Music.  Isn't it amazing how music can convey a message that you just needed to hear.  I love that it can lift my spirits quicker than just about anything.  I was listening to this song the other day, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  You should listen to it.
  • All my kids know all their grandparents.  3 of my 4 grandparents died before I was 5 years old.  My Grandpa Twitchell actually died before I was born.  I know I will get to know them later, and I look forward to that, but I am so grateful that my children have had the opportunity in this life to have their lives blessed by close association to their grandparents. So grateful!
I could go on and on (ok, so I probably already have...), but I just have to mention my gratitude for the Savior.  Not a day goes by that I don't rely on the Atonement and it's enabling power either for repentance or for strength to do what I could not do alone.  I am grateful that through the Atonement we can change every day to become more like Him. So for this, and so many other things, I am grateful.