"This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.
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 gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues." President Monson
Cassie gave me an idea (and let's face it, whoever Mama D is too cause she mentioned it in the comments)...a gratitude post. I have done these before, very sporadically of course as other people posted things like, "Ten things that make me happy", "A few of my favorite things" stuff like that. As I read Cassie's post about the plus 1 I thought, what a great way to develop greater optimism...and didn't I say earlier that I want to be more optimistic? So...I have decided that once a week (probably on Sundays - seems fitting) I will post about something I am grateful for. Could be a long post or a short post...but let's face it, I hate to waste white space and every time I hit enter more appears...so probably a longer post.
I'm going to follow President's Monson's talk (that's a link above if you are interested) for the first couple of post. He lists some things we can be grateful for. So to kick start this, let's talk about the woman who made this blog possible.
My Mother:That's right, without my mother you wouldn't even have this post to read! Daunting thought, I know! My mom was the oldest child/daughter of five children. I like to say their names in age order, please humor me (Teddy, Tony, Timmy, Tommy, Tammy. There...I did it).
Here are some reasons that I am grateful for my mom:
- She is a writer. You can even ask my dad, this woman can use the English language in a beautiful, written way. She has a degree in journalism, her journals and letters are always an enjoyable read. If I have any writing talent within me at all it's a genetic runoff of her abilities.
- Continuing education. She's incredibly smart, there's no doubt about it! When I was younger she went back to school to get her associate's in nursing. Since then she has also obtained her bachelor's in nursing. This woman tackled Statistics without a study buddy...I don't think I met anyone in college who didn't try to get a study buddy for that class. She is constantly learning new stuff.
- Her spirituality. My mom (and dad) has taught me to serve at church out of love, not obligation. She has taught me to depend on the Lord. As a children, she got us to church, as we grew older she let us choose for ourselves what we would do. My mother has amazing faith. I repeat the words found in Alma 56:48, "We do not doubt our mothers knew it". There is no doubt in me that my mother knows, and sometimes that has been the very anchor I have needed in my life. She once sent me her testimony that she had written down (I believe for my brother). I love to read her testimony over and over.
- Her love for her children - or in other words - her sacrifice. I couldn't even name all of her sacrifices if I tried, but something that they all have in common is that she sacrificed for her children. From giving up a pair of shoes (because a daughter mentioned she liked them) to giving the years of her life devoted to our upbringing, my mom is driven by love. There were times when I was growing up that I wondered if she knew me at all, like the typical teenager girl with her mother, I assumed she didn't care, didn't pay attention. Every year when I would read the family Christmas letter my mom would write about all of us I was surprised by how closely she was paying attention to my life, to the things I was doing, and I was surprised and elated to realize annually, that she was proud of me.
- Loving Suggestions. I hate being told what to do. When someone suggests something I usually become more determined not to do it (i.e. watch "The Notebook"), but I know that when my mom "suggests" something (i.e. "Get yourself enrolled in college or get your own insurance.") I know that it is for my own good. If it weren't for my mom I would have never considered going to BYU-Idaho, I would probably still be there switching majors, I wouldn't have the "grown up" job I have now (don't know if I would still have one after Ukrop's sold), I wouldn't even have the car I have and possibility not be a home owner. In essence - I wouldn't be living up to my potential if my mom didn't give me her input. And even though I have a tough time taking input, I know I won't go wrong with hers.
- She teaches me how to forgive. I have an unforgiving nature. I am getting better. My mom has shown me forgiveness over and over. I have seen her forgive people who I had deemed unforgivable and in time, it has helped me to forgive those same people.
- Chores - She taught me to cook, she taught me to do my own laundry (at a young age), she taught me that if you don't clean your room you'll lose some of your favorite stuff *smiling*. Because of her I got to be the mature roommate most of the time as far as cleaning up after myself (at least I hope my roommates could tell I was doing that).
- She taught me early on that my siblings would be my best friends. I didn't believe her at the time of course, I mean, seriously? Joanna sits on me with her bony butt and moves around for good measure (and extra pain), Kathryn scares the living daylights out of me, and Martha bosses me around (she's the oldest girl). As for Ed and Matt, the brothers who were moved out before I could get to know them? Forget about it. But...she was right. I am extremely close to my sisters and I love every conversation with my brothers (e-mails, facebook comments, blog comments, conversations in person). I love getting to know more about them and I know that no matter what, these people have my back (from the bully in 4th grade, the bully in 6th grade, and the first boy who broke my heart).
I heard a quote once that when you are young your parent's know everything. When you are a teenager/young adult it is you who knows everything and you feel your parents know nothing. As you get older you realized that your parents really do know everything. I can't even say I'm paraphrasing cause I'm pretty sure what I just wrote is longer than the original...and maybe even wrong. But it doesn't matter, my life is not a saying. I am so grateful to my mom, I am grateful for the stuff she put up with when I felt I knew everything. I am grateful for her continued love and support.
Sorry for the long post, I got carried away with my first one. But I hope you enjoyed, and if not, it's okay, because I did. Try it out (writing about your mom or someone who is the equivalent for you) it's pretty cool.