November 21, 2009

GRATITUDE!



So there's already been lots of little things that I've debated adding to this blog and I've yet to do it. So this one today isn't anything grand - but something that I was studying this morning and felt motivated to come and post.

For my scripture study this morning I came across the gratitude / Thanksgiving video on lds.org and watched it. (sorry - I tried to attach it here but am not sure how to do that yet.) It was charming and sweet and made me start to reflect more on all the blessings I have and the things I'm grateful for. Gratitude's always been an important principle to me but one I've noticed I have fallen short on at times over the past year or so. Pres Oaks in the clip talks about how we need to be grateful for our adversities as well and pray for help to meet them. I could do better at that. I am so grateful for so many little things and my life is truly rich with blessings, but I could try harder to be grateful for challenges as well. Hmm, how specific does one be on a blog? I haven't quite found my groove yet.

Well for now let me just "begin" to list some of the many things I'm grateful for - the tip of the iceberg. :) I hope you all can do the same. I'm trying to introduce the American holidays over here as best as I can and so in a week will have our 2nd annual Thanksgiving dinner. Last year we had everyone go around the table and list things about that year that they were grateful for. It was tender and sweet and I think I will have everyone do it again this year. May you all recognize the love of God and his many blessings in your life. Here are some of mine:

First and foremost I'm so grateful for God and the gospel in my life. I'm then so so grateful for my wonderful, loving husband who means the world to me and who I am so grateful that I get to be with forever. I'm next grateful for our growing son who's about to enter our family officially and the chance Varian and I have to be parents. I'm then so grateful for my wonderful family - they've always been such a core part of my life and I love them dearly. I'm grateful for my new in-law family and for all the love and support they give us! I'm so grateful for my beautiful friends that have been, are and will be a part of my life. I do believe that Heavenly Father puts people in your life at certain times for certain reasons, and some friends come to help you and be helped for a short time, and others are part of your life forever. Either way, friends have always been such a huge blessing in my life and I am so grateful for all that they've done.

Okay from here on out the hierarchy of blessings end because I've listed the most important things to me and everything else is now just a giant jumble of gratitude for me. So I think I'll randomly list whatever blessings come to mind - noting that I'm sure to only scratch the surface because blessings abound everywhere - even in small and miniscule things. :)

Blessings:
  • That we have a beautiful home that we love.
  • For the lovely fields and space behind our house and parks around that make me feel a little more like the Valley and bring me peace.
  • For Varian having a good stable job that he enjoys and that makes it possible for him to support our family so that I can be a stay at home mom
  • For the career I've had in teaching and all the many growing experiences and wonderful relationships I've gained through the years.
  • That I could work in Weber School District when I started, for my quick beginning at Roosevelt Elem, for my wonderful years at Green Acres and the faculty there - how I loved that job! For being able to transfer all of my teaching credentials easily over the Australia and so quickly find work here. For my beautiful easy reading grant job that came at a point in my life when other things were not so easy. For my year three contract at Brassall Primary and for the "growing experience" that was for me. So hard, but also some really great things! For the great blessing I've had recently to mostly work at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and how wonderful the people and children are there and how close it is to my house. To be able to get maternity leave from Education QLD and work in the private sector on the side in preparation to finishing my teaching career and moving on to being a one-income family. For the many parents and children that I've worked with over the years. It truly has been a delight to be a teacher.
  • For Jacaranda trees and all the many flowering trees of Australia that lift my spirits and help me feel God's love and cheer up my heart when sad.
  • For the beautiful ocean
  • Oh the mountains - how much I miss them. I'm grateful for mountains and fall leaves and seasons, and the beautiful dry Utah weather. :)
  • For the people I've met through my church calling here and the chance to visit around the stake.
  • For Huntsville 3rd ward - what wonderful people they are. They helped raise me as well!
  • For amazing parents who always made family and each other such a priority and are such a great example to me.
  • For wonderful siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, fake-aunts/uncles/cousins, all my wonderful inlaws.....Family - truly one of life's most precious blessings!
  • For all the rainforests, and botanical gardens, and rivers, exotic birds, flowers and pretty things there are to see here.
  • For nice neighbors
  • For ridding my house of the cockroach infestation that was here before we moved in. Ugh! Granted Varian reminds me it is summer now and some will still find a way in on occasion (in response to me being so bummed at finding one the other day) but overall our house is pretty bug-free and I'm definitely grateful for that.
  • For skype and being able to talk to family and friends online for free. Some do that more than others and I do love it!
  • For being able to email and stay connected with people.
  • For macaroni and cheese. That was one of the things listed on that gratitude video and believe me I fully empathize. I know it's kind of garbage kid food, but I love it and miss it so much and ration off the boxes that my parents brought me. (They do have some really expensive versions here that are so sad to me).
  • Potatoes!!! My favorite food! My top list is potatoes, cheese and salt. Yes salt shouldn't count as a favorite food but still it's there.
  • Mexican food - sigh where are all the Mexicans?
  • Costa Vida - sweet pork!!!
  • Sigh - for cheap prices in Utah. I miss having so many options and being able to buy bulk things at low prices. I still get frustrated sometimes shopping. I miss so many things about American food and although there are some lovely things here and things I would miss, I would wholeheartedly switch all Australia food with American food.
  • All the fresh fruits and veggies here, and yummy fresh bread rolls
  • custard, crumpets, muesli, sausage rolls, meat pies, the chocolate here - I could list a million things that I miss from America (and maybe will in another post) but that tends to lean towards ingratitude so I wanted to list in this case some foods that I like here.
  • Convenience - not a big pro here and I admit I like things that are convenient.
  • Music
  • Books - Oh I can never get enough!!!
  • Movies - I'm a sucker, I admit it!
  • cilantro, taco seasoning, SALT, garlic, curry...I love lots of seasonings!
  • Yellowstone- we used to go there every year as kids
  • Vacations with family - even ones close by. It doesn't matter as much where you go (though I've been so blessed to go to some really amazing places) but that you're with people you love!
  • That I haven't been sick in my pregnancy - other than our brief miscarriage scare at the beginning and oh how I'm grateful that we overcame that!
  • For my lovely Cahoon house (Leah's Loveshack as we had named it) and for the experience that was, the roommates I had, and how that house really loved me and I it!
  • Oh my next door neighbor there who did all my gardening for free!
  • Varian's interest in gardening here - I am glad that we're starting to do it, but definitely need to be prompted a bit from him.
  • Chimes, shells, sparkly things, rocks, crystals, jewelry, fireworks, fireflies, star fish, dolphins, cats, elephants, art, shooting stars, waterfalls, humming birds, rainbows, sprinklers (I miss sprinklers) the smell of rain,
  • THE VALLEY!
  • Photos and journals- I know I'm extreemly obsessive about those things but I love them.
  • Brushing my teeth - it's such a great sensation.
  • Getting a massage!!!
  • Cheap movies and restaurants and entertainment in the states.
  • When we get to go here.
  • crazy toe nail polish
  • oh, that I have nicely shaped feet - not everyone can say that
  • that my hair and nails grow so fast
  • my mommy thumb and my daddy thumb
  • That I'm able to be pregnant and be a mom soon. I've wanted this blessing for a very long time! I hope to have millions of kids too so keep this blessing coming!
  • for my wonderful mission to Paraguay and all the blessings that came with that!!!
  • For being able to go through the temple (I'm going on 10.5 years) and for what a huge blessing that has been in my life. I'm so grateful for all the temples that were so close by in Utah, and so grateful that there is a temple here not too far away. That would break my heart to not live close to one. I love the temple!
  • For scriptures, and conferences, and my testimony.
  • For our chance to go to Africa and work in the orphanage and safari and tour - what an amazing experience and even more so to be able to share that with Varian.
  • AMERICA!!!! - I love my country so very much!!!
  • For being able to learn new things, and try new things. I'm glad that I like to learn and there's so many talents out there to gain.
  • Traditions, celebrations, anniversaries, theme-parties, special occasions or any reason to call something a special occasion.
  • Yoga, candles, reflection, writing, long talks with friends, beauty
  • The chance to live closer to Varian's family and get to bond with them
  • that we don't have to shovel snow here - ugh I don't miss that.
  • That we only have to mow the lawn every month in the busy season, and much left often throughout the dry times.
  • That we don't have to water our lawns here
  • The thick plush lawns of home where we could water our lawns. :)
  • My fast typing skills. I just tested at 77 words per min- 96% accuracy for this temp agency interview I did. It's because of Mr. Weight being a Nazi-typist teacher in 4th grade for which I will forever be grateful!
  • Good health - this is a huge blessing and one I've been lucky enough to receive.
  • Opportunities for education!
  • Being debt-free!!!!!! (yes we do have a house loan, but it's sensible and manageable. I've always stayed out of debt and have been a saver and this has always brought many blessings!)
  • That so many of my family members and friends are strong in the gospel and are receiving those blessings!
  • For my girls- The Katies and Liz and the friendship the four of us have had for now over a decade. I love them so much and they have been a source of so many blessings in my life!!!
  • For my friends growing up in the Valley, friends from WHS, my college and institute friends, my Singles Ward friends and from that stage of my life, for my work friends and church friends and new friends that I'm making here - friends are treasures!
  • I know I've technically mentioned this one already, but to be married and to such a wonderful person. For the relationship that we have and the commitment we have to each other and to God. To how sweet and unselfish Varian is to me, and for the fun that we have. For our love and our being together. Next to God this truly is the greatest blessing of my life.
Perhaps I'll pause there for now. My life truly overflows with blessings!

4 comments:

Andrea said...

Leah, I love your list! I am grateful to know such an amazing woman as you.

The Astons said...

I am grateful for beautiful sister'n'laws that I get to stay with in a few weeks! yay!!

Katie said...

That was a super long post, I'm not good at reading the long ones, i like to look at pics. :) Although it was very nice.

Mandi said...

Hello, old friend. Love your blog, and love this list! Yes, it was long, but worth the read. I need to put a few of these on my Gratitude list (that I didn't make this year - does that make me less grateful?).

Congrats on the pregnancy! So exciting!!