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Thoughts

Gratitude and Blossoming Where You are Planted

November 17, 2015

stop_and_look_aroundyou

I’ve secretly been wishing for Christmas since about the middle of October. Maybe a little before that. Blame it on the Noel Baby comfortably nestled in the baby cave. And now that I’m finally seeing new content being published on blogs for this year’s winter holidays, I find myself feeling a bit guilty for always looking right past Thanksgiving. I have exercised self-control this year (so far). The tree will not go up before we feast next week. I confess, I’ve had Christmas music playing around the house for a week or two, now, but you’ll just have to look past that little indiscretion. But let’s face it. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, the fall decor is tired and I’m completely ready to move onto all that is red and jolly.

Hopefully someday I will look back at 2015 and remember it as the year I changed my life. I have really come to believe that Heavenly Father expects us to take the things he blesses us with and use them the best we can. This requires that thing everyone is “littering” your facebook feed with right now. Gratitude. The ability to recognize those blessings are there in the first place. I’m learning how to lump more into my “Thankful For” pile.

My home is a perfect example. When we bought this humble 930 square foot house four years ago, I thought it was just a tiny pit-stop in my climb to a dream home. They call houses like this “great starter homes” for a reason. I found this house and thought, “This will do for now.” What I should have been thinking was, “I will make this my castle.” As I mentioned, we have lived here for four years and it embarrasses me to admit that I am just now realizing that I can make any house, apartment, condo, town home, shack you could find a dream home for my family. I am so thankful for this house. And have come to love it more than I could have imagined. Our family has more than doubled here. We have progressed and learned so much because of the unique challenges that come with small, old houses. Our street is quiet and we have good neighbors. Those are just a few of the things that have been mostly out of our control. The flow of life if you will.

I believe it’s what we do with those blessings that can really shape the courses of our lives. In the parable of the talents, the servant who had received only one talent hid it away and did nothing with it. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing for the past while. Waiting around for the next thing to come along, however patiently you wait, is not what God intends for us to do with his blessings. He wants us to stop, look around at what we already have and figure out how to add upon it. Adam and Eve, when put in the Garden of Eden were told to dress it and keep it.

Perhaps developing our “talents” and doing our best to live our lives and add upon our blessings, we show the Lord we are ready for more. Especially if we are taking those blessings and extending them to our fellow man. And maybe we don’t receive more immediately. But from personal experience, I can promise you that living with an attitude of gratitude diminishes the desire for “more” by simply opening your eyes to the abundance already surrounding you. Thanksgiving is especially beautiful in this way. A short season each year meant to remind us all to stop and look around us. It is a perfect precursor to Christmas when we reflect on the unparalleled and sacred gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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