The weather’s warming up and for us that means one thing! Outside time! Baby Girl loves to be outside! Today we decided to get some sun and play side walk chalk and blow bubbles. I went in for just a moment when I heard a scream followed by crying. I ran out to find Baby Girl standing over a soapy puddle and her bottle of bubbles tossed on the ground. Apparently, she dropped them by accident. I asked her what happened to which she replied through tears. “They’re ruined!” As I tried not to laugh, I hugged her and tried to find the words to comfort her. Before I could, she turned to look at the puddle and with a big smile on her face, she jumped in the puddle of soapy water and ran as she watched her shoes leave wet foot prints behind her. She thought it was so fun and just like that she was off running and playing again. I stood there staring at the puddle and taking in what just happened. Instead of dwelling over her spilled bubbles, she turned it into something positive and even fun! She just taught me something I had been needing to learn these past few weeks: to be more grateful.
I realize my struggles are small in comparison to what some of you may be going through. We are all different and have unique lives and circumstances and when I share them I do not mean to sit on my pity pot, nor do I want anyone to feel sorry for me. I only share because maybe someone else feels the same way I do, even with the smallest of things. While they may seem small, to me, they are still important.
This past weekend I was able to hear General Conference. General Conference is a semi-annual gathering of members of The Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church), held every April and October. Leaders from the Church share uplifting and spiritual messages that help better ourselves and our lives. I love General Conference time because I can always find several talks that sound like they are written just for me. If you are interested in hearing this month’s session, check out www.lds.org. I promise you will find something that you can probably relate to whether you are Mormon or not.
One talk in particular really stood out to me, and it was the talk given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, (my fave!) He spoke on gratitude. This talk came at the perfect time, when I was being what I call a “Negative Nancy”. President Uchtdorf talked about how, while it is important to count our blessings, that maybe instead of focusing on being grateful for things, we should focus on having an “attitude of gratitude”. This was a big eye opener for me, and answered so many prayers and questions I was having. Sure, I could sit and write pages of things I was grateful for, but I felt that wasn’t taking the feelings of helplessness away. I learned, as mentioned in last week’s article, that a large part of it was Satan whispering in my ears, but after hearing this talk, I realized another part was my attitude. I didn’t have an attitude of gratitude and I was in serious need of an attitude adjustment! In his talk he suggested we look at gratitude in a different way saying:
Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being ‘thankful for things’ we focus on being ‘thankful in our circumstances’ — whatever they may be.
He also addressed the fact that it’s hard to be grateful when things are hard. A question so many of us have asked ourselves is, “How can we feel grateful when we feel everything is going wrong?” He said:
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.
He mentions that to be grateful is a choice, and the choice is ours. “We can be grateful no matter what.”
This past week I have been getting little hints about my poor attitude about things. I have been able to recognize that when I stopped nagging so much, Baby Girl was doing things on her own. I learned about my attitude when I told my husband on Sunday “Is it bad I am already not looking forward to this week?” to which he boldly replied “Yes, sounds like you need a better attitude”, and finally today, when my daughter turned her “ruined bubbles” into a puddle of fun. Let us all learn from the talk given my President Uchtdorf and have an attitude of gratitude. Let’s try to be grateful for the good things and the bad. If I had not had these hard days I would not be learning so much about myself. I would not be leaning towards my Savior and crying out to him, and I would not be able to share my experiences with you. One of my favorite (among several) things President Uchtdorf said was,
“How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God there is rain?”
They say life should come with a handbook, and as a Christian and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I cannot help but think how we have several. We have the scriptures to guide us, we have the lessons that are prepared every Sunday to learn from, we have leaders and a living prophet who are inspired by God to share uplifting messages twice a year, and the best manual of all, is the ability to pray and ask Heavenly Father ourselves for help. I am sincerely grateful for all these tools and the peace and comfort they can bring to my life. President Uchtdorf said,
“When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief we can still lift up our hearts in praise.”
By having a grateful attitude, we may not be able to get rid of the problems, but it can help us have faith in our Heavenly Father and overcome them. I have a quote I hung on my bathroom mirror as a reminder. I am realizing now that while I have it there, I don’t read it very often. It says” Every day may not be good, but there is good in every day” From this day forward, I am vowing to have a better attitude. An attitude of gratitude. I also will take the advice my little girl so innocently gave, and to stop looking at the spilled puddles as ruined, and instead be grateful they are there so I can jump and relish in them.
Watch President Uchtdorf’s whole talk here!
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!