On gratitude.

Sometimes I forget to be grateful. I know I probably seem cheerful, and introspective all the time on here, but getting down and discouraged, feeling impatient and frustrated comes surprisingly natural to me. 
Like 2 weeks ago while we were painting our barn, and it was such a big, dirty, exhausting job. I was working on painting the backside of the barn with my two oldest kids; straddling a tree branch and the side of the hill holding a paint sprayer that was giving me carpal tunnel, and trying to keep myself from slipping on the mud of the hillside. I fell on my behind more than a few times, and I was more frustrated by the minute.  Then I looked out into the pasture at our sweet horse munching on the grass and these words popped into my head:
"Remember when you prayed for what you have now."
How easy it is to forget about all that we’ve been blessed with, all we have, all we’ve worked for.  To be in such a hurry to get to the next thing, the next accomplishment, the next project and forget to stop and sit in gratitude for what we already have.
There was a time, and not that long ago when I was living in a rental house in Seattle with a teaspoon-sized yard, praying so hard for an old farmhouse of our own with some land, a big old barn, and a sweet horse that my kids could grow up riding.  I could see it all so clearly in my mind, I begged God to help us make it happen.
And there I was covered in paint splatters and mud, my wrists aching and my kids were painting that very barn I dreaming of, our sweet horse meandering around the pasture watching us, and I had everything I asked Him for.  Everything single thing.
Our floors still creak, our house still has rotting boards that need to be replaced, and peeling paint that needs to be scraped and painted. We live in a constant state of construction, and yet I can look up with gratitude every morning and every night, because when you stop and look around at all things great and small that God has given you, you realize it’s actually quite a lot.  Not just today, but everyday let’s stop and give thanks.
And the magic of gratitude is that it changes our entire paradigm. It makes what we have enough, it gives us perspective, and endows us with strength. I have seen this year especially how sitting in gratitude has changed me, has healed me and helped me to find perspective and see God’s hand in my life.
"I have concluded that counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems. No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a fast-acting and long-lasting spiritual prescription.
Does gratitude spare us from sorrow, sadness, grief and pain? No, but it does soothe our feelings. It provides us with a greater perspective on the very purpose and joy of life." –Russel M Nelson
Finally, I just want to tell you how grateful I am for all of you wonderful women (and some men) who make up this beautiful community. You have held me up in kindness for years, you have cheered me on, and loved my family and I am more grateful for you than I can convey. Thank you for being here. I love you all. And I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.