Thursday, November 6, 2014

To Live With Gratitude In Our Hearts = Heaven.

When life is really good and time seems to come to a standstill of goodness I often say, "This is just like Heaven" I want those beautiful overwhelmingly blessed moments in my life on a daily basis. However, I tend to be a very honest person... Let's face the facts here people...moments like that don't just happen. It's an attitude.  This is the time of year when people tend to reflect more frequently upon their blessings and the insurmountable tender mercies from our Heavenly Father.  Yet, it is so easy to become caught up in the things that we don't have and plans that haven't turned. We can become lost, our light can become dim, and we can really feel depressed and take on a "why me" attitude instead of an "attitude of gratitude".
President Monson said, "When we encounter challenges and problems in our lives, it is often difficult for us to focus on our blessings. However, if we reach deep enough and look hard enough, we will be able to feel and recognize just how much we have been given."
My life has been a very REAL challenge this year. Not any overwhelming "bad thing", but every little thing has seemed SO much harder. I feel like it has been never ending problems, yet when I reach deep, and look hard... a change of heart happens.  I think it is best summed up in a recent journal entry- let me share.
"10.28.14- I keep trying to understand why Heavenly Father has me in a particular place in my life. I guess it never occurred to me I don't need to understand- but to have faith that He knows what he is doing and sees a bigger picture. It's been really hard to just be living in a basement apartment but he must know I would fly the coop if I were able and so he made it financially impossible to do so. I find myself tonight so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who keeps telling me and showing me, "NO! The time is not now." No matter how much I pressure Him. I feel so fortunate to be His daughter and witness His power in my life. One day, I'll look at this trial and say, "Oh my, I didn't get it and you are a very loving Heavenly Father. XOXO- Aly Ann" 
When this happened it was clear to me the blessings of being in my current situation. It didn't feel like a burden or un rewarded effort. I felt so much gratitude for my Heavenly Father, and all those who are in my life helping me and encouraging me. "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. My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven. -President Thomas Monson"
To touch Heaven... This is a wonderful season, and yet if you look for the problems of the world and poor circumstances of your life, you are going to find them. "This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways. -President Thomas Monson"
I hope that if you are feeling run down, depressed, un loved, maybe even dark and lost, that you can kneel down in prayer and express your feelings to your Heavenly Father. He knows you, He loves you, and He wants you to recognize all the blessings in your life- one by one. Take some time to write down all those blessings that come to your mind this month. Share your feelings of gratitude with others and for others- for the little things they do for you each day.  By doing so I testify that your light will intensify, happiness will abound, and others will be drawn to you and lifted by your example. 
Monthly Challenge: 
Make a list of things you are grateful for and display it where you can see it. Share on social media with hastags #soulfulBsisterhood #intensifyyourlight #gratitude #sharegoodness
Weekly Challenge: 
Kneel down and sincerely ask for Heavenly Father to help you cultivate in your heart and attitude of gratitude. Then more freely express gratitude to others for the blessings they bring to your life. 

XOXO- Alyssa 

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