Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Do I Know Wednesday: We Need to Express Gratitude

I love November--part of why I love it is because we talk and hear a great deal about gratitude. Last year, I participated in a month-long gratitude challenge. In one way it was very easy, I have a great deal for which I am grateful. On the other hand, it was difficult to post every day. I loved focusing on these things each and every day.

I was going to list the things for which I am grateful, but I realized I did this a couple of months ago on a "What Do I Know Wednesday" post. The list hasn't changed--except that I can now add Allan's job. (Hey, you might be tired of me saying it, but I certainly am grateful and I never want to be accused of not expressing gratitude ; ) I'm also grateful because one of Allan's daughters just was released from the hospital after having a minor stroke. I'm grateful it wasn't more serious.

A blogger I just started reading, Cherie, shared a great FHE idea. Go read about it here.

When I read her idea, I was reminded of Elder Bednar's Conference talk from Oct. 2008. He was talking about when he was President of BYU Idaho and he and his wife would host General Authorities in their home. He shared the following experience:

"Earlier in the day Sister Bednar and I had been informed about the unexpected death of a dear friend, and our immediate desire was to pray for the surviving spouse and children. As I invited my wife to offer the prayer, the member of the Twelve, unaware of the tragedy, graciously suggested that in the prayer Sister Bednar express only appreciation for blessings received and ask for nothing. His counsel was similar to Alma’s instruction to the members of the ancient Church “to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things” (Mosiah 26:39). Given the unexpected tragedy, requesting blessings for our friends initially seemed to us more urgent than expressing thanks.

Sister Bednar responded in faith to the direction she received. She thanked Heavenly Father for meaningful and memorable experiences with this dear friend. She communicated sincere gratitude for the Holy Ghost as the Comforter and for the gifts of the Spirit that enable us to face adversity and to serve others. Most importantly, she expressed appreciation for the plan of salvation, for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for His Resurrection, and for the ordinances and covenants of the restored gospel which make it possible for families to be together forever.

Our family learned from that experience a great lesson about the power of thankfulness in meaningful prayer. Because of and through that prayer, our family was blessed with inspiration about a number of issues that were pressing upon our minds and stirring in our hearts. We learned that our gratefulness for the plan of happiness and for the Savior’s mission of salvation provided needed reassurance and strengthened our confidence that all would be well with our dear friends. We also received insights concerning the things about which we should pray and appropriately ask in faith."

I remember years ago one of my children saying that when one of his little guys prayed it was like he was ordering at a drive thru restaurant, "how about..." So through this month I will try even harder to make sure i spend more time expressing gratitude for everything and limit that "gimme list" I know it will help me to see more clearly the hand of the Lord in my life.

So What Do I Know This Wednesday: I am truly blessed and need to be sure I always remember to express the gratitude that I feel.


Heffalump said...

Great post! As a parent I know that my kids spend a lot of time asking me for things, and not so much time thanking me. It always feels great when they think to thank me for things on their own. I imagine that Heavenly Father feels the same way when we set aside our long list of wants and just thank him sincerely for our many blessings.

Carrot Jello said...

I gave a R.S. lesson on that talk by Elder Bednar. It's not one you forget.

JustRandi said...

What a tricky experience for Sister Bednar! And an amazing response. How do I not remember that story??
(oh, who am I kidding? I don't even remember the end of the tv show I watched this afternoon....)

But I do love the idea.

And thanks for the reminder to be grateful. You're really good at that. I'm thankful for your example in my life!

Melissa said...

Not always easy to be grateful. I don't know why it's so easy to slip into the "galloping greedy gimmies" (that's from a Berenstain Bears book ;)) even in our prayers.
I'm sure you've read the Trinity of Holidays by Glenn Beck. I'm trying to apply that to my holidays again this year!

mindyluwho said...

Thank you Yvonne. I haven't been real good at expressing gratitude lately. What a beautiful reminder.

txmommy said...

great post and thanks for the link!
Happy Novemeber:)

PJ said...

Great post.
That talk would be a great FHE lesson for my own family.

Connie said...

So true. Great post and reminder. So many times, we just go about our merry way, forgetting to show gratitude.

aurora said...

I am always uplifted by your posts, Yvonne! Thank you so much.
I am thankful that your daughter's stroke was not more serious. What a blessing for all.
And no, I don't think that you will EVER be accused of ingratitude! :D

ShEiLa said...

I totally accept the message behind this post... I often feel like most people don't give credit where credit is due. I know to whom I can be grateful for every breath I take... as well as everything else in life.


Sheri said...

Great ideas and post! I am thankful for you, Yvonne!

Theresa said...

That's awesome! Thanks for posting that! I need to review that talk.

Ambrosia said...

Thank you for these thoughts.

Suzanne said...

I loved this post, Yvonne! You are so filled with gratitude. I don't know how anyone could accuse you otherwise! I'm glad Allan's daughter seems to be going o.k.

Natalie said...

What a great and uplifting post. You always express yourself so beautifully and it always makes me stop and think.
Thanks for that.

Roxanne said...

Yvonne I could hear the relief in your voice. That is awesome news and I know Alan will do an excellent job and be a great asset to their company. Yvonne I'm trying to add blogs to read and you had mentioned couple in the past that were inspiring and well written. Then once you give them to me I'll have to figure how to add them as ones I want to follow. Do you know any bloggers I might like? Keshia blogs and I have her I would love to follow Katie used to be Davis's blog

Nancy Face said...

I loved that talk by Elder Bednar!