It’s a glorious Thanksgiving morning here in PA! The row of windows along the back of our home give view to a gorgeous, snow-covered forest! Fresh snow is so breathtaking!
Waking up to children’s giggles, my daughters harp music spreading Christmas hymns throughout the house, friendly voices, and a day FULL of Thanksgiving ahead made me feel that life couldn’t get better! (Though of course this morning I also poignantly feel the absence of those we love so dearly! Particularly Isaac, Emily, and Anna, and our parents and grandparents we hold so dear and are accustomed to being with this holiday season!)
What a treasure to have a time where everyone in the United States of America is reminded to turn with thanks and gratitude to the Giver of Life, the Maker and Provider of all in our lives!
Gratitude grows the good in our lives!!
“Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there…. is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.
We can be grateful!
It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world… But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.
…We are commanded to “thank the Lord [our] God in all things,”1 to “sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,”2 and to “let [our] heart be full of thanks unto God.”3
Why does God command us to be grateful?
All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness.” (Uchtdorf, Grateful in Any Circumstance)
“…Choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness.”! I love that!
It creates more joy and happiness in ourselves, but it also creates more joy and happiness in the world around us! Children have blessed me with more joy and happiness this week as they thanked me in the sweetest of moments.
- My little niece turned to come back and say a thank you, motivated all on her own. “Thanks for taking us to the horses!” It was such a small thing she did, turned back from running to her play to come tell me thank you. She’s been well-trained you could say, yes? For her mother was not around and did not remind her. It came from her own heart, this little 9 year old, to thank me. And that little thank you meant a lot. Little could she, in her childhood world, realize what a sacrifice it had been for me to take the girls to the barn that morning, enough so that this thank you meant so much.
- My little Zoie-Grace coming up to hug and snuggle me and thank me just randomly for being such a great Mom.
- Esther’s thanks for me coming up to scratch her back before bed, perhaps realizing Baby twins were waiting to be tucked in also made her more appreciative.
- My little Clara, who in all her youthful joy and gratitude just had to jump out of the waiting car to brush the heavy snow off the big pine tree nearby, jumping and dancing in gratitude as she did so.
- my daughter Kate, thanking me for coming to pick her up (when thanks is often the last thing on a 13 year old’s mind)!
- my daughter, Mikela, kissing me on the cheek with the comment, “your such an awesome Mom.” (What an awesome daughter to do that!)
- One of the most unexpected, heart-touching words out of my Babies’ mouths is a perfectly toned “daytdoo” when I have done something for them- like change their diaper!
If their small ‘thank-yous’ could add to my heart’s peace, joy, and happiness, make my world so much more worth it, how much MORE I, as an adult, ought to turn and recognize the good gifts bestowed on me daily, hourly, and EXPRESS my THANKS in every way!
Sometimes we don’t recognize the sacrifice of those around us, perhaps most of the time we don’t. But a grateful heart searches to see, to recognize as much as it can, the gifts given it daily. A grateful person looks to recognize the hand of The Lord and others in their life everyday.
Here’s a poem pertaining to that difference of view, shared by Elder Eyring.
Some murmur when the sky is clear
And wholly bright to view,
If one small speck of dark appear
In their great heaven of blue:
And some with thankful love are filled,
If but one streak of light,
One ray of God’s good mercy, gild
The darkness of their night.
Enjoy this beautiful day of noticing the light in your life and rejoicing with thanks in it!!
Gratitude makes the good in our lives grow.
So I hope gratitude becomes more and more part of my very character. But for this morning what am I most grateful for? Deep-down-in-my-spirit, part-of-my-being, carry-with-me-on-a-daily basis, grateful for?
I received an email from an awesome person, my long-time friend, Shauna, this week. She says, “The older I get, the more I realize that really all I care about is my relationship with the Lord, the Savior, my family, and others. Everything else doesn’t matter. I remember going on a family trip and as we all drove in the car, I looked back and thought, “The things I hold most dear are here.”
I agree with her sentiment whole-heartedly. I count as my greatest blessings this Thanksgiving morning the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and my relationship with God and His Son because of this light and knowledge, the gift of my amazing husband and my precious children, the great blessing of the parents and grandparents that gave me life and in such goodness, and the blessing of others in my life. The things I am most grateful for are not things at all, but LOVE.
Wishing you all the Happiest-of-Days Giving, feeling, and treasuring up thanks in your heart!
Love, CaMarie and The Whole Hoffman Crew
P.S. My Dad repeatedly shared this scripture with me on gratitude as I was growing up. It’s worth sharing with you this thanks-giving day:
“And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” D&C 78:19