Name Them One by One

It wasn’t what I wanted to hear when the Spirit whispered, “Make a list of things you are grateful for.” This direction came during one of the hardest times in my life. Things were not going well and I was really scared about how the future would work out. There were a million things I was worrying about and so many understandable reasons to be upset and still the voice was clear.

How do you make a list of things you are grateful for when it feels like nothing is going right? I’m not sure how it works. I have no words to explain it. But I do know that as I obeyed the command and started to make a list I was overcome with grateful feelings, joyful feelings. What started with one or two things I was grateful for became a very long list of things and trickled into my mind of the next few days and even weeks. Somehow that list broke into my gloominess and reminded me how very much I was loved, how very much I had to be grateful for, and how very temporary what I was going through was in the eternal scheme of things . Though my circumstances did not change immediately , my feelings and my attitude certainly did. And as those feelings changed I found myself feeling happier, more peaceful, more confident and capable of handling the stressful situation I was in.

When I was younger and would be having a hard time my mother used to say to me, “What can you learn from this situation?” She taught my sisters and I to take time to be conscious of the struggles we were having and to try to gain something positive from it. Sometimes are easier than others to do this, but I do know that as I make an effort to see the lesson the Spirit can more easily help me recognize what the Lord wants me to gain from the experience. Sometimes the realizations don’t come till some time down the road, but they usually do come.

I am grateful for a wise mother who taught me well. I am grateful for a God who loves me enough to want me to be happy and gives me personal direction and correction when the path I am on is not leading me to that happiness. I am grateful for lists I have made and lists I will make of the gifts from God that make my life more joyful. When was the last time you made a list?

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