I know so many of us loved this talk from President Monson in the last General Conference. It's really gotten me thinking over the last weeks about everything that I have to be grateful for. As we go through life and endure trials, it's sometimes so easy to look past our blessings and focus on those things that are not going as we would like. I know in the past few months I've struggled with this at times, and so hearing and re-reading this talk really renewed my resolve to express my gratitude for those things that I do have. It's amazing how that can make such a difference in attitude. With this month being focused on Thanksgiving, I've been so inspired by the blogs I've been reading where people are sharing what they're grateful for every day. I obviously haven't been doing that, but I wanted to share a few things that I've really been thinking about lately. I usually don't do the "personal" stuff on this blog, so sorry if it's a little out of the blue. And it will probably be long...don't feel obligated to read the whole thing!
I Am Grateful For:
1. My Husband: Four months ago I came within inches of losing my husband and being a single mom to a 3 year old and an unborn baby. When doctor after doctor tells you that no one should have medically survived what David went through, you come to understand what divine intervention means. I am grateful every day that I have a walking, talking, back to normal husband. The speed in which David recovered is truly remarkable. So often during those first weeks I was afraid that even though he survived, he would never really be the same person I had married and love. Now, there are only a few minor signs that he has been through anything. He's walking without crutches or cane, but still has a slight limp, and there is some scarring around his right eye. But if you were to talk to him, he's just who he used to be. I love him so much, and am sincerely grateful we can continue our lives together. Though neither of us are perfect, and we've gone through some pretty difficult things during our 7 years of marriage, I know that as we continue to work together, our marriage will be strengthened.
2. Molly: I have the most beautiful, loving, funny, helpful and exasperating 3 1/2 year old in the world. I am so grateful that she is a part of our little family. Of course she has her moments as all toddlers do, and even when I'm ready to pull my hair out in frustration, I couldn't imagine my life without my sweet Molly. She has such a love for life that is infectious. I'm so inspired by her simple faith. She has such a thirst for knowledge, I just hope that I can keep up with her as she gets older. She is an amazing kid, and I will be forever grateful that I am her Mom.
3. Bringing New Life Into the World: I can't tell you how excited and grateful I am that we will soon have a new little member of our family. It's felt like a long and sometimes hard journey to get her here...and I'm not just talking about the last 8 1/2 months! It wasn't part of the plan to wait 3 1/2 years before adding another child to our family, but I know that the Lord knows best, even though I don't know his plan for us. I know so many other people that have had an even more difficult time having children, some not at all, so I can only be grateful that this little one is coming when she is.
4. Extended Family: Both David and I have amazing families, and I am so grateful for the support and strength they are to us. For me, I wasn't born into the family that I have, so I am even more grateful that the Lord led us together and I can now call them my family. They are amazing, not just to me, but as people. I have incredible parents who I credit for making me who I am today. I don't know what I would do without their unfailing love and support. I'm so grateful that I married into a wonderful family as well. It's not something I thought about when getting married, I kind-of just lucked out on that, but it's definitely something I'll always be grateful for.
5. Our Ward Family and Friends: We moved into an amazing ward here in Iowa, and have met so many great people. We also have wonderful friends, both here and in other places where we've lived. Our ward has been so supportive and helpful to us, even though they didn't know us very well. While both David and I were in Texas, my family and most of the ward moved our entire apartment from the second floor to an apartment on the first floor, since we didn't know what David's condition would be and if he would need to be in a wheelchair for a number of months. Though that ended up not being the case, it's been such a blessing to be on the first floor, especially when I was having to do almost everything around the house and all the shopping and carrying and being near the end of my pregnancy. I'm grateful that the Lord has put people in our path that we have come to love and call dear friends. I just wish we could live near all of them at the same time!
6: Modern Medicine and Health Insurance: I often complain about insurance, whether it be health insurance or car insurance, or whatever. It often seems that it doesn't always come through for you in the end, whether you have it or not. But David's accident has totaled over $500,000, and insurance in this case has saved us financially. We're still not doing that great, but it's better than being bankrupt. I'm also grateful for the Doctors and medical people that have been so wonderful both here and in Texas. I know that David was in good hands during his trauma and surgery. We often had nurses telling us that he was in a great place, and that it was the hospital that JFK was taken to when he was shot. I always found this interesting that they would think this comforting to me...didn't JFK not make it? Both David and I have been in medical situations besides this event that if it weren't for modern medicine, neither of us would be alive today. So I'm grateful for the time we live and the medical knowledge that is available to us.
7. The Gospel: I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the Gospel. What a strength this has been to me over the years. I'm grateful for my testimony. I'm grateful for the scriptures and the things they teach us. I'm also grateful for my brand-new calling as Gospel Doctrine teacher. I haven't had to teach yet, and probably won't until either the end of December or January since this baby is coming pretty soon, but I'm so excited to be able to study the scriptures with the intent of teaching. I have always loved my callings in music, but I'm looking forward to the opportunity to stretch myself spiritually.
8. My Heavenly Father and My Savior, Jesus Christ: Most importantly, I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and for his atoning sacrifice. I know it is through him that I have strength to carry the burdens that come my way. I know that he has atoned for my sins and allows a way for me to continually improve myself. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for our family, and I'm grateful for the blessings that are continually poured out upon us. I'm grateful for prayer and the blessings that come when we pray sincerely to our Heavenly Father. I know that he is watching over me continually and for that I am sincerely grateful.