November 3, 2016

Day two in the Thanks a Lot Series comes from my friend and role model, Allison. I remember her reaching out to us as soon as we moved up the street when I was not quite eight years old. Growing up, I was lucky to listen to her testimonies and observe her example, but I especially loved when she was my Young Women leader. Girls’ Camp was prrrrretty hilarious, and we’ll leave it at that. And now, I love that she is my friend. She truly exemplifies gratitude and faith and just everyday goodness. I am always amazed at the grace with which she takes her trials and moves forward in life. She is so loving and has had my back so many times over. I LOVE her and I love what she has to say. You will, too.

“I read something the other day about how to find happiness. The article said we find happiness in the small slices of our day. This really resonated with me, as it is something I truly believe!

My husband has a chronic, eventually, terminal illness and has had it our entire married life (29 years and counting), because of this I had to learn early on how to find happiness in the little things. There are days that I have lived minute by minute, wondering if we would have another day together and as hard as it has been (and still is), I am grateful for every additional day I get with him. I have learned that life is to be lived in the moment, not when I achieve this or when I accomplish that. We need to live in the now and be grateful for the precious moments that are our everyday lives.

Everyday there is something to be grateful for, no matter how many awful or bad things happened that day, we just have to take the time to notice them! These moments can be as simple as feeling the sun on our face, a funny meme on Facebook, a child’s hug, or a bite of chocolate.

Unfortunately this is not a process that comes naturally to most people, Satan doesn’t want us to see the good things in our lives because he wants us to be miserable, like he is. We have to make a conscious effort to find these moments and claim them. We really do need to “count our blessings”, as corny as that sounds. Am I always happy? No, of course not – I’m human and I have bad days where I just want to have a pity party because of how hard my life is (how hard all of our lives are) and wallow and cry and complain. It is on those days that I have to make a concerted effort to find the little moments where I felt happy and concentrate on those moments until I can change my attitude.

Life really is what we make of it – we can be unhappy and miserable because life is hard or we can choose to be joyful. In the scriptures we are told, “…; men (I always add ‘and women’) are, that they might have joy.” 2 Nephi 2:27 I have many “favorite” scriptures, but this is one I cherish. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy! I believe that no matter what our struggle or trial we can find joy in our lives, especially if we focus on the little moments. I’m am so grateful for the beautiful, little moments I have everyday that remind me that my Heavenly Father loves me and is aware of my struggles and blesses me continually that I have the strength to deal with my trials.”

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