Thanks A Lot: Day Four comes from my dear friend, Karen. She and her husband were serving a senior mission in Duluth when I finished my mission there. I think I speak for every missionary in the area when I say they were our life force and our home away from home when we needed them most. They were so cheerful and so good and kept us warm in all the important ways that winter. My companion and I loved spending time with them so much, we once walked like two miles in a blizzard when our car was grounded so we could still spend our Monday in their home. We like them THAT much. They were more than friends, they were family – and when I think of that time in my mission and what I am grateful for, Karen and her husband top the list. I love the quotes she shares on gratitude and the experience she had witnessing the transformative power of gratitude at work.
“‘Be thankful for the bad things in life. For they opened your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.’
‘It’s not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.’
‘The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.’
‘Gratitude turns what we have into enough.’
Several years ago when I was a YW camp leader, I created a “happiness tree” in the middle of our camp. (It was really a bush). Small slips of paper in lots of colors were provided and the girls were to write something they were thankful for or that made them happy and then tie the paper on the tree. They were asked to write one thing a day but they got excited and wrote lots of things they were thankful for. Here are some examples: “I am thankful that I had no raccoons or mice under my bed last night.” “I am happy that I didn’t fall very far into the creek.” “I am thankful for those little thingies on the end of my shoes laces so I can lace my shoes.” They changed things that might have been negative to something positive. The tree blossomed with the colors of gratitude. The good feelings spread. The girls were more helpful and cooperative and nicer to each other. It was amazing to see the magic of thankfulness at work.”