Quarterly, the women of my church meet together at Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Meeting. At our last meeting, Erin gave an excellent overview of a book written by our church's late president, Gordon B. Hinckley. The book is entitled Way to Be!: 9 ways to be happy and make something of your life. While I listened to Erin remind of us of the simple advice President Hinckely gives in the book, I got the idea of doing a little series on my blog highlighting these practical nine ways to be.
Since it is November, I am going to start with "Be Grateful."
On Monday night, my family and I made a little "gratitude tree." Earlier in the day, I cut out leaves of various colors and shapes (and by "I," I mean I forced my artistic friend Colette to help me). Then, I attached the leaves to a little string. I sent Maia and Mason into the woods behind our house (affectionately called "Terebithia" by my offspring) to retrieve a small, dead tree branch.
During our family night, I gave the kids pens and had them write something they were thankful for on each leaf. (Naturally, I wrote Mackenna's leaves for her.) I loved seeing what the kids came up with! Here are my favorites from each child: Maia's "Books to read," Mason's "Life," Marlee's "Famule" (that's five year-old for "family") and Mackenna's "Big Teddy Bear" (I think it's important to note here that Mackenna also has a leaf that reads "Little Teddy Bear").
Then we talked about why it is important to be grateful. Thinking about all the wish-I-had's just makes you grumpy. When our thoughts are focused on all the wonderful things we do have, we are happier. It's that simple.
I was thinking about this the other day after posting my "Wish List." I was reminded, yet again, to think of about the big, awesome pantry in my kitchen instead of the dated, warping cupboards. When my thoughts turn to my pantry, I am happy.
So, this month I am really going to try to focus on the great things I have and the wonderful people I know and feel grateful for them. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, won't you join me?