Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Appreciating Home.

If I was going to be struck down for a committing one of the seven deadly sins, it would definitely be envy that did me in.

I have a real "the grass is greener" issue. I just envy a lot of things people have or the things that people do. I see other families and I will think "I wish we did FHE more." "I wish we had bunting like that outside." "I wish I looked like her." "Why can't I cook like that?" "I wish I was as patient as she is."  "I wish I/we..."

I look at other people's lives and I can't help but be envious of them. Which honestly, it makes me feel like crap and I am sure makes me look like a very ungrateful person. Because I truly do lead a blessed life.

Our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson gave a talk this last conference about having an attitude of gratitude. 

That talk really hit a chord with me. Two Sundays ago, in Gospel Doctrine, we were asked to keep a running list of things we were grateful for during the week. We were asked to try to have an attitude of gratitude, like Prophet Monson suggests.

We totally did it, and it was nice to center ourselves around gratitude that week. We were thankful for big things like the fellowship in our new ward to small things like aloe vera. 

This simple exercise really got me to start thinking in a more positive and constructive way about my life. It's so easy these days to get lost in the glamour of other people's lives. It's easy to sit back and look from afar and say "Man, don't they live the good life! Why can't my life be like that!?"

To me, it reminds me of children in the candy store who both get candy and they are each complaining about what they got instead of just being grateful that they have candy at all. 

I think have how very sad our Heavenly Father must feel. He must look down and weep for us; that we are too blind to our own blessings that He tailor-made for us because we are too busy envying someone else's tailor-made blessing. 

The facts of the matter are this--our Heavenly Father knows us intimately! He is in the very details of our lives. We receive blessings, and we receive trials with His guiding hand behind it all, and His plan for us leading the way. We must keep in mind Jeremiah 29:11, that He only has plans to prosper us, never to harm us! He gives us these things for our spiritual growth that we may return to Him one day. We shouldn't be envious of how others get there, we should be focused on our own path!

All the envy? It's really self deprecation. When it all comes down to it, you are thinking "I am not good enough"--"My life is not good enough." That is NEVER true. That is the adversary working on you. That's the adversary trying to bring you into his twisted dark world. DO NOT LET HIM. Count your many blessings, and you WILL be a happier person. I testify of this to you! 

Someone ALWAYS has it worse or better than you. There will always be someone who you think has the perfect life. I assure you, the people that seem like they have a perfect life, most likely don't. No one has the perfect life. The grass is NOT greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it. 

The people who are most happy in life are the ones who CHOOSE to be happy! The ones who recognize and count their blessings one by one. Living an attitude of gratitude, and just being grateful and thankful for the life Heavenly Father has set out for you, will release so much angst and anguish from your soul. After making a conscience effort to be grateful for a just a few weeks, I can already feel a huge difference. I am able to recognize each tiny blessing and be thankful for even the mundane. It has made me profoundly grateful for the larger blessings in our life. 

The biggest thing we are thankful for right now (outside of the health and well-being of our family) is that we OWN a house. It's not lost on us that we are very young and we own a beautiful house. Not a lot of people can say that and we know that this is the Lord's hand guiding us in the direction we are supposed to take. 

But before I started being truly grateful for it, I kept nit-picking it. I looked at other people's homes and became jealous and unhappy with the house we had. WHICH IS RIDICULOUS. We have a BEAUTIFUL house that really is so perfect for our family. The adversary loves to create contention where there is none. 

So, I decided to do something that would show everyone how proud I am of this house, our life together in it and the progress we have made on this journey of trying to become adults. I had a stamp made with our new address on it.  I came across these on TinyPrints website in the personalized gift section. I have always wanted one of these, and I have used it several times since we have been here. It's kind of amazing. It's one of those self-inking kind? So I don't have to worry about a stupid ink pad lying around for Gracie to eat. Would you believe that Daniel picked the design out? I think he did a really good job :)  

I blurred out my address, I love ya'll but I don't want you to unexpectedly show up for milk & cookies some day. ;)

Every time I stamp it down, I get a new sense of pride. I am reminded of how insanely lucky and blessed we are to have this house. It is OUR house and we should be darn proud of it! It's OUR address. It belongs to us! It represents our home and all that goes with it. 

We must make the choice to be happy or else we could be living in a mansion with a bazzillion dollars and we would still be miserable. We are in our exact lives and situations for a reason. There is something to be gained and something to be learned out of every situation. There are constant blessings to be had and to be found, you just have to look for them. But if you are always looking for someone else's blessings, how are you ever going to see your own?  

It is hard to not be envious of others. But we have to do whatever we can to at least try to be grateful for our lives and what we do have. 

I did it with a stamp. I have taken to keeping a list of something I am grateful for each day; it honestly has been helping me so much. My attitude in general is just so much better when I am making the choice to be happy & grateful. I am not perfect at it, by any means, but there is definitely a huge difference.

Hopefully, when judgment day comes, I will be able to just thank the Lord for all he blessed me with and He will be proud that I used his blessings and gifts instead of wasting my life yearning for someone else's.

That's what I hope anyway.



P.S. This was a REALLY long post. Congrats for finishing it! :D 

1 comment:

  1. I have honestly always thought myself to be a grateful person. I have always been able to readily count my blessings. After JaiseAnn was born, I was readmitted to the hospital. It was pretty common, but I was freaked out. I've never had medical problems before---add that to a crash in hormones and a brand new baby I loved more than life and I was a wreck. I was convinced I was dying. Convinced. I couldn't even be grateful for my little girl, because I was certain I was just given her as a joke, only to be taken from her days later. It sounds extreme and dramatic, but I was so scared. Since then I've reflected a lot on the talk you referenced here. I realized that my testimony was not strong to be grateful IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Sure I was fine being grateful with my home, my husband, and my family. I could list the things I had been blessed with, but I couldn't recognize God's hand in my life or his love while I was sick and scared. I didn't want to. I've since realized that it takes a strong testimony to be grateful in any circumstance and that is something I'm working on. I am a worrier. A big worrier so this is a challenge for me, but I am working on it. Sorry, super long comment. I loved this post, though. I love the honesty of it. I struggle with envy, too.


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