I have strong feelings about gratitude, in case you haven't noticed. I think it's not just a good thing, but absolutely essential, to have gratitude in our hearts all the time, and for all things. Because there is much to be grateful for.
This afternoon on the way home from school (which is just about my favorite time of the day) Megan told me a great story. She had been walking down the hall on the way back from lunch with her friends, when she decided to hang back a little and take her time. When the friends noticed she was no longer with them, they stopped to let her catch up and asked why she was walking so slowly. Here's what she said, "I'm just trying to soak up as much of my surroundings as possible, because I don't want to look back someday and regret that I didn't even know what color the walls were in a building where I spent three years of my life." Her friends rolled their eyes and hurried off to their classes. Megan then listed for me all the things she had never noticed during previous walks down that hall. I love that Megan notices the details of her day. I love that she never misses an opportunity to generously gush forth compliments, and I love that she is grateful from the inside of her soul.
(People think Savannah and I are so much alike, and I suppose on the outside we are, but really if you laid my heart and Megan's side by side, they would be almost identical. We are magnetized by the same things, uplifted by the same things, and motivated by the same things. We stop and sniff roses, smile at babies, and take pictures of whatever takes our breath away. We are hoarders of memories and frenetic scribblers of words...any words, all the time. We are fascinated by animals and nature, but also miserably allergic to those things.)
I love this time of year because gratitude is in the forefront of everyone's minds and hearts, but I always secretly hope that those November feelings will linger after Christmas has been packed up. It wouldn't be a bad thing for all of us to slow down a little and memorize the color of a hallway or the sound of a bird. There is much to be grateful for even when Thanksgiving and Christmas are months away.
"Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God's love." - Gordon B. Hinckley
I am grateful today for a warm house, slippers on my feet, a daughter who thinks like me, and chocolate chip cookies in the oven. I am grateful for family and friends, both near and far, who love me unconditionally, no matter the condition of my house or the gloominess of my mood. And I am grateful every day for a loving Heavenly Father whose hand is apparent in even the tiniest details of my life.