Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful Turkeys

In our lesson in yesterday’s HP group, this quotation from George Albert Smith struck me:

I don’t know of any man in all the world who has more reason to be grateful than I.

What a great way to start Thanksgiving Week!

It’s been a very stressful few weeks for me, and frankly gratitude has not been at the top of my list. Even so, I know what season it is, and I know in my head I need to count my blessings. There was a great post on blessing counting at Real Intent (see it here) in which Montserrat reminds us of the value of counting, and the value of blessings. She refers to President Eyring’s gratitude journal and the value of that daily record of blessings not only to him, but to his family, as well.

She says, simply,

When we count our blessings our focus changes from what we don’t have to what we do.

How cool is that?

When we moved to Taiwan a number of years ago, the change was tough on our kids who still lived with us at home. New country. New school. New church environment. And on and on. It was easy for the kids to complain. My lovely wife had the great idea that they should list five good things from the day before they went to sleep each night. Over time, that exercise had a terrific effect, helping our kids change their attitude and to look for the good in our new adventure.

In our home, we have a Thankful Turkey – not the eating kind, but definitely the stuffing kind. It’s a cardboard box with a paper turkey head and paper turkey feathers. There’s a slit in the top and a stack of papers nearby. Family members throughout the month of November are to list things they’re thankful for and stuff the turkey with them. At Thanksgiving dinner, we open the box and read them. We also keep the slips from prior years and read a few of those, too.

So, it’s pretty simple to count to five. And it’s pretty simple to list five good things from a day. And doing so does shift our focus from what we don’t have to what we do. What is stopping me from doing it? Perhaps the easiness of the way, like those Israelites who wouldn’t look at the serpent on Moses’ staff. Well, today I’m looking:

1. Continuing employment, even when it is stressful
2. A loving and supportive wife and family
3. My children’s success in their very many endeavors, from education to employment
4. The peace that comes from studying the scriptures, and the witness of their truth
5. My ability and opportunity to face each new day
How about you?

The Thankful Turkey Box photo and directions for making one can be found here at Family Fun Crafts.
BTW, check out my latest post at Real Intent, "The Power of Memory," here.

1 comment:

  1. I heard that comment and it reminded me of Elder Holland who always says no man ever appreciated the mission more than he did. I think both are weird ways of trying to say what they want to say.