So I realize that it's been months since I've written anything, oops! Honestly, nothing too exciting is happening in the Cookley household. We are both working and going to school full-time like most normal young married couples. As of late I've been practicing my baking and cooking skills, trying recipes in the crockpot and baking bread, and so far the reviews have been great aside from one meal that even I didn't like. It's crazy to think Rowdy and I have been married for about four months now, it seems like we have been married so much longer because since we started dating, we haven't spent much time apart. Considering I knew I was marrying him before we even began dating, with that mindset I guess that would be one of the reasons it feels like we have been married for nearly two years. Marriage has been.... a learning experience ha. The Bishop in my ward always says that the Lord puts us in families to learn patience among many other things, it's God's version of a classroom. I find this analogy accurate, it is teaching Rowdy and I lots of new skills. We aren't perfect and there are days that are difficult and taxing, but they are for our own growth and benefit, whether we choose to see those at the time or not, which leads me into the purpose of this post, GrAttitude.
Yesterday at church in Relief Society we had a lesson on "gratitude" but they extended it to "GrAttitude". We talked about how gratitude is an attitude, one that you have to choose to posses even in times of trial and defeat. I truly felt that this lesson was meant for me because how often is it that when we(me) are having a bad day or are frustrated and continue to mope and find more things to gripe about. Rather, we(me) can choose to accept that yes, something(s) went wrong but there are so many other things that have gone and are continuing to go right but we(me) choose to focus solely on the negative. Often, negativity is self perpetuating and rarely provides an answer or solution to the issue at hand. There may not always be an immediate answer or solution but there is never a shortage of things to be grateful for, it could ALWAYS be worse.
Something that struck me as so profound was that it's not our job to RECEIVE blessings, it's our job to CHERISH them. One of the things they suggested someone could do to remind themselves of all the things they are blessed with is to keep a gratitude journal. To some, this may sound cheesy but not to me!!!! I'm a writer, I love it, and it's often a way for me to vent rather than write down all my happy thoughts. So, I've decided i'm going to keep a gratitude journal so that when I'm having a bad day I can look back at all the Lord has blessed me with and write down something new that I am grateful for even in my time of struggle and frustration. It's just as the hymn says, "Count your many blessings name them one by one."
"Mercies and blessings come in different forms—sometimes as hard things. Yet the Lord said, "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things." All things means just that: good things, difficult things—not just some things. He has commanded us to be grateful because He knows being grateful will make us happy. This is another evidence of His love."
President Thomas S. Monson said, "We can lift ourselves and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues."
This lesson has changed my thinking in a lot of ways. I've decided to try and serve others more, take someone a loaf of bread when they are sad or sick, watch a mothers children so that she and her husband can have some time together or go to the temple. Service is the pure love of Christ, that is a feeling that I wish to feel as often as possible and share with others. Applying that same service and attitude in my own home when Rowdy and I are both having a bad day or maybe aren't getting along as well as we would like, can help soften my own heart and hopefully in turn, show him how much I do love him, even during the squabbles. I can't choose for him to feel this way, or adopt this attitude, but I can choose this for myself and bring the Spirit into our home.