Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Writer's Gratitude

Recently our family has been going through some, well, we'll call them "learning experiences." If I were prone to whining I would tell you all about them, but you'll understand more about why I'm not exercising my whiner muscles in a bit.

The point is, it's been bad enough and we've tried everything we can think of to improve our situation for long enough, that the most effective of all weapons has now been in play for several months:

The Visiting Teacher.

My amazing visiting teacher has been praying for me, like always, but has been specifically praying for inspiration in her role as VT for ideas to help me in my current situation. A visiting teacher is a woman, part of a two-gal ensemble, who is charged with the care (spiritual, mental, physical, what-have-you) of her own little flock of ladies. It is a function of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (oldest and largest women's organization in the world, woot woot!) and since each "companionship" has several sisters, everyone gets a little extra watching-out-for and we care for each other. So, MY particular visiting teacher takes her job very seriously and has been praying for ways to help me and my family.  She came up with this idea:

You think of the blessings you need, and you find the promise in the scriptures. Then, you work backwards from there. SO in my case, we needed financial blessings. We've got tithing down. She found scriptural promises attached to keeping the Sabbath, we are on that like gangbusters. In my studying, I found a biggie:

And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.  
                                       Doctrine and Covenants 78:19

So that's what has been on my mind, every channel, all day and night. How can my family be more grateful. I'm reminded of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude from the last General Conference, and how we have to have gratitude not just for THINGS, but for ALL things (same as the scripture above), and how it becomes not just "counting our blessings" but a true spirit of gratitude.

SO, how does this help me/you/everyone as a writer? I propose these ways. There are more, these are just my top three:

1) Look at the scripture. Made glorious. Things added--an hundred fold and more.  That's sorta self-explanatory.  There are promises made to the grateful heart. 

2) Having a spirit of gratitude colors your world. As my family and I have been concentrating on gratitude--true gratitude--and as I have been conscientiously seeking to find ways to improve my grateful spirit and heart, I find that trials don't weigh me down. The stinkin' finances don't occupy my every thought. There's more room in my brain for deep thoughts. I have more happiness and more inspiration. 

3) This is a developing idea--kind of my "next stage" in my gratitude studies. If we are grateful, we care for the gifts we are given.  We are good stewards of our blessings. So, we budget our money. We hug our kids and act like we actually are thankful for them, not that we want to strangle them and oh-my-heck will they just HUSH... sorry.  Work in progress.   

We GUARD our time. We DEVELOP our talents. We know we are blessed with the ability to put pen to paper and express ourselves, and because we are grateful for that gift, we don't squander it with clever Facebook posts and angry letters to school administrators.  I'm not saying don't do those things, just don't make that ALL you write.

What's holding you back from really diving in to your talent that the Lord has given you? Fear? Lack of time? Motivation? GET RID OF IT. Don't you bury that talent--there's no excuse for that. 

IF we are truly grateful for our writing talent, we will develop it and use it and turn it into a gift for the Lord. 

What better motivation is there than that? 

Gratitude is the ultimate writer's muse. 

(I have more on gratitude, but that's for another day) :)  Write on, my friends!



  1. What wonderful reminders! Whenever I am going through trials and trying to remind myself to be grateful, I always imagine John Cusack in “America’s Sweethearts”- whenever his character starts fuming over something he has to take a deep breath and he starts saying, “I’m thankful for the moon, I’m thankful for the stars, I’m thankful for the sun...” I feel like that sometimes, like I’m reciting my blessings through gritted teeth, but it really does work.

    I have never considered gratitude as something you can really study, but now I see what a blessing that might be. Kudos to your VT for her wise insights.

    1. Thanks, Kasey. I always wish for a "how-to" list when it comes to the topic "developing a spirit of...(insert thing here)"... gratitude, kindness, patience, etc. Strangely (or not?) I never find a list... so I have been researching and experimenting upon my guinea, family--gratitude journaling, long musings from Mom, stuff like that. Today in the temple I was reading Alma 32--the FAITH chapter. I realized that cultivating a spirit of gratitude is like that tree... the seed, the swelling, the sprout...and continuing to nourish through the sapling, the young tree, the fruit-bearing. It's a long process, that doesn't end. I'm just at the beginning and I am SO looking forward to learning and growing even more in this aspect!

  2. Oh, I love this so much! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Excellent. Been slacking lately, needed to see this.



Related Posts with Thumbnails