Grateful Beyond Expression

ThanksI’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be more intentional in expressing gratitude.

I say thank you at the appropriate moments. I feel like that’s even been one of my more successful parenting ventures because thank you has been among the first words learned, spoken, and used correctly by all of my kids.

But there’s a difference between saying thank you and truly being grateful.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on how shifting your mindset can shift your reality. In all my reading there is one thing that has really stood out to me and that is how crucial gratitude is to that shift. Being truly grateful for everything you have opens up opportunities for you to receive more.

I decided to do an experiment and really stop and think about why I was grateful for things instead of just saying thank you. I also decided that I would intentionally look for things to be grateful for in difficult moments rather than just waiting until it passed to be grateful that it was over.

Thank-you-post-it_XoombiSometimes it was simple to be grateful. When my birthday came around and the well wishes started to collect on my Facebook wall I did a google search for thank you images and grabbed a handful to use to say thank you. Because I decided to find a different image for each person there were multiple visits to google to find more images to use throughout the day. As I posted each thank you I would think about that person and the love I was sending along to them. I would think of why I was grateful to have them as part of my life. I even thought of how grateful I was for the opportunity to spend almost a whole day being grateful. It was good practice.

Other moments were much more difficult. When my husband came home from work one day and told me about the changes his employer was making that would impact him directly there was definitely a deeper search for something to be grateful for. First, it was the simple fact that he still had a job at all. I also thought it could be an opportunity for him to learn new things and get some new experience. That didn’t turn out to be the case, unfortunately. In the end, it turned out that moment became a catalyst for us. I think we both shifted our thinking quite a bit and have started to focus more on what we really want and what we need to do to get it. I can definitely say that while that change has brought about some difficulties for us, it has also strengthened our resolve and refocused us on what is important, and for that I truly am grateful.

My conclusion: Being grateful beyond expression is more powerful than a dutiful recitation of the words, “Thank you.”

Since I’ve started my little experiment I’ve seen a profound shift in my thinking overall. I am a happier and hopefully kinder person. I’ve seen a shift in how I act and react towards the people I come in contact with. I’ve seen the blessings that can come from being truly grateful.

This is not a skill I’ve mastered yet. I still have to make a conscious decision to be grateful and frequently refocus my thoughts. I’m working on a habit of gratitude so that my first thought is to be grateful in every situation. I’m working to more fully express my gratitude both to the people around me and to my Father in Heaven who is the creator of all the things I have to be grateful for.

I am grateful beyond expression.

What are you grateful for?

Categories: Diligent in Gratitude | Leave a comment

A Little Bit of Design

This week I’ve learned and practiced some design techniques in Photoshop and Illustrator. It’s been great getting those creative juices flowing.

On the blog you’ll see this new header,

Blog Header

and this new quote (that will appear in gratitude posts).


The business start-up I’ve been working with is not quite ready to show what they’re working on, but it’s been some fun stuff! You’ll be hearing more about that in the near future.

Categories: Diligent in Learning | Tags: , | Leave a comment

What I’ve learned from my 6 year old: Maxx edition.

☆No matter how many bad guys you defeat today, there will always be more to defeat tomorrow.
☆No battle with the bad guys is complete without sound effects.
☆If you can be anything, be awesome!
☆Don’t be afraid to break the rules and create something new.
☆You won’t go wrong if you follow your father.

Some other fun things about Maxx:

☆ He loves to learn new things and his favorite homeschool activity right now is math. I suspect that is at least partially due to it being on the computer.
☆ I could fill a book with the one-liners that come out of this kid’s mouth. He has me laughing almost daily.
☆ When he gets a new LEGO set he likes help building it according to the instructions. It never lasts more than a few minutes in that state, though.
☆ Life would not be the same without his boundless energy. I am so grateful to have him be a part of my family.

Categories: Diligent in Family Relationships | Leave a comment

Potential and Perspective

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I was laying in bed this morning when I began thinking about potential. I’m not sure exactly when or where the stream of thought started, but here’s what I remember of where it went.

  • The phrase, “I see a lot of potential,” is frequently used when speaking of talents, skills, and other ways we may measure success in this world.
  • The opposite of that phrase may be, “This person will amount to nothing.”
  • People often live up to the potential, or lack of, that others see in them and then express.
  • Beyond worldly success and potential, though, is our divine potential.
  • Because we are all the spirit children of God, EVERY person has the divine potential to become even as He is.

It was an interesting stream of thought to get my day started and I decided that I needed to really focus on these thoughts as I did my scripture study this morning. When I did a search for the word potential I came across a link to the talk “The Eternal Perspective of the Gospel” by Elder Rafael E. Pino of the Seventy given during April 2015 General Conference. Elder Pino teaches that it is essential to have a gospel centered perspective when making decisions that affect eternity. Specifically, he said,

“The eternal perspective of the gospel leads us to understand the place that we occupy in God’s plan, to accept difficulties and progress through them, to make decisions, and to center our lives on our divine potential.”

93b938d03af3210929db7e2973f6423cI was reminded of other reading I have done recently on perspective. Stephen R. Covey speaks of our paradigms, or the way that our vision of reality and our values influence how we interpret the world around us. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he speaks of an experiment he participated in where a room full of people were shown different images that ultimately influenced what they saw in the now well-known Old Lady or Young Woman optical illusion. It took only 10 seconds for paradigms or perceptions to be set in such a way that one image or the other in the illusion was the one an individual would see first. In most cases this group of people could not see the alternate image at all until they really started to talk with each other in an attempt to understand another perspective.

Our perspective in any situation highly influences the reality that we experience. I’ve come to a couple of important conclusions about potential and perspective today.

  1. Our perspective influences not just what we see, but how we react to it.
  2. When measuring a person’s potential, our own or someone else’s, it is important to understand the perspective we are measuring that potential from.
  3. When viewed from a mortal perspective a person’s potential may appear limited or nonexistent.
  4. When viewed from an eternal perspective that same person has unlimited potential.
  5. We can be taught to look from either the mortal perspective or the eternal perspective.

I am a daughter of a loving Father in Heaven. I have the choice to see myself from His perspective with the unlimited potential that includes, or to measure myself against the world’s standard and the idea that there may be limits to what I can accomplish. I am a wife and mother in my own family. I have the choice to look at my husband and children from an eternal perspective or mortal perspective as well, and I have the responsibility to strengthen and encourage my family to see their own divine potential. I am a member of the human race, a wide society of individuals who all had the same start as spirit children of God. I have the choice to view them with an eternal perspective that imparts potential without bias, or to view them through a mortal perspective that defines potential based on class, ability, gender, race, or any other number of things.

I choose an eternal perspective based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I choose unlimited divine potential. Do my words and actions help others to also discover and reach for their unlimited divine potential?

Categories: Diligent in Faith | Leave a comment

15 Years and Counting

903668_10152743075710037_298744498_oFifteen years ago today I married my favorite person in the world. There were people who were worried that we weren’t a good match, that we wouldn’t last, and that I was too young to understand what I was getting myself into. We ignored the naysayers and were sealed for time and all eternity in the Las Vegas temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’ve had our rough moments, but we have stuck by each other and we have grown up together.

We’ve come a long way in 15 years. We’re older and wiser. The way we started our life together was not ideal by some standards, but it was perfect for us. We are the same people we were then in some ways, and completely different in other ways. One thing is for sure, I am still in love with this man and can’t imagine my life without him.

As Mike and I talked about what we wanted to do to celebrate our anniversary we came up with a few ideas, but we both kept coming back to one thing. There are a lot of people who have left an imprint on our lives over the last 15 years. We would not be the people we are without each and every one of them. We want to celebrate not just the two of us sticking together for 15 years. We want to celebrate everyone and everything that has brought us to this point. We’ve got a rough idea of what we want to do. We just need to work out the details. So, keep your eyes peeled, because you just might see your name in lights soon.

Categories: Diligent in Family Relationships | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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