“It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”–and anyone who has tried this knows there are many–but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.” President Uchtdorf, “Grateful in Any Circumstance“, April 2014)
I feel as though I already did a post about gratitude a few weeks ago when I decided I needed an attitude adjustment but I figure you can’t have too much gratitude and I wanted to share an experience that I had.
First off, something you should know about me. One of my favorite things in autumn is when leaves fall in a giant clump, like a little snow storm of leaves. Because they’re light, they slowly drift to the ground in yellows, reds, oranges, and even browns and for whatever reason it makes me heart happy.
Now to my story. We’ve been trying to get pregnant for several months now. Since we got pregnant the first two times almost as soon as we decided we were ready for a baby, we took for granted that the same thing wouldn’t happen this time around. Unfortunately, month after month we find we are not pregnant. It’s been frustrating and heartbreaking.
Tuesday was another one of those days where I’m not pregnant and I wonder if maybe it’s just not meant to be or maybe we’re just no longer able to have kids. And I get depressed but then I think of friends who have been trying longer to get pregnant with no success, or those who have miscarried, or those who don’t have any kids. And then I remind myself that it wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t even think I’d be married, much less have two kids. And then I reminded myself that I don’t know what’s in store for me and for my family and maybe there’s a reason we didn’t get pregnant on our schedule.
So I started praying, because I don’t want to just keep trying forever until I get pregnant (I’m not as young as I used to be) but I didn’t want to say, “God, I’ll give you until such and such date and it’d better happen by then or it’s not happening” because I wouldn’t have done that when I was single and praying about how I hoped I wouldn’t be alone the rest of my life.
Anyway – long story a little shorter, I prayed, I cried, prayed some more and felt peace. Then my husband came into the room and could tell I had been crying and he put his arms around me and let me cry some more because I’m not pregnant and not preparing to be sick all the time and gain a bunch of weight. Then he made me laugh…a lot.
Later I was headed to the library with the kiddos and the leaves rained down from the sky, the sun shining and the scene around me so quintessentially autumnal and a deep sense of gratitude replaced heartache. It was like God saying, “I’m sorry you’re sad, but here’s something I know you like. Hope it helps.”
And it did.
Although life isn’t exactly how I planned for it to be right now, I have so much to be grateful for and I’m indeed grateful to have my husband who lets me cry but also knows how to pull me out of it and get me laughing. And a Heavenly Father who makes the leaves fall just as I’m driving under them because it always makes me happy.