I seem to fall apart when it comes to my journal in October, at least I did this year. I think it was the different assignments, I didn't make journaling a priority. Rather than get frustrated with myself I'm just going to start anew and November is the perfect month. I always look forward to focusing on the many blessings I have in my life. I can even find blessings in my trials and weaknesses.
Ten years ago I hear President Eyring say,
"When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. Let me tell you how that got started. I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.
He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”
I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.
I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened." (Henry B. Eyring, "O Remember, Remember", General Conference, October 2007)
I have never forgotten his words and think of them often, usually when I forget to write. However, despite my inconstancy, I have seen great blessings as a result of consistently (in my inconsistent way) recording the blessings in my life. So today I made it a priority to print off the pages and add them to my journal. I date stamped each list and I am ready for the month.
If you would like to participate and use the gratitude pages here are the links.
Gratitude poster (idea, super simple. We are on our 7th year.)
TheSmallSeed has a wonderful Daily Gratitude Devotional Guide available for download as well. I'm looking forward to learning and seeing God's hand in my life this month.