Friday, November 9, 2007

my 200th post...

I gave a lesson in Young Womens on Sunday, which was actually very fitting for this time of year. The assigned topic was gratitude and appreciation. I was so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn more about this topic, and to strive in my life to be more appreciative of all the little things that people do for me, as well as the countless ways in which my Heavenly Father has blessed me. Indeed, I have been richly blessed, and have great need to express my gratitude and appreciation to Him. In honor of my 200th post, (hooray! hooray!) I compiled a list of 200 things I am grateful for. So here they are, in no particular order (besides the first two)...

200 Things for which I am grateful:

1. the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and everything it encompasses)
2. my family
3. little children
4. patio furniture
5. teeth whitener
6. the hymns
7. ruby's laugh

8. john's smile

9. paper towels
10. fun mail
11. lotion
12. life after death
13. a loving Heavenly Father
14. good examples to follow
15. the ability to cry
16. dry heat
17. cleaning supplies
18. large families (more to love)
19. busy days
20. lazy days
21. play dates
22. blogs
23. family traditions
24. date night
25. email
26. eternal families
27. cafe rio's pork salad
28. being debt free
29. salad spritzers
30. hot chocolate
31. photoshop
32. comfortable bed
33. shoes
34. a prophet on the earth

35. good books

36. music
37. holidays
38. wonderful in-laws (sibling's spouces, as well as john's family)
39. ice cream
40. our grill
41. baby wipes
42. cell phones

43. air conditioning
44. the dollar section at target
45. knock-offs
46. scented candles
47. modern medicine
48. john's job
49. friends -old and new
50. computers
51. my dad - for his wisdom, love, and support
52. the seasons
53. my eyes- so as not to miss the beauties of this world
54. the beauties of this world
55. our great ward
56. middle of the day phone calls from john
57. soap
58. red grapes

59. children's books
60. my ipod
61. colors
62. the ensign
63. oreos with milk
64. clocks
65. a washer and dryer
66. our year supply of food
67. family photos
68. tivo
69. purified drinking water

70. the opportunity to be a stay at home mom
71. mac makeup
72. our wedding pictures and video
73. ceiling fans
74. teachers
75. animals

76. our big comfy couch
77. electricity
78. morning walks
79. exercise
80. straight teeth
81. commandments and laws
82. a happy home where the Spirit dwells
83. the closeness of john's office
84. a loving mother-in-law
85. a generous father-in-law
86. clean humor
87. the atonement
88. ruby's nap time
89. diversity
90. having served a mission
91. optimistic people
92. fabric softener
93. general conference
94. my step mom - and for her selfless ways
95. a clean house
96. lunches with john
97. vegetation
98. a blow dryer and flat iron
99. sunsets
100. the mid-november, mid-80 degree, arizona weather
101. ruby - the joy and light of my life
102. john - the love of my life
103. isaac - my angel boy
104. our home
105. trials and adversity
106. my testimony
107. flowers

108. grateful people
109. ruby's snugly moods
110. my ancestors
111. portable dvd players
112. my calling in yw
113. pillows
114. night lights
115. kind neighbors
116. pacifiers

117. temples (and one close by)
118. air travel
119. peace and serenity in a troubled world
120. hot showers
121. bubbly baths
122. the book of John (new testament)
123. silence
124. body for life
125. the ability to serve others
126. two smart and funny brothers
127. four fun loving sisters
128. clothing that hides fat rolls
129. pb and honey sandwiches
130. weekend get-a-ways
131. oceans, lakes, rivers...
132. sandy beaches
133. the ability to have children
134. baby monitors
135. our clean and organized garage
136. a keen mind
137. cookbooks
138. my workout partner
139. dr. porter (if not for him, we may not have our little ruby gem)
140. the warmth of the sun
141. poetry
142. good bargains
143. nordstrom notes
144. my nice camera to capture life's moments
145. life's moments worth capturing
146. a free country
147. those who made it free
148. priesthood blessings
149. refrigerator and cupboards full of food
150. two working cars
151. hairspray
152. good health
153. the internet
154. running water
155. the Holy Ghost-who whispers truth to my mind and peace to my heart
156. ultra sounds
157. birthday celebrations
158. family gatherings
159. baby lotion
160. my marriage and temple sealing to john

161. beautiful art
162. my driver's licence
163. The Book of Mormon (and other scriptures)
164. my mom - and the 20 years i spent with her
165. disposable diapers
166. beautiful love stories
167. the plan of salvation
168. healthy food
169. motivational songs, stories, experiences, etc
170. journals
171. my Savior

172. our neighborhood pool
173. functioning body parts
174. nieces and nephews
175. walls adorning pictures of the Savior
176. our memory box of Isaac
177. being able to live comfortably
178. snow capped mountains
179. desert plains
180. new clothes
181. cheesecake
182. our dvd collection
183. dad's phone calls
184. Excedrin
185. my knowledge
186. my ability to learn new things
187. a compassionate heart
188. the young women in my ward
189. accessories
190. shampoo and conditioner
191. a safe neighborhood
192. a husband that compliments, encourages, praises - and who never ever puts me down
193. the moon and stars
194. our homemade gift tradition at christmas time
195. herbs and spices
196. credit cards (if used properly)
197. my books on photography (now I just have to read them!)
198. sippy cups and ruby's new snack trap
199. the symbolism found in the scriptures
200. all the conveniences of the modern world

The things for which I am grateful are certainly not limited to these 200. I can't even begin to count, or write on paper, the myriad blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me, and upon my family. I am going to take President Eyring's council and start a gratitude journal. He said that if you do it long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God's hand in your life.
I know that if we go through life with grateful hearts, we will be reminded of blessings that we hadn't even thought of, or that we had taken for granted.

President Faust taught that a grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development for such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, well being.

In his book Standing for Something, President Hinckley wrote "My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we accentuate the positive, I am asking that we look a little deeper for good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort".

I personally, don't believe we could possibly obey President Hinckley's plea if we didn't first have gratitude in our hearts...


buddens said...

Oh, Nicole. I can't wait to meet you in person one day! You are great and I love your list. My cousin's wife, and subsequently one sister and one cousin, have started a "Five for Friday's" list each Friday on their blogs of five things they are grateful for that week. I too, LOVED President Eyring's talk. It was one of my favorite's. I also can't believe you're already at 200 posts! Incredible!

buddens said...

Oh, I almost forgot. Red grapes are hands down better than green. We keep a tupperware fully stocked of them in our fridge at all times. Love them1

Julie said...

Nicole, I just love you. I am so impressed you are reading Ayn Rand! My sister-in-law is an Ayn Rand fanatic. The woman is amazing. I back up her philosophies 100%. Now, I can't say I have read any of her books yet, but I KNOW people that have read them, and I talk to them about it. :)

I love your list.

Amber and Dallas said...

What a wonderful 200th post. Gratitude is so important. I loved reading each and every one of the things you are grateful for. What a sweet example you are to me!

Kira Joy said...

I think I totally want to copy your idea...I am coming up on my 100th post.

The Lee Family said...

I love reading your blog. I love reading the 200 things and comparing them to the things I am thankful for as well. Love the paper towels. Evelynne never took a pacifer, so I don't have a testimony of that one, but I LOVE the picture of Ruby's cute chubby cheeks!

Danielle said...

Thanks for your strong testimony Nicole. You and John are such GOOD examples for me (and for others). I, too, have been trying to focus more on being grateful for things in my life - even the little, seemingly subtle things. (And have been trying to write them down via my Blog).

I'm sure your talk was wonderful. Those young women are so lucky to have you.

Jason & Brandi Mitchell Family said...

Nicole, Where did you and John eat on day one of your Utah trip? I think I've been to that Japanese restaurant before! I t looks like you had so much fun! Your family is so adorable!