Monday, November 22, 2010

A Thankful Heart

A few years ago our prophet, Thomas S.Monson, gave a talk in general conference.  In this talk he coined the phrase, "an attitude of gratitude."   I love it!  Over the past few years, I have thought  a lot about gratitude, what it means, how people respond to it and (hey let's be honest) "what's in it for me?"

These are my thoughts on Gratitude:

1.  Gratitude is a gift to the giver as well as the receiver.
2.  When I have gratitude I am truly aware of the many blessings from my Heavenly Father.
3.  When I am grateful, my gratitude seems to completely fill every nook of my heart.  It leaves no room for negatives.
4.  When I have gratitude I will not covet.
5.  Listing all the things I am grateful for gives me an overwhelming sense of the Lord's love for me.
6.  Expressing gratitude to others as well as my Heavenly Father makes me more human.  I am more open to friendships and relationships.
7.  Lack of gratitude leads to entitlement.
8. No matter how bad today may seem, there are always many things in my life to be grateful for.

My sister, Shelly, passed away on October 28, 2010. Shelly has definitely been one of the greatest blessings in my life. 

When I was born, Shelly was so excited that she begged our mom to let her show me off to the neighborhood kids.  Mom agreed to hold me up to the front window. Shelly gathered all of her friends and they "oohed" and "aahed" over me. 

Shelly is also responsible for my middle name.  Shelly doesn't have one and that bothered her.  She insisted that our parents give me a middle name.  That is why I am Amy Lyn.   Even at just six years old, Shelly was already looking out for me.

Shelly and I shared a room from as long as I can remember.  I wasn't always the best roommate, messy and all.  I even recall a couple of times when I stole a dime or two from her ballerina jewelry box so I could buy something from the ice cream man (so bad).  One time I as I was trying to smuggle the dime out of the house in my mouth (a genius move), I swallowed it!

When I was thirteen, Shelly went off to college at BYU.  I missed her from then on.  I missed how she and I would lay in bed and tell stories. I missed putting cold washcloths on our heads in the summertime, when it was really hot at night.  I missed sneaking up and getting cups of croutons for a late night snack (we would eat almost anything that resembled junk food).

 I missed listening to her, oh so cool, teenager music.  I missed watching her in plays and dance festivals.  I missed hearing her play the piano as our family sang around her.  I missed her calming influence on our family ( I only remember one time when she lost her cool with me).  I missed her taking me to the drive-in movies and bringing homemade pizza (not always the best).  I missed how she would spend hours reading in her room.  I especially missed how she would hold my hand at night until I fell asleep.

I missed Shelly so much that, eventhough it was the first time in my life to have my own room, I decided to move our little sis, Karen, in with me.    Now, don't get me wrong, I love my Karen, but that room was not the same after Shelly left. I never got to be the little sister again. 

Karen and I enjoyed sharing a room until she was twelve when I left for BYU.  I missed my little sis but probably not as much as the one left behind misses her big sis.  I think Karen missed me as much as I had missed Shelly.

Today I have a thankful heart. I am thankful for my sisters. They have filled my life with love, friendship, silly secrets and inside jokes. They have cheered for me in my triumphs and carried me through my sorrows.

Thankful heart?  You know it sista!


Lorna said...

Beautiful post. I love that picture. I also didn't get a middle name and insisted that Janet have one too!
I am grateful for you!

haley said...

I've got tears streaming down my cheeks. Thanks for sharing that. I agree about that middle name situation, who wants to explain that their entire life? I insisted on giving my girls middle names.

Shauna said...

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's Shauna Klippel here!!!! Happy Thanksgivig to all of you! Marie I love you and was trying to call you all day but your phone was busy. But, now I realize you are there in Fresno!!!

I miss you and hope to call you soon. Please email me with your cell number and then we can text!!!!!! The two girls in the world who know the least about their smart phones can try to communicate!!!!! It's going to be awesome Marie!

Love to you and your Fresno Family...Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!