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I'm not much for visiting teaching. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I don't really like going, and I always hope I have visiting teachers that won't come visit me. But I've been having a few experiences lately that are slowly but surely converting me to how wonderful it can be.
Today my visiting teachers came. I'm not the type that really needs anything and I'd never ask for help, even if I did. But in recent years I've had various visiting teachers that think outside the box to help make my life easier or better. My previous visiting teachers took a serious interest in my kids. They both were extremely influential in helping Noah get ready for baptism and feel comfortable in Primary.
Right now one is a talented graphic designer. The other is a talented baker. They both use their skills professionally. The baker brings me treats all the time. And today the graphic designer showed up with the supplies to make a "Give Thanks" banner for my mantle. She suggested we sit around the table and assemble it together. So that's what we did. And before she left she hung it up for me and we all stood there and admired it. The whole experience felt good.
Yesterday when I was running I was thinking about how much I have to be grateful for. I think I'm a naturally grateful (and blessed) person, so I don't wait around until this time of year to reflect. But still, as I was running along the sidewalk by Buddy's school, enjoying the beautiful weather... leaves on the ground, colorful trees all around, flowers and shrubs still in bloom, it made me really pause. I live in a beautiful world, I have a healthy body, I have a loving and hilarious family, I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. I have everything.
I'm not going to lie, it helps that my kids have been easy lately. G has a great job and he works hard to provide for our family. We all have good health. I have friends that are supportive and like me even when I'm lame. We live in a particularly beautiful part of the world. Our house is warm and safe. I have had experiences all through my life, but especially lately that have revealed God's hand in my life. We have a temple nearby. We have birthmothers that continue to give love and support over and over again. We have plenty of food. We have health insurance. We have the Internet. We have access to excellent education. I have a comfy bed. Our cars run well.
These things all make life easy and require me to sacrifice very little. It's easy to give thanks when I have abundance in all areas of my life. But I've been learning that even if I didn't have some of those thins, or any of those things, I can still be happy. Happiness -- and gratitude -- can't be dependent on things that can easily come and go. I control my happiness! It's such a new way of looking at my life. Especially because I can tell you that I'm a lot happier now than when we were so poor we couldn't afford food or heat. Or when I broke my foot and couldn't exercise for months. Or when we didn't have kids. Or when I didn't have close friends.
It's so much easier to be happy when you have it all. But I want to be the kind of person that is happy no matter what I have. The kind of person who receives all I need from the atonement of Jesus Christ. It seems so cliche, really, but it works. And I also think it's fitting that we celebrate Christmas a few weeks after Thanksgiving. So we can give thanks for all we have, and rest in Him for everything we don't have.