All over Facebook this month, I have been reading what everyone is grateful for. Tyson's cousin also gave a fantastic talk on gratitude, today. You know when you hear a talk and it hits home, or it is an answer to your prayers? Well this one did it for me.
Living in Fresno, as you may know, has been a challenge for me. I have shed many tears over the past year and a half in regards to missing EVERYTHING about Utah. I miss the clean air, the mountains, the snow, my favorite restaurants, my friends, and especially my family. The list could go on and on but I am not on here today to write about the things that I miss. I am taking the time to look at what wonderful things I am surrounded by, living here in California. Sometimes I focus so much on the negative and forget to look at how blessed I really am.
About a month ago Tyson and I discussed the option of moving back to Utah. Oh how my heart yearned to be in Utah. I wanted more than anything to back in a familiar place surrounded by those big beautiful mountains. We knew that if we were going to move, this would be the time. We took the opportunity to fast and pray about our decision. After doing so, together we knew, although I wanted to be in Utah, that Fresno was the place to call home.
There have been times in my life where I thought I knew what was best for me, but after much prayer and putting my trust in the Lord, I found that he had and has greater plans for me. I am grateful for an eternal perspective and a loving Father in Heaven who knows exactly what is best for me.
This past year has taught me a lot about myself. At times I realized how much work I really have to becoming more like Christ. Being in Utah it was easy for me to be happy, it was easy for me to be my bubbly self, it was easy to laugh and let everyone know the real me. Living here has not been so. I haven't liked who I was or who I was becoming. I found myself always complaining and wishing for things to be different or for others to reach out to me. I am learning that my happiness should not be contingent on where I live or who's personality is clashing with mine, but upon what I am doing for others and how I becoming closer to the spirit.
I am truly blessed. I have the most incredibly loving husband, who has stood by my side and wiped many tears from my eyes. He has listened to me wine and complain. He always makes me feel like gold. Tyson and I have beautiful little home, that protects us from the cold and heat. We have food for every meal of the day. We both have jobs that provide us with the good things of life. We have family who would do anything for us. We have an amazing ward. We have the opportunity of sharing the Gospel to so many. I have made some great friends, who I admire so much. I get to teach Zumba to the most awesome group of individuals. They come every week without fail. They even come to tell me they aren't coming. I am blessed to have the Fresno temple. Although, we may not have a Nordstrom in Fresno, I am grateful we have an Anthropologie. Most of all I am grateful to have the gospel no matter where I live.
There is a quote that I read often, that has helped me.
"Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others... By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves."
~Gordon B. Hinckley~
I love this time of year because we can take that extra time and express our gratitude for everything we have. We also get to reflect on Christ's birth and his perfect example. I hope to learn the lessons that the Lord wants me to learn. I am grateful to be here in California. I know it is what he wants and with him and my husband by my side, there is nothing I cannot do.