1. I am grateful today for Denten. I'm grateful that he's the one I'm bound to for eternity. He may argue our compatibility in certain areas, but the plus side is that we've learned to work around our differences. I'm grateful that he's patient with me and that he allows and encourages me to learn and grow and become the daughter of God I was meant to be.
2. I am grateful today that Heavenly Father sent me to the home he did. I am grateful for parents who raised me with my best interests at heart, putting aside selfish desires for my well-being. I'm grateful that I know they love the Lord, they serve willingly and that our family is the most important thing to them.
3. I am grateful for my siblings. They are incredible blessings to me. They are different from one another, each adding a unique dimension to our family. They are kind and supportive, honest and live their lives with integrity. They are also a boatload of fun. I am grateful that my children have them to look up to as examples as they make their way through this life.
4. I am grateful to have wonderful in-laws. I realize this set of folks can be nightmareish and I'm grateful mine aren't. I love mine dearly. They are great examples to me of parenting, service and obedience without question. They have a deep love for the temple and their testimony of the gospel is evident in the way they conduct their lives. They love me as a daughter and care about my children passionately.
5. I'm grateful for my healthy body. I haven't always been satisfied with my physical body, but the fact is that it functions marvelously for me. It enables me to take care of my family, serve those around me and accomplish daily tasks. It doesn't look perfect, but it will in the next life, and my husband still thinks it's hot, so really, what else matters?
6. I'm grateful for little Cooper. I'm grateful for the way he came into the world and how hard he fought to be here. I can see now his determination is achieving what he desires and I can imagine him in heaven listening to the doctors tell us it wouldn't happen and him thinking, "yeah, i'll figure out a way to get down there... just watch me." and he did. He is strong-willed and stubborn and I'm grateful for the chance to help him learn the things worth fighting for.
7. I'm grateful for Seneca and for the abundance of Spirit that surrounded her arrival to our family. I'm grateful she wanted to be a part of us and for her sweet birth mother who loved her enough to allow her to be in an environment where she can thrive, both physically and spiritually. I'm grateful for her beautiful skin and her enormous smile and her uninhibited singing voice.
8. I'm grateful for Beckham, this sweet little roly-poly thing that makes darling little sounds and smiles hugely at me. I'm grateful for his patience. He exercised it above before coming here, waiting for his sister to arrive before he could make his appearance. He exercises it on a daily basis and his needs are not always met immediately. I'm grateful for his strong little body and the coordination he is learning every day.
9. I am grateful for my home, really for the simple fact that I have one. And that is has power and running water, all at my fingertips. I'm grateful that I'm comfortable here and that enjoy being home. I'm grateful that my home suits my family right now, that there is ample room for everyone and that my home smiles as a silent observer of these busy little bodies growing here.
10. I'm grateful the my husband is employed, on two levels. First, I'm grateful that he's employed period, that he makes money and is productive with his time. Second, I'm incredibly grateful that he enjoys what he's doing. He is making a difference in the native american community and that is very satisfying for him. It is an enormous blessing to have a happy, working husband and I try not to take that for granted.
11. I'm grateful for my education. I have very fond memories of early elementary school, favorite teachers and striving to do my best all the time. I have memories of inadequacy in junior high school hovering on the bubble between doing what I knew I should and being cool, and somehow not being able to do both. I have memories of high school, good ones and not-so-good ones, but all shaped me. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to attend college, to think for myself and make note of opinions that were different from those in my home growing up. I'm grateful for the teachers who cared about my education and took the time to teach me to think. I'm grateful for graduate school, for the exposure to a whole new world and an in-depth study of people. I like to think my education is a big part of who I am and I look forward to my children having similar opportunities.
12. I'm grateful for the friends I have and have had. I have been blessed with positive influences in my friends all my life and while I did not always appreciate them, I have learned that they are an incredibly important part of me. My friends are reliable, smart, savvy, dependable, inspiring and compassionate who know who they are and strive to share that with the world around them. I feel very blessed to be among them, whether in close proximity or out there somewhere, I love them.
13. I'm grateful for the talents my Heavenly Father has blessed me with and for the expectation he has of me to do something great with them. I'm grateful that at the ripe old age of 30 that He is still showing them to me and that I am learning that my capacity is so much greater than I have previously given myself credit for.
14. I'm grateful for my calling in my ward. I'm grateful for the amazing women I serve with and the spirit that surrounds them. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve the sisters around me and in turn, be blessed a million times over. I'm grateful that our ward has great teachers who take the time to prepare with the spirit and deliver wonderful informative and uplifting lessons.
15. I'm grateful for my hands. Considering all of the things they do in a day, they may just be the greatest blessing I have control over. From holding babies, chopping vegetables, sorting laundry, brushing my teeth, making various beds, bathing various children, the occasional vacuuming and dusting, typing, stirring, washing, and best of all to be able to feel my husband next to me at the end of the day, I surely wouldn't choose to give them up.
16. I'm grateful for my stuff. All the trivial, nonessential stuff that makes my life easy. My kitchen appliances, my computer, my phone, my car. My washing machine, my hair dryer, my DVR and my books. The blanket I use every night on the couch and the jacket that is always within arms reach during the day. The modern conveniences of life that help to propel me through my day.
17. I am grateful for my heritage. I'm grateful for those who came before me who had such great conviction in their beliefs and endured great strengthening experiences in order to bless their posterity. I'm grateful for my husband's heritage and the way it contributes to our family. It is a rich heritage with deep traditions and I love that it's a part of me.
18. I'm grateful for our journey through infertility. I'm grateful for the lessons it taught me. It's possible that I would have learned them another way, but I wouldn't trade them. I learned that faith is a principle of action and requires "doing" on my part. I learned that I have incredible support in my life and I solidified that if my family were only ever to be Denten and I, that would be ok.
19. I'm grateful that I understand the value of money and the part that it plays in our world today. I haven't always made wise decisions with that allotted to me, but I'm grateful to have some and to have an understanding of how to manage it wisely.
20. I'm grateful for my Savior and that He loved me enough to suffer for my mistakes. I'm grateful for the second chances I get every day to try again to do it a little better than before. I'm grateful that he knows who I am and the things I am capable of accomplishing.
21. I'm grateful for an intimate relationship with my Father in Heaven. I'm grateful for the patience he has with me and the unconditional love he shows as I work through this life. I'm grateful that he wants only the best for me and that he hears and answers me when I pray.
22. I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost and for his constant companionship. I'm grateful that I have had occasion to learn how to hear and feel him near me and the comfort I have that those peaceful messages are from my Heavenly Father, meant just for me.
23. I'm grateful for the angels that watch over me and my family. Some of them are known to me and many aren't. I'm grateful that Grandma Kearns, Grandpa Callister, Samantha and Grandpa Chester are around us often and have an interest in how we are living. There are many who have gone before us that probably have lots of work to do and I'm grateful that they take the time to guide us as we press forward.
24. I'm grateful for my senses. Specifically, the ones that allow me to enjoy the daily musings of my children. I'm grateful to hear them laugh and squeal as they play with each other. I'm grateful to see their sweet smiles light up their faces. I'm grateful to touch their soft bodies and hold them close to me. I'm grateful to smell their baby smell, fresh from the bath.
25. I'm grateful for the principle of obedience, probably more so now that I am a parent to growing children. I'm grateful for the knowledge that all blessings stem from obedience and that if something isn't being sent express from Heaven, I need to reexamine whether I'm following through on what my Heavenly Father has asked of me.
26. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon and for the other scriptures that teach us of our Savior and ancient prophets. I'm grateful to learn from these strong spirits, to read their stories and absorb the principles being taught. I'm grateful that form of strengthening my testimony is available to me every day.
27. I am grateful that I am a woman. I cherish the knowledge that I am a daughter of my Father in Heaven and that he has very specific work for me to do here on earth. I am grateful that womanhood accompanies motherhood, but that aside, I have learned to embrace being a woman and knowing that comes with great responsibility and privilege.
28. I'm grateful for clean water. I enjoy a hot shower and feeling clean. I enjoy a cold glass of water and both are a big part of me feeling refreshed and renewed when life gets a little crazy around here.
29. I'm grateful for the opportunities I have had to see that everyone isn't like me. I'm grateful for the opportunity to travel to places outside of this country, to see poverty and great wealth and to know that I'm pretty comfortable falling somewhere in the middle. I'm grateful to the exposure I have had to people who don't look like me and who don't think like me and the understanding that has given me to be a little more thoughtful before placing a quick judgement.
30. I am grateful for the my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that it is available in its fullness on the earth today for me to partake in. I'm grateful for the knowledge I have of a Father who loves me and knows me and is anxiously engaged in seeing me succeed.
As I cross the invisible threshold into a new decade, I wanted to focus on my abundance and remember not to take advantage of all I have been blessed with. There are great things to come and I'm looking forward all of it with a deep sense of gratitude.