Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome to My Blog

When I was a teenager, my mom started a tradition around Thanksgiving time of writing down things we were grateful for each night. Mom gave us all cute little journals she made on the computer and tall candles in red or white. We would scratch into the wax, leaving a mark for each day until Christmas. To me and my siblings, being able to burn a candle while we wrote sometimes became more important than what we wrote. Despite Mom's efforts, the tradition died as we got older.

Halfway through my freshman year at college, I became depressed. I've struggled with anxiety and depression many times in my life, but finding myself back in that place of darkness and worry made me feel like I had failed somehow. Why couldn't I get over it? I struggled through the final semester hoping that when the stress of tests, projects, and grades had passed, I would find some peace again. But the summer started and the depression didn't leave. As I prayed about how to find the strength to be happy, the memory of Mom's gratitude journals came back.

That summer, I started a list. It wasn't a journal, I didn't even put down the date. I simply wrote a few things every night. An amazing thing happened. As I wrote, I started to see how blessed I really was. I saw the Hand of God everyday in my life. In the mist of depression, I sometimes thought I'd been abandoned, or that what I had to give the world could not be of much worth. But the list changed that. With a gentle and never failing love, He led me through the summer. Happiness came as I noticed the small and simple things that mattered the most in my life.

In the years since, there have been ups and downs of sadness and joy, but whenever I reach a low, I'm reminded to look for the good. Even in the most difficult times, I can always find a multitude of blessings, if I will only look.

This blog is about those things. The things that people are doing everyday to help others, the things that tell us God is mindful of us, the little moments we almost don't see. These things fill me with peace and understanding and I hope they will do that for other people too. We are never alone and as we look for the good, we will be led to the source of all good. We will be led to our Savior.

Here is a video from lds.org that inspires me to look for those moments that matter most. I hope you enjoy it.


8 comments:

  1. Great message - and booyeah! I get to be your first follower. :)

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  2. I love the backdrop you chose for your blog--beautiful. I agree that just remembering the good things and appreciating the simple things in our lives changes our perspective and experiences.

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  3. Lovely message and I love your fall background.

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  4. Beautifully written, JoLyn. I felt such a calm, sacred feeling while reading insomuch that I knew you'd written from your heart. Thanks so much for sharing--especially when you felt so terrified to do so. And the video. . . it made me cry!!! Take Care. I think I'll be journaling gratitude, too. : )

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  5. What a great reminder, JoLyn! Thank you so much for sharing. :D

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  6. Beautiful post! It is so important to look for the hand of the Lord in our lives. Thank you!

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  7. Very inspirational. We all have moments of depression that sometimes last longer than they should. If we remember the things we’re thankful for, the depressing moments will be shorter.

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  8. I have found amazing things happen in my life when I keep a gratitude journal as well. It is so simple but so profound.

    I guess it's time to dust it off and try again. :)

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