Thanksgiving means "giving thanks." And that's just what I want to do.
I won't go into details, but I had a really rough year last school year, which was my first year teaching.
Life was also busy, and a lot different than I expected: I was busy, I was poor, I was tired, I had to ride the bus all the time, I felt friendless, sometimes I felt like a bad teacher, and at times I would cry a lot. It was slightly pathetic. (That, I promise, is going nowhere into details.) I tried so hard to change things and to change myself and I felt like it wasn't working, but I kept having a feeling (thank you, Holy Ghost), that things would change and get better, even though I had to stick it out then. At that time, I wasn't truly happy, so I couldn't really be happy if I tried. Because I did try. And it felt like it wasn't working. I always prayed to be happy again, and for things to get better. It was just really really hard.
My prayers, my many many prayers, were answered. And oh my goodness, I cannot even explain to what extent they were answered. It kind of even makes me literally want to cry tears of joy because of how blessed I know I am.
And because I pleaded so much, every time something good happens to me, even if it's small, I become extremely happy and say a silent thankful prayer. I am SO thankful for the blessings in my life right now. I'm still riding the bus, I'm still busy, I'm still tired, I'm still relatively poor (but not as much as last year!), I still don't really get to hang out with people a lot, and I haven't cried in a while. So, it seems, not much has changed.
I have felt happy every day I have gone to work this week. And not short spurts of happiness.
It is because Heavenly Father placed some very ....(I'm at a loss for words because there is no word to describe how great of people they are)... some very LOVING people and LOVELY people, who are generous and kind, heartwarming and honest, forthright and inclusionary people into my life, who have made me feel welcomed, important, and loved.
So I can't thank my Heavenly Father enough. I can't thank these people enough. I can't... I just can't. But I'm trying to spread the love. I hope no one ever has to go through what I went through. I am trying to spread the love that I feel to other people and teachers. I hope I can share it with my students and not be or portray the burned-out, frazzled, unhappy, yet I-love-my-students teacher that I was last year. (But the BEAUTIFUL thing about children is how forgiving they are- I am convinced that's what Christ was talking about when he told us to be like little children. "...submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love..." The full of love part. It's BEAUTIFUL if you have experienced anything like that.) --Mosiah 3:19
http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/3.19?lang=eng is the reference in case anyone cared.
So, now, can I please just preach to the world now, just for a second? The world needs love. You show love through service, which can be ANYTHING. Spending time, smiling, saying hi, offering help, including someone, learning about a person, etc. And when I say the world needs love, I DO NOT mean selective love. The world needs to throw that trash out the window and never say hello to it again. You do not need to pick and choose who to love, and who to be nice to. That is crap.
It's not our job. We are all children of God, and I truly believe that. If we are His children, just imagine the potential we have to become. That means we're all sisters and brothers. We are family. We each HAVE to remember that, and DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU. It's called the GOLDEN Rule for a reason. It will turn your heart to gold if you do. I know that sounds cheesy, and I'm sorry, but it is also true, and I'm not sorry for that fact. So please, just for my sake, just to make someone's day better, whether YOU think they need it or not, just be nice, kind, and loving to the next person you have the urge and impulse to do the opposite to. Then reflect on what happens. Please. Just once. It could change their life.
By the way, I am so entirely grateful- inside, outside, from the bottom to the top, through and through my heart- for the miracles that have recently occurred in my life. God works through other people. “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”
- Spencer W. Kimball