Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

Dear Family & Friends,

My favorite part of this beautiful holiday season is the time I spend reflecting on the last twelve months… on the changes, the personal growth and – most importantly – the blessings I’ve experienced. At the close of 2010, I know that I have much to be grateful for.

At the end of January, I was laid off from my job in Utah. In the face of confusion, frustration and a little fear and doubt, I felt an overwhelming peace in the belief that this was truly for the best and would simply be a shortcut to the road my life really need to journey down. So, on February 15th, my little car packed to the gills, I left my home in Utah and headed west, back to the home I thought I’d never permanently return to – California. While nothing could have adequately prepared me for the six months that followed, I was optimistic that my life was being guided and that everything would turn out for the best.

I know now more than ever that everything happens for a reason. My return to California has been marked by some of the most profound experiences of my life… profound on many levels. I have experienced more fear and doubt through some of my trials, but I have also been filled with more faith, more hope and more love. And I know that without one small "setback" in January, I would not have been where I needed to be when I was needed most.

I am so grateful and humbled for my Savior Jesus Christ and the many miracles He blessed me with this year. My experiences have led me to a deeper appreciation for the things that matter most… my family, my friends and my faith.

As we celebrate His birth and life this year, I hope we each can find ways to recognize more of the many blessings that constantly come our way and to express our gratitude to those in our lives that mean the most.

Thank you for being one of mine.

Happy Christmas!

Thanksgiving Daily

Thanksgiving Daily
Mormon Messages,

Our minds have a marvelous capacity to notice the unusual. However, the opposite is true as well. The more often we see the things around us, even the beautiful and wonderful things, the more they become invisible to us. That’s why we often take for granted the beauty of this world – the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds, even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less. Those who live in thanksgiving daily, however, have a way of opening their eyes and seeing the wonders and beauties of this world as though seeing them for the fist time. Look around you. Notice the people you care about. Notice the fragrance of the flowers and the song of the bird. Notice and give thanks for the blue of the sky, the red of the leaves and the white of the clouds, every sight, every smell, every taste, every sound. When we open our eyes and give thanks for the bountiful beauty of this life, we live in thanksgiving daily.

President Thomas S. Monson:

A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort – at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude.