I’m thankful for this crappy day

I was talking to my mom last week and she mentioned the Relief Society had asked her to give a talk on gratitude. The very thought of it made me groan.

I think I must be a Thanksgiving scrooge. Maybe I just want Christmas to hurry up and get here already so I can spend money at the Christmas markets, but this year I am literally forcing myself to give Thanksgiving lessons to my kids. And everything I say feels so…heartless. I keep stuffing little thankful thoughts into our big countdown pocket calendar that hangs on my kitchen door (thank you sweet Lindsey) but last week I was feeling thanked out. Being thankful for clean sheets has kind of lost it’s originality around here. And I really do love hugs and Jason and heated floors, but this year it feels too repetitive.

And then my mother told me about her lesson. “You know,” she said, “When I look back at my life and make a list of all the things I’m grateful for, they are all the hardest things. Going through my divorce, money problems, trouble with relationships–all the things that were so difficult and painful at the time are the things I’m thankful for the most.”

This really resonated with me. It took up my brain power for an entire day, I couldn’t get it out of my head and I’ve been thinking about it all week long.

I had a hard day today. It wasn’t monumentally hard, no one lost a leg or an eye, although I did find out my Macy’s account automatic bill pay hasn’t worked the past two months. Still, nothing earth-shattering occurred. It was just a good old-fashioned difficult, crappy day where not even a Dr. Pepper 10 could fix my troubles.

After 42 minutes of playing Mahjong this evening (because that’s really going to mend my soul) I decided maybe I should attempt something more Sundayish and holy and went to the main mormon website (lds.org) for a little anti-pity-party inspiration. I clicked on the first heading I saw and it was a talk by President Monson from conference last month.

Of course, it was exactly what I needed to hear and I thought again about what my mom had said about being thankful for the crappy things.

June overheard me talking about why Grandma was thankful for the sad stuff the other day and wanted me to explain it to her.

“Well,” I said, “It’s the hard things that reminds us to ask Heavenly Father for help and support. It’s the hard things that make us closer to Him. Grandma is thankful for the things that have brought her closer to God and given her a good excuse to pray more often.”

That night when June said her prayers she said, “And I’m thankful…for all the hard stuff because it helps me pray more.” She’s not even six yet, I love that girl. She’s been one of my favorite hard things.







  1. I’ve been feeling very similar lately. Nice to hear it put into words so succinctly. Kinda odd that it’s taken me this (**) many yrs to understand that. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Chelsie Orr says:

    I just have to tell you…I love reading your blog. I stumbled upon it from a friend’s blog and I have popped over to read your stuff sometimes. Your approach at motherhood makes me laugh and I can just see it even though I don’t know you. I will need to get good at laughing because I have a June…and she will be four in Feb. I laughed the time you posted about June telling you she would throw your vacuum out the window…I have told that story so many times because it’s what I am in for. But this post reminds me of why I am so thankful for my little ray of difficult sunshine because her heart is just like June’s and their words can just melt your heart sometimes…while other times making me want to pull my hair out. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  3. Wow, I really needed that perspective. Oh, and I still love your mom. She’s just that awesome.