We didn't feel very thankful as November of 2009 approached. My husband and I and our seven children were living in a three bedroom trailer without hope of improved circumstances anytime soon. It seemed the complaints multiplied with each day that passed, and I was beginning to feel crushed beneath the weight of our unhappiness. "Mom, when will I have my own room?" "She never helps me clean up." "I HATE this house!" And, although I didn't voice it, I felt the same way. How can I ever keep the house clean with so little space? A dishwasher sure would be nice. Another scratch in the linoleum?
Something had to be done. Something to remind us of all the blessings Heavenly Father had given us. So I found a lightly used spiral notebook buried in a junk drawer, tore out the used pages, and decorated the cover with a few stickers and a marker: Our Book of Daily Blessings. I showed the notebook to the family and told them my idea. Each day, everyone in the family needed to write down a blessing that they were thankful for. Those who could not write, could draw a picture or have an older sibling write it for them.
I placed the book in an accessible location and stocked the area with pens, pencils and crayons. At the end of the first day, I discovered that my family was grateful for food, clothes and other basic necessities. But by the time Thanksgiving arrived, our blessings became deeper; we were far more aware of God's hand in our lives. My son, who struggled with sharing a room with three loud, energetic siblings, wrote, "God showed me how loving my family is and how to be thankful for my trials." A daughter observed, "God gave me the ability to help a student I didn't know with work and she became my friend." And my husband, perhaps the loudest of all the complainers, penned, "Heavenly Father helped me to recognize that our current lifestyle is not as bad as some people."
We enjoyed the Book of Blessings so much that we continued writing in it long after Thanksgiving passed. We became a family full of gratitude, a family that saw God and His magnificent blessings in everything around us-- thanks to a slightly tattered, wide-ruled spiral notebook.