We've all heard the phrase that when life gives us lemons, we should make lemonade. We've also all heard the story of Job in the Bible, who, despite losing all his possessions, family, health, and support from friends, trusted in the Lord and found something to be grateful for—his testimony.
Often life does not go the way we planned and fate seems to be against us. But even when jobs, friends, or health fail us, there is always something in our lives that the Lord has blessed us with and that we can be grateful for. If like Job we can keep our sights on the Lord and step back to see the bigger picture, the rough time will pass and we will find it easier to see the abundance that the Lord has blesses us with. Though many of the ideas below are probably familiar, it never hurts to think about them more deeply and be reminded of our blessings.
Even if you live in the middle of a city with concrete pavements and high-rises, all you have to do is look up to see the sunshine, sky, clouds, or rainbows and remember God's powerful, creative hand. Buy a plant or visit a park to help you better appreciate these beautiful forms of green life God has put on the earth.
(One great way to experience nature with even more gratitude and find peace in trials is to try meditating.)
2. Modern Conveniences
You know—all the little things you usually take for granted like running water, dishwashers, hot water, cell phones, and technology. All of these things allow you to live in relative comfort and ease and are probably making your rough day or week a little better, whether you're notice them or not.
(Not only are modern conveniences making every day activities easier, they also make it easier for you to share the gospel and your testimony!)
Before you say you don't have any, think again. Whether you write, sing, serve, or play a sport, there's something you do that makes you a better person or helps you understand yourself. When you feel lost, disappointed, depressed, or alone, you always have a way to express it!
(See some of the unusual hobbies and talents of the Apostles by clicking here.)
Many of us keep photos, blogs, and journals to record the parts of our lives that mean the most to us. Look back on those pieces of your past and reflect on the good things you have done or been a part of. You’ll be surprised how much you have to be grateful for in your life.
(Need some ideas to get started? Check out 100 LDS Journal Staters for When You Don't Feel Like Writing)
Not only is laughter a gift, but it's a contagious one that is also easy to give. It’s hard to feel discouraged or disappointed when you are laughing. See if you can find something, no matter how small, about your situation to laugh about.
(If you need a little help to get your laugh going, you might try watching The 5 Funniest Mormon YouTube Videos of All Time.)
6. Your Testimony
You have something of infinite, precious value that can't be taken from you. Part of that testimony is precious knowledge about the plan of happiness, eternal families, and the Atonement of our Savior that some do not have. What a blessing that you have this knowledge and can share it!
(If you feel like you're struggling in this area, check out what John Bytheway has to say about how our testimonies are like a dimmer switch. You may not even realize the testimony you have!)
7. Tender Mercies
What little things in your day or week could have gone worse? Are there any mini-miracles you missed seeing when you were caught up in your misery? It could be as simple as something uplifting you saw on a friend’s news feed, one of your favorite songs that came on the radio, or someone opening the door for you.
(Check out this FHE lesson about Recognizing the Lord's Tender Mercies for some great stories and references.)
8. Your Divine Identity
Because of your knowledge that you're a child of God, you have the ability to become like Him. You have been blessed with opportunities to repent and to overcome the struggles you are facing and to learn from them. This is something that we often say, but don't really stop to think about. Be grateful for your divine heritage and ability to continually improve as you listen to the Spirit.
(Try some of these ideas to get more out of church and better tune in to the Spirit.)
9. A Support System
This usually consists of people like family and close friends who are there to try and cheer you up when life has road bumps. Even if you feel like you don't have anyone supporting you, you can always depend on the Savior. He is the one person you can completely believe knows how you feel. We are eternally grateful that He has atoned for our sins and has promised that He will not leave us comfortless.
(Need a reminder of how much the Savior loves you? Watch this Mormon Message about His sacrifice for each of us.)
10. New Days
If nothing else, you can be grateful for a new day. You don’t have to be permanently stuck in a rut, and the sunshine will always come out—literally and figuratively. A good night's sleep often brings fresh perspective and renewed energy to conquer your trials. Even if you have to tackle them one at a time.
What are some things you are grateful for, even when it seems like there’s nothing to be thankful for? Add your own ideas by leaving a comment below!