Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Economic Impression

This morning I had an impression that I wanted to share. To give a bit of background, I have noticed our children doing more asking than thanking in their prayers lately. It has been bothering me. So on Monday we had a Family Home Evening lesson on how important it is to be grateful.

We talked about how we need to do better with this not only in our prayers but in every day life too. I pointed out how much more I hear "EWWW! This is gross" at dinner instead of "Thank you for making us dinner, Mom." We also talked about how when a sister shares something we need to thank her for sharing.

Another topic that has been frequent in our home lately has to do with the economy. Like most other families I know, we are trying to rein in the financial horses of our budget and plug up the leaks. I have been trying to be more efficient in our food use and have been very strict with the kids about not wasting food.

So part of our FHE lesson was on how we need to be grateful that we have food, even if it is leftover stroganoff again. We ought to be grateful we are not hungry and without food in our house or money to buy food.

I ended up challenging the family to thank God for at least 10 different things in every prayer. So far I am pleased with the results. They are remembering to do it and it has carried over to them thanking for things without me having to tell them to say thank you.

Now, to my impression this morning. The state of the economy has been on my mind. With friends and family and neighbors who are looking for jobs and trying to find ways to make enough money to live, I think it is on most peoples mind.

Our family has been affected as well. While Jonathan has done well despite the turbulent stock market, our largest investor fell into financial trouble and had to pull all his money out of our fund some months ago. And it is difficult to find investors for any type of investment fund these days, even when a fund is showing good results.

This morning as I was thinking about the economy and our family's financial situation, I had the impression that I needed to express more gratitude for the economic blessings with which our family has been blessed.

We are right now in lean times, that is to be sure. But, we have come from a time when the Lord did provide great opportunities for us to fill our storehouses, so to speak, to help us through this time. I am grateful for the wheat I have stored, both literally and figuratively.

I think we as a nation must turn more fully to the Lord and offer up our gratitude to Him for whatever blessings we do have before this economic "famine" will fully turn around. It is most difficult to think of your blessings when your needs are shining so brightly in your face. But anyone who has traveled much in the third world knows that every American is blessed. The poorest of the poor here have things so much better than the poor of so many other countries.

I wonder if there is a person living who could and would call the country as a whole to turn to the Lord in humility and gratitude. I am not sure there is. I think President Obama may have the ability but I don't know that he would do that. Perhaps the movement I am hoping for must be one that starts on a grassroots level.

Perhaps it will be us, in our own homes coming to that conclusion for ourselves. Perhaps it will be us telling our friends and neighbors of such impressions and expressing our gratitude instead of singing our woes that will turn our country one family at a time to the Lord and bring once more the sweet relief of the thirst quenching economic "rains."

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What wonderful insight! I loved this. I loved your last post on dealing with adversity too. I've always felt gratitude is so important. My husband has cancer, and the last few months have been really rough, but every once in awhile I like to make it a point to say a prayer where I do nothing but thank Heavenly Father. It's amazing the things that come to mind. Even when I think of something I want to ask for, I immediately think of something related that I can thank Him for instead. One thing I've expressed gratitude for over and over is that I grew up learning from a living prophet to live within my means, avoid unnecessary debt, save something for a rainy day, etc. Living those principles truly does bring peace in troubled times!

Heather & Greg said...

This is such a good post. I have been struggling with my kids and the same problems too and have been stressing over this economy, I am going to take your challenge and be grateful for the things we do have and hopefully my kids will catch on too. I also wanted to ask you, when your mother- in law came to my ward she did a presentation on the armor of God and I would love to do the same for my kids, so I am wondering if you know where she got the armor from? Thank you!

Micaela said...

Such a great idea! I will be using this in my family starting today! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie,
I have been in a very difficult situation for many years. Each time some hope offers itself up, it turns out to not be what I thought it would be. I have prayed and fasted and tried to receive revelation, yet I am beginning to doubt myself as well. I am feeling hopeless.
Now what?

mandbrid said...

Wonderful! I'd like to share a blessing that I received today...my landlord called and asked if it would be okay to decrease our rent by $50 a month. Seriously?!? He said that the rental market was softening and he wouldn't be able to sleep at night if he wasn't dealing us a fair hand. I am floored. What an incredible couple they are and what a blessing for us. The Lord is definitely watching out for us.

kathryn_m said...

This post rang very true for me, Stephanie.

I am often saddened that "politcal correctness" has people fearful of openly praising our Father in Heaven.

As I type this, Haylee's sweet but rarely used voice is giving thanks for her meal of fishcakes. To me, that says it all.

I often pray that the day is near where a country's leader will show real leadership and acknowledge in a LOUD voice that all good comes from from God.

Isn't it long past due that "Caesar" rended back?

love 'n hugs,
kathyrn_m

Anonymous said...

You have an amazing way with words, I so enjoy reading your blog!

Stephanie said...

To the hopeless Anon,

It is very hard to give an opinion or advice with so little information. Trials each have their own timeline, their own answers. Fasting, temple attendance and prayer are all the right answers. They do not always cure a trial. But they should help bring a measure of peace.

Sometimes, life is all about endurance. I just listened to a great talk by Elder Holland. Give it a listen. http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1798&tid=2

If you want to email me more specifics, I would be glad to respond more specifically. I am sorry not to be able to give you more right now.

Prayers and love to you,
Stephanie

ps my email is on my profile page

Amanda said...

It's a wonderful idea. I always try to think of the things that I'm greatful for when times are tough. It seems to help me though.

I shall pass the word!

Julie said...

of course right after i read this post i go into the kitchen and ask my daughter if she ate her toaster pastry (a treat in our house). she says, "i threw it in the garbage, it was too hot. can i have something else?"

oh my... too bad for her i had just read this and was unknowingly being prepared for this new moment.

my response? please go to your room, make your bed and brush you teeth. you won't be having breakfast this morning because your heart is very ungrateful. we need to be grateful for EVERYTHING.

guess who dug her pastry out of the garbage?! (don't worry, it was on top of the box it came in, not yucky in any way at all)

thanks steph for priming me. i love and cherish your words as well as the meaningful topics. have a wonderful day.

Jennie said...

Okay- I wrote a comment and somehow it disappeared. Anyway, I think it is so interesting that you posted this today. I was just talking with my husband about this. I think it is very important to remain current in the world news, and know what is going on. However, I think sometimes it can be too much, and breeds negativity. Even in these hard economic times, there is much to be grateful for. I love the way you can get your points across, so succintly. Thanks for the reminder to remain grateful.

Aprilyn said...

Thank-you for sharing that. I am also worried about the economy. My husband is a PhD student. It looks like he has a year left until he graduates but then what?! I will talk to him about being more thankful and see if he would like to have an FHE lesson on it. I'm going to re-read Elder Bednar's talk from last conference. Isn't that the one where he talked about how they were challenged to say a prayer of ONLY thanksgiving?

Anonymous said...

This is silly, but where is your profile page? I didn't see the link.

A Daily Double said...

Good post. This nation is in for some very rough times. Perhaps the current economic famine will help us work on the current gratitude famine. Maybe an abundance of gratitude will bring abundance in other areas.

We are a part of a happy family said...

That is interesting. Our fast on Sunday was focused on gratitude. We're feeling that impression too. I like the ideas to get the kids praying for ten things because it gets the ball rolling about how much we have been blessed.

2thfairy said...

Thanks! I really needed this post tonight!
Jan