Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Usually for my Thankful Thursday posts, I answer the following questions in regard to what surprised me, moved me, and inspired me on a weekly basis. However, because it's the end of the year and I'm feeling a bit reflective I'm going to answer these questions with a larger perspective in mind.

What surprised me this year?
Our family grew by leaps and bounds in 2009. We added three more individuals to our ranks -- two grandchildren and one son-in-law. What always surprises me in these instances is how quickly each individual assimilates into the family and how natural each addition feels. (I don't very often post photos of my family, but here's the latest photo of our expanding family taken in August at my daughter's wedding...)

What inspired me this year?
I have received inspiration through many sources over the years, but I think what makes this year different in that regard is the inspiration I've received from my many blogging friends. It's a wonderful thing when authors of blogs can exchange ideas, establish resources, fire imaginations and create thoughtful, thought-provoking exchanges with those who would normally be outside their sphere of influence. My blogging friends have inspired me often this year!

What moved me this year?

There are several references in the scriptures to the "tender mercies of the Lord." I have come to realize that these "tender mercies" are the very personal and individualized blessings and ministrations which we receive from and through the Savior. Some are poignant and obvious blessings of protection or healing, while others come in a more subtle, quiet form as inspiration, support or confirmation. More often than not these heavenly mercies arrive when I least expect such an affirmation, so the impulse is to label them as mere coincidence or luck or good fortune. When I do recognize the source of these ministrations, I realize how wonderful it feels to be blessed, watched over, supported, and protected by Him, and I realize, once again, that He is mindful of me and aware of my needs. And I feel loved. I am moved by the many tender mercies my family has received this year.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!