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I've been reflecting this morning on this past summer, and what I have to show for it. Maybe it's that September is upon us, and that means summer is waning. Typically, there are a lot of fun outdoor activities to report on, but they have felt few and far between. In fact, for the most part, it's been a downright difficult few months, and I haven't paid much attention to anything else.

One of my sisters and her family live in the Houston area, and we all know what Houston has been put through this past week. Devastating floods and other difficulties resulting from Hurricane Harvey have severely impacted her LDS ward, with many families losing homes and possessions. But at the same time, she has felt immensely blessed, and there's been a huge outpouring of support for their area.

This has been so true for me as well during this last few months. Throughout all the difficulties, I've had the support of ward members, and friends, and family, and even strangers, in the form of counsel, ideas, suggestions, hugs, and prayers in my behalf. And as I've tried to listen and implement the suggestions and recommendations, I've been even more blessed. It has been through these many kindnesses that I know the Lord has been mindful of me.

As an example, one morning I prayed that I would see miracles that day, that would let me know the Lord was mindful of me. Later that day, deeply discouraged, I was ministered to by two women, a mother and daughter, who were strangers to me, but saw me and could tell that I had a need. They listened, they commiserated, and they gave me a hug. Simple, really, but it meant the world to me, and was an answer to my prayer.

In another example, feeling frustrated that things weren't happening as quickly as I'd hoped, I was saying my prayers before bed and asked the Lord to help me see a way forward, and to know another step I could take. As soon as I finished my prayer, I saw I had a Facebook notification from a former colleague, who not knowing of my situation, had forwarded me a recommendation. I immediately messaged her, to tell her what I'd been going through, and to thank her. She thought it was some crazy coincidence. It was something that reminded her of me, so she had forwarded it as soon as she saw it. Simple again, but an answer to my prayer.

It's funny sometimes how it's the tragedy and difficulties of life that remind us of God's goodness. I suppose that in times of prosperity we get complacent, and we just don't feel grateful with the same degree of intensity. But then difficulties hit us, and humble us, and that's when we realize how blessed we truly are. 

So, on this beautiful September morning, I feel grateful for the blessings I've recently received. I'm not to the point yet where I'm grateful for the trial. But I do know that I've been blessed because of it. And for that, I'm definitely grateful.


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