So, some of you might be wondering why I've suddenly come online in full force. Firstly, it's because web pages can be so pretty and the temptation to design my own was too great to resist. But there are other (more legitimate) reasons. They make me very grateful for this wonderful communications network we have online.
1. I really feel that the more people you get to know and the more people you can reach out to, the more you can learn to love. That's really what this life is all about. As we try to be more like the Savior, we must understand that it is only when we love as He did that we will receive His image in our countenances. There are many opportunities God gives us to learn charity. I have caught a little glimmer of it in my family. My husband, Scott, and my son, Soren, have taught me how to love with a much greater depth of feeling. But if I want to be like the Savior, I must love all mankind. And it would be terribly hard for me to do that cooped up here in my own little apartment all day. So I am grateful for the instant access to the outside world that the internet provides! There are so many people we can come to know and feel empathy for and even encourage and serve on the internet. Of course I think face-to-face communication is superior. But we can supplement our limited capacity for one-on-one time with this near-unlimited capacity to reach everyone who is interested. The many tools online (blogging, email, facebook, news feed, chatting, etc) are equally valid forms of communication that can help us reach each other. Of course we shouldn't "hang out" online all day. Of course there are physically present friends, tasks, and services we must attend to. I'm just saying that the internet is another way to reach out and if we're creative, we can use it to serve and learn greater charity. So, for this reason, I am grateful for the internet.
2. I've been thinking a lot about positive communication and it's kind-of my new cause. I've been listening daily to Jeffrey R. Holland's talk "The Tongue of Angels" and this phrase is always bouncing around in my head now: "No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse." I am sure that the reverse is true. No circumstance is so good that being grateful won't make it better. And also, no misfortune is so bad that being grateful won't make that better, too. In fact, I am sure that being grateful makes everything better. This blog has helped me be a more grateful. Writing about the ways that God has blessed me has replaced griping about my petty woes. And if I had a soapbox to get up on and share something important with the world, I would tell everyone to be grateful! Remember the marvelous things that your Father in Heaven has done for you! This blog is half inspired by Jennie Weinheimer and her gratitude journal. It is also half inspired by Heather Farley and her gutsy blog promoting breastfeeding and attachment parenting. (I don't agree with everything she says but I think it's super that she is rallying and strengthening mothers.) Online, we can contribute to a worldwide conversation. I want my contribution to be a positive one and I'm not embarrassed to say that I hope to influence others to do the same.
So, in summary, I am grateful to be online because here I can come to know and, hopefully, love other people. I am also grateful to be online because my voice can be heard and I want to share a message about gratitude and remembrance.