My Grateful Log

“If the only prayer you say in your life is Thank You,
it will be enough.”

Malcolm and I have been writing in our “Grateful Logs” for awhile now.
Everyone is open to doing a grateful log in a way that suits them,
but I typically write a page of things I am grateful for that are in my life presently.
Then, I continue onto the next page, writing things I wish to have in my life in the future,
but I write it as if I already have it.
Thank you God for my beautiful, healthy and strong body. (present)
Thank you God for our amazing two week vacation to ______,
filled with love, laughter, and beauty. (future)

For example, in the above photo, I wrote in my grateful log in early 2012:
Thank you God for my ten 2013 Arizona weddings.
At that time, we were living in Indiana while Malcolm played hockey,
but we knew we wanted to make the move to Arizona later that year.
So instead of stressing about starting a business in a new state,
I began Thanking God for my booked weddings in Arizona.

After clarifying what I wanted in my life,
The Universe will go to work responding to those wants by creating opportunities,
but it will NOT do the work for me or anyone.
(You may substitute the word Universe for God, or another word that makes you comfortable….
I personally believe God created the Universe and everything in it, and IS the Universe and everything in it.
Likewise, you may substitue the word God for another word you are comfortable with in your Grateful Log.)
It is our responsibility to go out and create connections and avenues
so that the opportunities can find us.
I found Facebook groups for Phoenix photographers
and began emailing photographers asking if they need second shooter’s.
One day, someone posted a bridal show booth for sale.
I had never considered a bridal show before that post, so I am surprised that I took such an interest with it.
It was a big risk and leap of faith but I went for it!
After moving to Arizona that fall,
I spent two and a half months creating my booth for the show.
It was a lot of money and major work,
but in the end,
I booked 10 Arizona weddings.
Not 9, not 11,
Precisely, what I wrote in my grateful log.
Afterwards I have realized, I’m glad I didn’t limit my dream by writing “Phoenix weddings”
as none of the weddings I booked are truly in “Phoenix,”
they are all within a 2 hour radius of Phoenix.
So it was very important that I was specific by writing the state of “Arizona”
instead of limiting my wedding to one city.

The moral of my story is that

First, find the blessings in your life.
Your eyes reading this blog post…
they work, you can see!!!!
Your healthy eyes are a blessing!!!!
Your healthy body is a blessing, as millions at this moment deal with sickness, disease, or cancer.
Your child who will not sleep is a blessing as
others have lost their child before getting the chance to raise them.
They would trade anything in their world to be in your sleep-deprived state.
Don’t forget that everyone has struggles or tragedies that occur,
whether it happens when we are 10 years old or 80 years old.
Everyone, will have a “big event” in their life that will create in a fork in the road:
will you choose to grow and become a better person from the experience,
or become bitter and angry?

Write your blessings down every day.
Don’t forget the abundance you have in your every day life.

Next, write down what you want you life to look like 1 month, 6 months, one year,
5 years, 10 years, down the road.
Write it as if you are living that life RIGHT NOW.
Thank God for your beautiful, reliable, vehicle even if it is far from that in reality,
because your gratitude will change YOU.
Your wants may change as you realize it is not something you want anymore.
That is good! You are simply learning: this makes me happy, this doesn’t make me happy.

Lastly, go out and create opportunities!
I probably could not have booked 10 Arizona weddings
had I not joined the AZ photographer Facebook page,
bought the bridal booth,
and put my hard work into making my booth one-of-a-kind.
The Universe/God guided the way
and ushered in opportunities for my dreams to take flight,
like the ability to buy the bridal booth.
But I have free will,
I could have passed on the option of the bridal booth
because of the cost and work associated with it… aka FEAR.
But I knew I could not make a decision based on Fear.

During this past year, I learned and grew so much…..
As a result, my future life outlook looks much different than it did a year ago.
Things I wanted last year, I no longer want,
and I have even more clarification of what makes me happy.

Maybe, in a year from now,
I will share what I wrote in my Grateful Log today: )

*Edited to add:
I have always dreamt of booking a few destination weddings each year (anywhere!).
I wrote that somewhere in my grateful log awhile ago,
although I cannot find the entry at the moment…
“It just so happens” with the timing of this blog post,
last week I booked a wedding in Mexico!!!!
and in three days I will be flying to Chicago to shoot a wedding
and at the end of the month,
I will be in South Carolina for another wedding!!!!