Choosing Gratitude

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I believe that gratitude can change your life.

When I was ten years old, I picked up a little notebook and began a habit that has affected my life ever since. I called it my joy journal. In it I chronicled the bits and pieces of my ordinary days that made me smile, and reminded me to be grateful. Sometimes it was big things–like the day I got my first violin. But most of the time, it was just the little things, like the way the sun makes snow sparkle like a million diamonds.

It was just a simple habit of looking for beauty in each day, and I had no idea how much I would come to rely on the act of choosing joy and gratitude as an adult to get me through the tough times.

It was as an adult that I realized that gratitude is more than an attitude that we pick up or put down depending on our day. It needs to be a lifestyle, such a part of us that no matter what is going on around us, we can find that inner strength that choosing to see good brings to hard times. That’s why we have to make it a habit.

In Choosing Gratitude, Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes beautifully of the journey that purposing to be grateful takes us on. This is one of those books that is filled with sentences that you just want to sit and savor.

I found her advice to be practical, and so heartfelt. I could almost imagine that we were sitting together talking  over tea  about the joy and the pain of gratitude. And I felt so encouraged by the practical way she presented the tools to making the choice of gratitude each and every day–even on the impossibly heart-breaking ones. 

For me, the choice to look for joy in my life has helped me through more than one tough time. It’s made me a better, stronger person. I’ve found that choosing gratitude now helps me to have peace and be more readily trusting of God’s ability to take care of me when the hard times come. In so many little ways, gratitude has changed me. It’s made me happier. More hopeful. More in tune to how much good there still is in life.

But it’s still a choice. And it’s not always an easy one. That’s why I need to read Choosing Gratitude every so often. So I can keep fresh in mind why gratitude is not an option but a necessity in my life.

22 Comments

  1. Today I’m grateful to the Lord for seeing this post in time to enter the giveaway 😉 Nancy Leigh DeMoss is one of my favorite authors. I’m also grateful for my husband, our precious baby girl and for my mom visiting in May after not seeing her for 3.5 years!!

  2. Pam tagailo says:

    I’m thankful for the privilege and rights given to my family and me as recent American citizens from a 3 rd world country…oh the wonder we felt when we first saw huge American flags flying in most business buildings, hot and cold showers, giant- sized hamburgers and fries ( my husband and I had to share one seving!) , the vast opportunities for work, and yes…the traffic signs that everybody obeys…but most of all, to find that there are still others who love our Lord Jesus with all their heart, strength, and mind!

  3. Thankful to be able to move, breathe and live in this world!

  4. I’m grateful for eyes that see, ears that hear, and the gentle caresses of warm spring breezes!

  5. I’m extremely grateful for my family, and how gorgeous it’s been!

  6. Akoua Kouakou says:

    I am so grateful for a sober grace filled life today, Praise God!!!

  7. The beauty in my surroundings… That God gave us this earth & made it beautiful too!! How can you see a sunset & not feel connected to the Father who delights in the joy of His children? 😉

  8. I’m choosing to be grateful for the sun in the sky..

  9. Today I am thankful to be marrying the most incredible guy in the world in less than 2 months! And that the wedding planning is running smoothly!

  10. Ohh, sounds like a book I would love to read and own!
    I am grateful/thankful for so many things right now. Plenty of work for both my husband and I, I know that many are without work. Thankful for such a sweet husband who does so much for me, especially on these long crazy days that leave me exhausted.
    And for the beauty of spring and warm weather and being able to exercise outside more.
    And the wonderful body of believers He has placed us in the midst of, with the purpose of encouragement, worship and drawing closer to the Lord.
    God is good! He has provided so much for us to enjoy and be thankful for.

  11. Oh, I’ve been wanting to read this book 🙂
    Things I’m grateful for today:
    An amazing family- loving, gracious parents and my brothers and little sister who make me smile and laugh every day.
    Work; God has blessed with an abundance lately. 🙂
    Sunshine and the 1st day of Spring!

      1. Thank you; I’m so excited!! 🙂

  12. I am choosing to be grateful for the area in which Christ has placed me and my family. We would love to move to an area that is more Christ-focused, but alas, God has opened no doors quite yet. It’s hard to stay put when after so many years the people in this area are even more unresponsive to the Gospel, or worse call themselves Christians but lead lives opposite what the Bible says. It’s a lonely life, and one in which we could be down-trodden and depressed. But by choosing to be grateful for the blessings God is bestowing and the plans He has for our family, life can not only be bearable but joyful. 🙂

    1. Oh Micaela, I can relate to what you wrote.
      I have the same dream and desire on my heart yet God isn’t opening the doors yet…
      Yet, He has given us little joys while we continue to live here.

    2. Micaela, you’ve been selected by random.org as one of the winners of the book “Choosing Gratitude”. I pray it’s an encouragement to you! Watch for an email from the Kindred Grace team.

  13. Cindi Altman says:

    I’m grateful for the change of seasons. Today is the first day of Spring!!! Yay

  14. Today, I am grateful for the sunshine outside! 🙂

  15. This is an amazing book by a wonderful, godly woman. I read it last year and it completely transformed my attitude and thought life. Highly recommended!

  16. I’m choosing to be grateful for the challenges my toddler son has brought the last few days. It forces me to dig deeper and to rely more fully on God.

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