Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gratitude: Choices In the Dark & Light Places

You jolt out of bed at the horrid sound of your alarm signaling that it's time to get up & get your day started. You realize that you feel as if you didn't even sleep but maybe an hour that night. Ugh. Your coffee pot is not working and you already want to scream. As if things couldn't get any worse, your dog won't quit barking and you can't find any clean pants. Someone cuts you off on the highway and your boss is having one of those days... again. The last thing on your heart is gratitude and it's not even lunch time.

If this has ever been you, no worries friend, because I have been there. Recently, I have washed my husband's church shoe (just one) in the washer and somehow always forget to do the dishes, all the while trying to get out the door by 5 am. You're in good company. I promise. 

Here's the question: When you find yourself in these moments, how is your heart?

How is your heart?

It's so easy for me to be grateful to God when all is sunshine and butterflies in my little world. But when I am hit with bad news, whether it's a beloved family member getting sick or yet another unpaid bill in the mail, my first response isn't to be grateful. Am I the only one?


After my husband and I got married, we were faced with an unexpected trial that tempted to bring us apart. Now while I'm not ready to share all of those details (maybe one day), we had to choose to press into God or turn away from Him. This personal issue in myself has taken me to a dark place but it is only in Christ alone and trusting in His goodness, that I find hope. I must choose to be grateful for the things I have and not focus on what I do not have. 

Gratitude is a choice. 

We can either choose to seek God for answers that we don't have and rest in His greatness and be grateful -or- we can sit distant from God only asking Him why He is doing what He is doing, playing the "woe is me" card, choosing bitterness over gratitude. I've played that hand many times and it only brings me to a point of despair and hopelessness. Just recently have I confessed my hopelessness to God in this trial and have chosen to take Him at His perfect word even when it seems like I am falling apart. Without gratitude, even in tough situations, we will never flourish in this life and with Jesus. 

It takes time and healing from The Lord to be to the point of gratefulness in trial and pain. But that's where The Lord is calling you and me. 

Gratitude is a two-sided coin. We can't only be grateful when things are just peachy. We must choose gratitude in the darkest places. The hopeless places. The places where it seems like all hope is lost. 

Because the truth? In Christ alone, there is always hope. 

And that's something to be grateful for.


"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love is eternal."
 {Psalms 136:1}


Today I am linking up with Madison & Rachel for Community Brew! I am also linking up with Jenni & Martha Kate for Wednesday's Words! Honestly, each of these ladies have been a huge encouragement & light to me in this bloggy world lately. They are all great and I love these link ups!






21 comments:

  1. I love this! Gratitude is a choice. And it always makes me so much happier and at peace with whatever situation I'm in when I find things to be grateful for.

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  2. This is so true. We can't just thank the Lord when things are easy but also when things are hard. Sometimes we can't see His hand in the darkness but it is there. He is the one holding us up and when we thank Him we are taking our eyes off ourselves and onto our amazing God. Thanks for sharing. This is a great reminder.

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    1. Amen! I love how you said that when we choose gratitude, we are taking our eyes off of ourselves & onto Jesus.

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  3. I totally agree with this! Gratitude is most definitely a choice!!!!! So thankful that our hope is in HIM!

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    1. Amen!! :) and His grace is enough! Even when it's super hard to choose gratitude

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  4. Ihave definitely been there and it wasn't so long ago but you're right. Gratitude is a conscious choice and making it isn't always easy but always worth it...

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  5. Loved this post - and I definitely agree :)

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to drop by :) love your blog! I tried commenting on your latest post but it never let me :(

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  6. So true - it's easy to be grateful when things are all great, but we have to praise him in the storm and learn to dance in the rain! It is, indeed, a choice! I choose today to praise him and to be thankful! God is good, all the time!

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    1. Amen! And when we dance in the rain, we realize that it isn't so bad... That rain is truly his grace in disguise!

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  7. I can definitely relate. My family has experienced an inordinate amount of trials and tradegys through the years. My go to verse is I Thes. 5:18 "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Sometimes, it may take a little time to get done crying to realize that I need to claim this verse and trust God.
    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Wow thank you for sharing your heart. Gods plan is perfect and so beyond what we think is right or good. So thankful that we can TRUST him because He is good!!

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  8. such a great reminder! gratitude IS a choice!!! even when things are good its sometimes easy to stop and thank The Lord for all he has done! Thanks for sharing! God Bless!

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  9. I totally agree with you that it's not easy to express gratitude when we're in a dark place, but we can shed some light in these moments of hopelessness by being grateful. Thanks for this inspirational post :)

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    1. It does help! And God sees it! Thanks for stopping by friend! :)

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  10. You had my attention at the first sentence, At those moments my heart is stressed. I am good at expressing gratitude as I am in a season of life where focusing on the positives helps me get through each day. Beautiful post to remind us all. xx

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  11. This is something I have been trying to instill in my girls. It is not easy, especially for adults, so I thought I should get a jump start now while they are little.

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  12. I try to spend more time being grateful every day. A gratitude notebook helps me stay in check.

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