Friday, March 4, 2016

Thankful: Choosing Gratitude Brings it's Own Blessings

"Even in the most turbulent waters, choosing gratitude rescues me from myself and my run away emotions." ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss, "Choosing Gratitude"

I've heard so much about this book over the past year! Mama had read it, but, because I thought it was borrowed, I didn't even think of reading it, haha. Then, it suddenly started popping up e..v.e.r.y.where, on blogs and on links that were shared during KBR's November challenge, and the like. I regretted not having read it. Then Mama was going through some books, and I saw her pull this one out, and I was like, "Wait, we OWN that?!". Lol! So she passed it off to me to read, and it was soooo good! I planned on maybe doing a review, maybe sharing a couple of my favorite quotes, or just mentioning having read it and whether it was good, in a blog post afterward.... I sat down one morning with some cocoa and chocolate, started reading the introduction, and found that quote... and I immediately got out a notebook, because I could tell that this was going to give me more to share than a blog post, or even two. So, I just decided to go all out and make it a series, haha!

This book was, I have to say, wonderful. I would suggest reading it ...especially if you have a copy sitting around the house, as I apparently did... ;). The book itself was an easy but, convicting and encouraging, read, and then the month-long study guide at the back gives you a wonderful "continuation" point. I like to read books through in a couple days, but when there are studies to do with each chapter, I either end up not doing the study, or not being able to get all that into the book. It just requires too much of a gear shift for me, somehow. So I liked how this book was set up :).

That sentence, "Even in the most turbulent waters, choosing gratitude rescues me from myself and my run away emotions," really grabbed me, because I had realized much the same thing last August. I had been struggling with a lack of joy, and the Lord used Pinterest (of all the things!), to remind me of the choice I had to make. I never would have recommended Pinterest for a wake up call, but, hey... I guess it can happen ;). I was sitting staring at pins, when one with a bible verse about giving thanks popped up, and I rather absentmindedly clicked on it and looked at the related pins. And with things like "Count your many blessings, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done", "Keep an attitude of gratitude", "Rejoice in the Lord always" and various other phrases popping up, I decided that, as I wrote in my journal later that evening, "...I am going to make that a conscientious part of my day again. ...I miss that part of my day, and I miss being able to look back at those lists every week. I just miss everything about it, and I wish I hadn't let the ball drop. I dropped it without thinking, being busy, then felt like it "wasn't time" to start it back because I was still busy, and since then I told myself it's too much to try for. ...but rejoicing is a command, not an option. And I know I have always received blessings from following that command!"

Because I have found that when I specifically look for, say, three things a day to be thankful for... I end up looking for things all day long, and it comes up to way more than three, often :). And when you notice that you *can* go all day, all week, all the time, and not run out of things to praise the Lord for... it makes you realize how blessed you really are! And that realization breeds joy, and that joy brings more thankfulness, and it becomes a wonderful cycle :)! So, today, whether by paper and pen, or by typing a list up, or by sharing some things with someone else, or just by setting aside a time to dwell on the "benefits" we've been given, join me in counting our blessings :).

Some things I am thankful... 
~That God has forgiven my iniquities.
~Redeemed my life.
~Gives steadfast love and mercy. 
~"Renews our youth like the eagle's."
~For books like "Choosing Gratitude" that encourage us to fight the good fight.
~To be able to share this journey towards a more grateful spirit with you all.
~The grace of God, that molds his children more and more into his image each day, and will continue to do so until we stand  before his throne.

What are you thankful for today?

These "Thankful" blog posts are inspired by Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book "Choosing Gratitude" :).

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"May the Lord, the God of your fathers... bless you!" Deuteronomy 1:11