Choosing Gratitude


I am going to piggy back off a post I wrote earlier this week on my personal blog here, so hang in there with me for a second.

Sometimes I start to write a post and continually find myself hitting the backspace button over and over, because I really just don’t know what to say. This is one of those times.

A post that I feel like should be filled with so much heartache, but I am instead finding so much gratitude in my heart. Some say that time heals all things, but I completely disagree. Time doesn’t heal things, but if we allow it, time can shift the attitude of our hearts. That is what I have learned over the past 12 years.

Time doesn’t heal things, but if we allow it,
time can shift the attitude of our hearts.

My father said goodbye to this world, and hello to heaven, but this past Friday, the anniversary marked the calendar once again, and it had been twelve years, I decided to choose gratitude.

I chose gratitude for the little things like my love of every sport known to man, for my sense of competitiveness, for my ability to talk to just about anyone, for the joy that I find in the simplest things. All things my dad instilled in me.

I chose gratitude for the big things like the understanding of how important family is, for the ability to have confidence to speak up when no one else will, to go the extra mile for someone just because, and above all to love Jesus, because He is what matters in life. All things my dad taught me.

Gratitude says look at what has been,
instead of just what hasn’t been.

There have been many moments that I would find myself whispering into the night, through tears, the simple wish for him to just be here for something, and I know there will still be more moments like that.

To see me play softball or volleyball.
To see me step on a stage in front of a thousand people and speak.
To see me coach my first game.

But when I stopped long enough and asked Jesus to help me see the good, I started to realize…all the things I so desperately wanted him to be here for were all things that he played such a part in.

I wouldn’t have played sports if he hadn’t made me fall in love with them.
I wouldn’t have stepped onto that stage that day if he hadn’t taught me to be bold.
I wouldn’t have decided to be a coach if I hadn’t watched him be one for so many years.

I stopped looking at was wasn’t there of him, and started looking at what was there of him… in me.

And in all of it, there has been Jesus. Every step He took up to Calvary was Him ensuring that despite my earthly father not being here, I would still go through life with someone to call Father. Plus He established a place where cancer couldn’t win. He gives us the hope of the promise of heaven.

Friday and today….

I choose gratitude because of parts of my dad that live on through me.
I choose gratitude because cancer doesn’t get to win.
I choose gratitude because I have never once been fatherless, and never once walked this journey alone.
I choose gratitude because there was death, but there has been much life.

“You’re a good, good father.
It’s who You are, it’s who You are,
it’s who You are.
And I’m loved by you.
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.”

But then I started thinking about thanksgiving and how it is so easy to say you are thankful for your family, your friends, etc… but gratitude isn’t just about being thankful for the big things, for the pretty things, for the things that make you happy….

Gratitude is being thankful for all things.

Gratitude is realizing that everything we receive in this life, no matter what it might be is the grace of God. We are entitled to nothing. We deserved death, but through His love and blood that he shed out for us on the cross we received so much instead.

When we understand this we become so much more thankful.

I am starting to understand that I am not entitled to an earthly father but Jesus so graciously allowed me to have one for eight years of my life… that is something to be thankful for.

So this week, ask Jesus to open your heart. Open your heart so much that your typical “I am thankful for” list that you share around the table at Thanksgiving becomes a list that contains not just the expected, but also the unexpected.

Jesus makes it about as simple as it can be in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”


And when you are in the pit,
where you can’t find anything to be thankful for,
simply be thankful that God is God.

Beloved, choose gratitude today.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

With love and a grateful heart,


Things to think about:

  • How can you choose gratitude today?
  • What is one way you can look back on a terrible circumstance and find something to have gratitude for?
  • What is one way that you are going to ensure that you are thankful in all circumstances like we read in scripture.



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