Posts tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss – a book review

“If I fail to choose gratitude, by default, I choose ingratitude,” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy).

"How often do we neglect to return thanks for a kindness done, a duty performed, or a step saved? . . . It really is surprising how easily ingratitude can worm its way into our habit patterns," Nacy DeMoss).

Bad habits are hard to break and easy to start.             “How often do we neglect to return thanks for a kindness done, a duty performed, or a step saved? . . . It really is surprising how easily ingratitude can worm its way into our habit patterns,” (Nancy DeMoss).

It is easy for me to become too focused on the worries of life. This leads me to feel defeated, fearful, and cranky.

Periodically I do something to combat that slide into self. I make time to think and write why I am grateful for various things.

  • I usually write a weekly post for Friday’s Fave Five. This is where we list 5 favourite things from the previous week.
  • In November and July I typically write a gratitude post each day.
  • I have written a series of posts titled, “5 Reasons I Love . . .“. So far there are 18 posts.
And I try to read about gratitude. A thoughtful and helpful book I read was Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

This book has 9 chapters, a 30 day devotional, and a list of gratitude hymns.

When you read the following Table of Contents, what do you think?

  1. The Power of Gratitude
  2. Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude
  3. No Thanks
  4. Why Choose Gratitude
  5. Of Whiners and Worshipers
  6. How Can I Say Thanks?
  7. Thanks . . .  for Everything
  8. But Not Without Sacrifice
  9. Going Gratitudinal

When I read the Table of Contents, it shows me that gratitude-living is intentional, difficult, and life-changing. This is a little scary. And yet, this is something I want to pursue and must in order to fully live a life of love toward God, my Saviour.

Each chapter had gems. I underlined quotes to ponder and share and I wrote responses to “ouch” statements in the margins of the book.  The brightest gems, or at least the one I’ve thought most about is found in chapter 3, No Thanks pp 53-56.

Ingratitude is one of our enemy’s most lethal weapons. . . So much of what is wrong in our lives-out of sync, out of sorts, out of harmony- can be traced back to this root of ingratitude.

So we must guard our hearts against it at every turn, watching for the telltale signs, feelings, and attitudes that can set it off in us; things such as [these following Instigators of Ingratitude]:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Forgetfulness
  • Entitlement
  • Comparison
  • Blindness to God’s Grace

If you’d like help in making gratitude a stronger habit in your life,

  • Reading and applying the thoughts from this book is a good place to start.
  • Going through this book with someone else is an even better idea.
  • In fact, I am even thinking starting a small group. I just looked at my calendar and I am praying.

Your Turn . . .

  1. How are you doing in the gratitude department?
  2. Are there any changes you’d like to make?
  3. If you’ve read this book, what was a gem you discovered?
  4. Are you interested in doing a small group study of this book with me?

Related Posts . . . 

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FYI. During April I participated in the A-Z Challenge. Most of the posts were from drafts that are at least a year old. I want to clear out my draft pile (193 as of May 15, 2013). So I am continuing to make a special effort to finish those. This is one such post.

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Choosing Gratitude And Why It Matters

Monument of "Gratitude" in Gryfice (...

Take an honest reflection of your thoughts and actions from the past 72 hours and answer this question.  . . . . . . . . . . . .  If a  monument was going to be erected with your  “Gratitude Thoughts & Actions,” how big would the plaque have to be? . . . . . . . . . . .  Monument of “Gratitude” in Gryfice (Poland) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Cultivating a thankful heart is a safeguard against becoming

  • bitter,
  • prickly, and
  • sour.

A grateful child of God can’t but help but be a joyful, peaceful, radiant person.” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude, p 17)

Choosing gratitude is more than something I write about on Friday’s Fave Five.  

It is more than something happy people do.

It is more than a positive habit.

Choosing to keep gratitude in my life protects my thinking from becoming ugly. This in turn protects my actions from becoming ugly.

What is the ugly I am talking about? It certainly includes being bitter, prickly, and sour. Read on for more ugliness from Nancy DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude, p 17.

“I have seen how a lack of gratitude manifests itself in fretting, complaining, and resenting – whether within the confines of my own thoughts or, worse yet, through venting those thoughts to others.”

I am prone to worrying and fretting. Like right now I am worrying and fretting about the upcoming women’s retreat. This book (Choosing Gratitude) has reminded me that this is a sin. I think too little of God and His power and purposes for me and Retreat. I think too little on His LOVE for me and each Retreat attendee.

Instead of worrying and fretting, I choose to be grateful. Why? So that I can have a calm interior and influence on those around me. . . . So that I can more easily hear God’s leading. . . . So that I can recognize the good around me and thank my Creator God for that good. . . . So that I can keep my focus on God and the eternal perspective.

Here are some things I am grateful for pertaining to the upcoming Retreat.

  1. A gentle, computer whiz made sure our music videos are in a form we can use (Bryce).
  2. We have two awesome speakers (Jenny and Shula).
  3. We have a very capable person taking care of sound (Pam).
  4. Two fun and talented ladies are leading us in singing along with music videos (Gillian and MaryJo).
  5. Two of the women’s ministry team will be at Retreat with me and they are great at handling details and loving others (LaRee and Reggie).
  6. God will definitely help me when I present my portion at the Retreat because He LOVES us too much to NOT DO so.

Whew. I am already breathing much more easily. And my thoughts are not so turbulent. I am feeling God’s Presence and guiding for this moment. And that’s what I need to be concerned about – THIS moment. “Thank you, Lord!”

Your Turn . .

  1. Why do you choose to be grateful?
  2. Do you have any of  the above mentioned ugly attitudes like being bitter, prickly, and sour? Are you involved in fretting, complaining, and resenting … and venting? 
  3. What will you do about it today?

Related Posts . . . 

_________________________________ FYI. During April I participated in the A-Z Challenge. Most of the posts were from drafts that are at least a year old. I want to clear out my draft pile (193 as of May 15, 2013). So I am continuing to make a special effort to finish those. This is one such post.

. at . 2 comments


60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish Date.

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