Choosing Gratitude, Quotes

Gratitude: In Every Moment, Thank God

Meme with the quote: "In happy moments, praise God. In difficult moments, seek God. In quiet moments, worship God. In painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God." ~Rick Warren, pastor. This is set on a back drop of trees silhouetted against a sunset.

@JeanneTakenaka

Though I try to be intentional about practicing the art of giving thanks throughout the year, it seems like November is the month when life finally slows down a little bit and I can really, truly think on the nuances of gratitude.

This month, I’m going to keep things a little shorter and share quotes that mean something to me. I hope you’ll share quotes and your thoughts on gratitude as well.

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What kinds of moments are you living right now?

I’ve been living in busy moments, especially over these past couple of weeks. I attended a retreat, and then I made the five hour drive to cheer on my oldest’s marching band at the state competition. And that on top of preparations for these and daily life.

I find it’s in the busy moments that I most need to fix my heart on God. My focus tends toward doing the next thing. I drive myself hard to complete everything. And I end up drained at the end. 

And a drained Jeanne tends to lead to . . . unpleasantness all around.

 

Peter and me in front of a school bus on the morning of the band competition

I love the exhortations in this quote. It covers about every kind of moment we live. When we’re happy? Let’s praise God. When we lift praise to our Father, we’re acknowledging His presence, His love manifested in our lives.  Something happens in hearts that worship Him.

When we are living in difficult moments, let’s seek God. It’s only as we seek Him that we find peace in the not-understanding, in the wearying times. 

A rock-strewn stream

When we are in quiet moments (and honestly? I’m trying to remember what those are as a mom of teen boys . . .), let’s seek God. When we have hearts and souls and spirits that are still before Him, we’re able to hear His voice, His promptings more clearly.

In painful moments—in those seasons when we want to ask, “Why, God?”—let’s choose to trust Him. He knows the plans He has for us, and they are for our good and His glory. Even when we don’t see the good or the glory.

When we trust God in our pain, He draws us near to Him and reassures us with His presence. When we choose trust in the not understanding, He deepens our faith because He shows Himself faithful.

Trees with orange-brown leaves lining a paved path near a river.

And I love the last part of this quote: “Every moment, thank God.” Gratitude is a choice. 

It’s easy to thank God when everything is going as I planned (that might be a bit of my inner control-freak peeking out). But what about when the kids make really, really bad choices? Or there’s a diagnosis? An unexpected loss? When we choose to find things to thank God for in every moment, our hope in Him deepens. 

A mountain river with trees and a hillside on the other side.

I’ve discovered that, when we look for things to be grateful for, God opens our eyes to see how He’s worked in the situations we face. And somehow that deepens my gratitude and my love for Him. And, maybe even enables me to know His love more intimately.

What about you? What moments are hardest for you to thank God in? What are some things you are grateful for right now?

Click to Tweet: When we choose to find things to thank God for in every moment, our hope in Him deepens.

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

32 thoughts on “Gratitude: In Every Moment, Thank God”

  1. Oddly enough, I often find it difficult to be grateful when things are going well. In riding my wave of success (or what I perceive to be success), I pat myself on the back for my accomplishments—when all along, God’s grace is the thing that helped me achieve.

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    1. Anita, this doesn’t sound so odd to me. I think when things are going my way, I tend to forget to be thankful. And, if I’m honest, I do what you’ve described. 😉 You’re so right though, it’s God’s grace that enables us to achieve anything. Great perspective, my friend.

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  2. I love Pastor Warren’s quote and your “take” on his words. I do need the reminder to thank God in every moment. I tend to forget the source of joy and wonder when I get lost in those emotions. I must remember to give credit where credit is due! 🙂

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    1. Laurie, I think it’s easy to forget where all good things come from when things are going smoothly. I wonder if He is delighted when we get lost in the joy and wonder He gives us . . . ? I love your reminder to be give credit to the Lord, since He’s the giver of said emotions. 🙂

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  3. If we practice an attitude of gratitude when things are going well, it is easier to be thankful when our lives are in an uproar. Practice may not make perfect, but it makes us better and more consistent.

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    1. Great thought, Shirlee. When we have a practice of gratitude in our lives, maybe our hearts turn in that direction during every season of life . . .? And your words are right: practice makes us more consistent. 🙂

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  4. I’m so grateful He never changes, never leaves, never forsakes! His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is our byword!

    I love your emphasis on gratitude, Jeanne. It’s way too easy to grumble these days …

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    1. I’m with you, Linda. I don’t know how many times I have thanked the Lord for being unchanging and for never leaving or forsaking me. I find so much comfort in that truth! Thanks for sharing this.

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  5. Hey Jeanne, I wrote about gratitude for my current blog post, too. 🙂 When I think of what I’m grateful for right now, my family and health and salvation are always at the top of the list. But it’s hardest to be thankful to the Lord in the hard moments. When both plan A and B crumbled. So that makes Rick Warren’s quote hit close to home. Because real gratitude to the Lord does thank Him every moment, not just in the happy moments. And your words here spoke to me, “When we choose to find things to thank God for in every moment, our hope in Him deepens. “

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    1. Hey Karen—great minds and all that, huh? 😉 We need to choose gratitude when life falls apart or disappoints. Similar to love, perhaps gratitude is a verb. We can choose to have a thankful heart toward the Lord, regardless of what’s going on around us. It’s not always easy, but when we do this, we’re trusting Him to walk with us. Saying a prayer for you today.

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  6. We lost our two alpha-dogs (and 2/3 of my service-dog team), Christopher and Sylvia, this weekend, less than 20 hours apart. Syl had been sick, and Chris died of a broken heart.

    They were the leaders of the pack
    and in a weekend, both were gone.
    There is no road to call them back,
    and time will must go on.
    The others are so quiet now,
    the home’s heart-beat has altered,
    and heads in sad remembrance bow
    in a cathedral with no altar.
    The music of the season plays
    but the hearing can be hard,
    and I wonder if its gladness strays
    to the graves out in the yard.
    In gratitude that they were here,
    ’tis memory that’s Christmas cheer.

    They had saved me using canine CPR, a emonstration of which, if I may, I include in the Youtube link below.

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    1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dogs, Andrew. I am awed that they revived you using canine CPR. I have never heard of that before. Amazing what these special creatures of God can be taught to do. God be with you and give you strength and comfort!

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  7. I’m so grateful our grandson wasn’t with his friends in a fatal accident last week. The loss of a young life and another one in critical condition makes it hard to be thankful, so I needed this post, Jeanne. I wrote about it in my post this week. I’m trying to trust God knows why and someday we’ll understand. This especially touches my heart right now – “When we trust God in our pain, He draws us near to Him and reassures us with His presence.” Yes He is faithful no matter what. Thank you. Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Wow, Trudy. I am so, so sorry for this tragedy! I’m glad your grandson wasn’t in the accident, but how utterly heartbreaking for his friends’ families, and for your grandson as well. I’ll be praying for your family today. Hugs to you, sweet friend.

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  8. Reading some of the comments on those experiencing losses reminds me of the loss of a church family just a couple of weeks ago. The parents and two children died in an auto accident when in Africa doing mission work. Another church family lost their 11 week son who didn’t survive the critical condition he was born with. Even when serving God, there can be so much tragedy. God heals the broken-hearted, and His word teaches so much about dealing with the sorrows we will have here. He knows… Sweet post Jeanne! I look forward to seeing what other quotes you choose!

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    1. Lynn, I’m so sorry to read of those losses in your church body. Those are painful to walk through. You’re right . . . following Jesus doesn’t insulate us from pain. It—He—gives us hope in our darkest seasons. God does heal the broken-hearted, but it takes time, doesn’t it? I’m thankful for God’s word, which strengthens us and helps us learn how to walk through every season in this life.

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  9. I love the Rick Warren quote, Jeanne … I don’t recall seeing it before. I think maybe the hardest one for me is to worship in the quiet moments … I get distracted with all kinds of other thoughts so easily, but then when I remember to reorient my mind on things above, everything else comes into focus. Hugs,friend!

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    1. Lois, I get so easily distracted in the quiet moments too. I have to turn off the distractions I can (my laptop, my phone!) so that I can be still and worship Him. And yes, when we re-orient our minds on the Lord, everything else comes into focus. So thankful for you, friend!

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  10. So grateful for this post, Jeanne, the reminder of keeping our eyes on the goal and the Author and Perfector of our Faith. I am grateful that He is not finished and that I can have hope that while my own faith at times wobbles, He remains faithful! THANK YOU for you being you, for writing, for inspiring others and continuing! You are a blessing!

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    1. Heidi, I’m so thankful our Father is the Giver of hope even when our faith wobbles, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Your words are a beautiful reminder about just how amazing our Father is!

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  11. Jeanne,
    What a beautiful and poignant reminder of why it is good to give thanks. God doesn’t “need” our thanks, but it is good for US to have a thankful heart. Your message of thanking, praising, trusting in all seasons is very timely. I’ve been purposely writing in my gratitude journal every day which forces me to look up and away from the struggle. Love your beautiful photography…you have quite the eye for capturing God’s creation!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, you’re right. God doesn’t need our thanks, but man, we need to cultivate hearts of gratitude, don’t we? As a family, we write down things we’re grateful for, but I need to be more diligent to write in my personal gratitude journal. We need to stop and give thanks for the sake of seeing God in our every day, even in the hard moments.

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