How Gratitude Changes Your Life by Lauren from Marked By Grace

Hi Friends! I am excited to introduce you to Lauren from Marked By Grace. Lauren is going to share her heart on gratitude with us today. I have been so blessed to know this special and sweet lady. She is inspiring and I love her heart for God. 

Check her out- follow her- give her some love on her blog. She is just great! 
Find Me Here:
Hello guys! My name is Lauren and I blog over at Marked By Grace. I blog my thoughts, inspirations, hopes, dreams, and about the amazing adventure the Lord is taking me on. I’m a doer, singer, coffee-drinker, writer, reader, and blogger. I would love to have you join me on my blog. 
I’m so happy to be posting for Tiffany today! I love her blog and her sweet spirit! Today, I would like to talk to you guys about gratitude. More importantly, how gratitude can make your life more fulfilling! 
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” 
James 1:17
Gratitude is hard. Let’s all be honest and admit that right now. When we wake up in the morning, we could have a thousand things to complain about. 
*the baby didn’t sleep well
*your schedule for that day is busy
*your list of to-dos keeps on getting longer
*you have classes to prepare for 
All of these things are hard to face throughout the week. It is so easy to start complaining. In that moment, we all have a choice to make. We can either let the enemy take over our thoughts or we can allow the Lord to bless us with another day. When we start looking around at the positive things in life, instead of the negative, the world seems a bit smaller and a bit brighter. 
When I look back on my life, I truly can find so many reasons to be thankful. In the past year, the Lord has opened up doors I never even knew existed. He has amazed me in ways I can’t even explain and has blown my expectations out of the water. In moments like this, I need to be thankful for every situation and every opportunity that He places before me. 
He has also brought me through some trials. This year was the year my life changed. In the moment, I was questioning Him. Why would you put me through this Lord? What did I do? Many nights I was crying and pleading with the Lord to get me through the next day. I was broken, confused, and in the middle of a situation that no one had the answer to. How could I be thankful then? In the midst of all that? Well, I have to admit, at first I wasn’t. But now, a year later, I’m incredibly thankful for the road He decided to take me down. God wouldn’t put me through anything He didn’t think I could handle. He is faithful and He is in control. Even in the moments of trial and trouble, we all need to step back….and be thankful. 
Easier said than done right? Yes, I know. But here is where we, as children of The Ultimate Provider, have to make a decision every single day to choose joy. Choose joy when we feel nothing. Choose joy in times of confusion, heartache, trial, and grief. Choose joy when the word is telling us to give up and give in. We were all created for something way better than ungratefulness. We owe so much to the God who gave it all. 

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