Choosing Gratitude

I’m so excited to be sharing a blog hop with y’all today! As some of you know, I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of Kristen Welch’s (We are THAT family) new book launch team for #RaisingGratefulKids and some of us have joined up to put all of our thoughts on gratefulness in to one huge blog hop so you can “hop” from one blog to the next.

These ladies are amazing wives, moms, writers, givers and doers…The links are at the bottom of this post. Don’t forget to use #RaisingGratefulKids when you visit the blog hop!

Grateful Parents

If you had told me a year ago today I would soon be purposely choosing to be grateful in the midst of the struggle 2015 was…and if looks really could kill…well, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.

A year ago today I had dropped Rob off at rehab and given up on any of the dreams I’d had for 2015.

A year ago today I tried to be grateful that we found a place that didn’t have a waiting list…that was long term…that Rob agreed to go to.

It was not a situation I was grateful for. It was not how I would have chosen to spend the last 12 months…My husband in rehab for alcoholism, 10 minute phone calls a few times a month…monthly weekend visits…two trips to bring him home for a few days…solo parenting our girls…struggling to pay bills…struggling to function some days…

I didn’t try very hard, but I tried.

Fast forward a month…Valentines Day…spent making 60 treat bags, picking up a cake, driving to take it all to rehab…By chance getting to see him, talk to him.


This is where my journey of choosing gratitude began.

It was easy to be angry…hurt…resentful…

Those feelings seemed acceptable and expected.

I could have spent 2015 allowing those emotions to control me. I don’t think many would have blamed me.

I would have missed out on so many beautiful things.

Unscheduled visits with my husband…words I never let myself dream he would ever say…shattered faith restored…a renewing of our marriage…reconciliations…stronger relationships…

Choosing gratitude isn’t easy…not for me at least. I know others who do it so well.

I used to want whatever it was they have that makes it easy for them to be grateful in spite of their circumstances.

Now I know what they have. What I have. What we all have.

The choice to be grateful. Making the decision each day to choose gratitude. Not to let situations, relationships, struggles…define and destroy our joy.

I fail at choosing gratitude daily. Just this weekend I failed in a big way.

Things happen that overwhelm us and instead of stopping to realize we can still choose gratitude in the middle of the hard, we give in to the negative.


People disappoint us. Situations out of our control worry us. Bills seem to grow monthly. We lose people we love. Friendships dissipate. Work stresses us. Husbands relapse.

Deciding to choose gratitude does not make any of these things not happen.

Some days, it doesn’t even make dealing with the unexpected easier.

Some days though, it does.

Some days, when it’s Valentines Day and you miss your husband and you’re mad at him for relapsing and maybe you’re mad at God…

And maybe you haven’t quite chosen to be grateful yet because you can’t see a single thing to be grateful for…


Some days God gives you some really beautiful, unexpected joys…

An unexpected visit with your husband…where he tells you he loves you and he’s sorry and he’s doing everything he can to make sure this is the last time you have to go through this.

60 treat bags and a cake that you didn’t really have money for, but you did it anyway and then worried these grown men would think it was all silly…but they didn’t think it was silly at all. And it made a difference to some people who felt thrown away and forgotten by the world.


A box of chocolates from friends who didn’t want you to feel forgotten on Valentines day.

And in the middle of all this, you make a decision. You decide to choose gratitude. For the good things…for the hard things…for the everyday, mundane things…


You decide because the best way to teach your kids to be grateful is to model choosing to be grateful when it’s hard and honestly, it’s the last thing you want to choose.

You still forget and give in to the old feelings sometimes…but it doesn’t take you as long anymore to bounce back and remember that while it may be easier to hold on to anger and injustice and hurt…it’s not who you are anymore.

You made a choice to be grateful…in the good…in the beautiful…in the hard…

And that, my friend, will make all the difference. In you, in your family, in your kids, in the world…

RGK book cover

Have you pre-ordered Raising Grateful Kids yet? Launch date is January 26th, so hurry and pre-order from or Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any of your favorite book retailers. You’ll love the truth you find in this book!

Join me over on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest

Hop over to these #RaisingGratefulKids blogs and show some love ❤

RGK Blog Hop

What’s Good for the Goose – by Heidi

Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude – by Alison
Rasisng Grateful Kids – by amanda
Why You Can’t Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store – by Andrea
Missing – Gratefulness in our home – by Ange
Choosing Gratitude – by Angela
Gratefullness – by chaley
5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family – by Christa
Practicing Grateful Parenting – by Dana
Sing a Song – by Hannah
Cultivating gratitude in our family – by Jamie
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Let It Begin With Me – by Jen
Choosing Gratefulness – by Jennifer
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World – The Book – by jeri
Eradicating Entitlement – What are you rooted in? – by Jessica
Gratefulness in our home – by Kate
The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us – by Katelyn
7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful – by Kathryn
Raising Grateful Kids – by Keri
How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude – by Kishona
Grateful – by Kristy
Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie – by Leigha
The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids – by Lindsey
Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? – by Marie Osborne
Gratitude, A Practical Definition – by Mia
Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home – by Nancy
Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness – by Rachel
Being Grateful – by Rebecca
I’ve Found Something I Can’t Live Without – by Sarah
The Power of Naming our Gifts – by Sarah
Outfitted – by Sarah Jo
Growing Gratitude in our Family – by Sondra
Teaching Gratefulness – by Stephanie
How Grateful Looks From Here – by Alison
Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us – by Leah
Entitlement Problem – by Karrie
Grateful Today – by Krystal

About angelastricklin

Thanks for stopping by! If you're on FB, follow me: Instagram @angelastricklin Twitter @angelastricklin Pinterest @Angela Stricklin I'm a wife, mom of three girls and one fur baby. By day, I'm an HR manager to pay for all things girly girl and fur baby treats. I add things to my Amazon wish list instead of my cart because my girls cost All. The. Money. Instead of sleeping, you can find me writing about faith, addiction, recovery, marriage, parenting and my favorite things on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Pinterest.
This entry was posted in Addiction, Alcoholism, Blog Hop, christian books, Dealing with relapse, Raising Grateful Kids, Uncategorized, we are that family and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Choosing Gratitude

  1. Pingback: Being Grateful - Looking for Marbles

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  9. Pingback: I’ve Found Something I Can’t Live Without

  10. Pingback: Why You Can’t Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store –

  11. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It always helps us when we get a little perspective. I hope your hubby is well, and things have turned around!

  12. Pingback: Growing Gratitude - Celebrate Heart and Home

  13. ❤ The times it's hardest to be grateful always seem to be the most rewarding – if we can only push through! Thanks for sharing your courage – it's encouraged me!

  14. Leigha Balchus says:

    Beautiful, beautiful words!!! Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring us to choose gratefulness even when life is hard. LOVE this message!! #RaisingGratefulKids

  15. Pingback: Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? - Marie Osborne

  16. Steph says:

    Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing something so hard. Gratitude doesn’t always comes easy to me either, but God always deserves it.

  17. Kishona - Life in Lape Haven says:

    Thank you for your honesty and transparency in sharing this! It reminds me of the quote toward the end of Kristen’s book, “Choosing to be thankful in these hard places—this is what sets us free.” Love this.

  18. Nancy K says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s good to be reminded that gratitude is a choice that we get to make, and when we do choose it over an easier option, it is even better.

  19. J.Stunkard says:

    “The choice to be grateful. Making the decision each day to choose gratitude. Not to let situations, relationships, struggles…define and destroy our joy.” Oh.My.Gosh. My joy was destroyed today…and I chose to let a situation destroy it. Thanks for the gentle reminder. Hopefully tomorrow I won’t let that happen.

  20. Pingback: Missing – Gratefulness in our home!

  21. Pingback: How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude

  22. Pingback: Gratitude, A Practical Definition – Unto Adoption

  23. Pingback: The Problem with Entitlement Is that it Begins With Us

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