Why Gratitude Matters

This week our post is centered around a heart of gratitude. In them, I sensed our communities’ need for joy. Happiness. Hope.

The world is full of turmoil, tragedy, and pain right now. That turmoil inundates our senses because there is little reprieve. Television, radio, and every social media platform give report throughout every second of the day.

Do you agree with me when I say I think it may just be more than our emotions and sensory systems were naturally designed to handle?

But it is our reality.

We can hide, but then be misinformed or unaware and uneducated about the condition of our world and the realities of our people’s greatest needs. Although I believe shutting out the noise and unplugging for chunks of time is necessary and healthy, I don’t believe tuning it all out and hiding is the answer.

Now more than ever we need a little more happiness. That happiness starts with some searching. Some searching for the good in our lives. it starts with gratitude. Why Gratitude Matters { #MomentsofHope LInk-Up} - Lori Schumaker

So, how do we adapt?

Our spiritual strength is most definitely the key, but what do we need to do to create that space within our lives for stillness? For reflection? How do we create within ourselves that space for God to fill with hope?

I’m sure there are several tips and strategies for creating that space, but I believe a critical one is the focusing of our minds on that which is good in our lives. Even when it’s tough. Even when, at first glance, good doesn’t appear plentiful.


Gratitude is the key to opening our hearts to happiness, letting it trickle in and overpower the surrounding grief.

Gratitude is key to opening our hearts to happiness,letting it trickle in and overpower grief #gratitude #MomentsofHope Click To Tweet

Gratitude allows us to acknowledge tragedy and work toward solutions while remaining emotionally healthy and intact.

Because what good can we accomplish as depleted, overwhelmed, and exhausted followers of Christ?

The Happiness Dare

I’ve had the recent opportunity to join Jennifer Dukes Lee on the launching of her book The Happiness Dare. Little did Jennifer know a couple of years ago as the ideas for this book first birthed, that our world would be in its current situation. But I think God knew. He knew His people would need happiness.

We need to see the tragedy and work towards solutions, but we need to hold onto our joy as we do it. This book has been a game-changer for me.

It’s tuning me into how happiness and holiness do go hand in hand.

It’s helping me to release the guilt I experience about feeling joy when so much is crumbling around me.

And it’s making me more intentional about creating experiences that give my step more bounce and my heart more hope.

Her book releases August 2nd, but you can pre-order it right now and get some fun freebies! In the next couple of weeks you will see me posting some more personal reflections from the book because, like I said, it is a game changer. And it got the thinker in me going! (Take this quiz and you will know what I mean by that!)

The Happiness Dare - Jennifer Dukes Lee #TheHappinessDare

Let’s Share Gratitude

In the meantime,  can we start a great big gratitude list in the comments below?  What bright spots did we see this week in what may have been a lot of darkness? They are there. I promise. Let’s just look real hard, k?

Before I close, I’ve just got to share this bit of great big gratitude I have from this week!

My Own Story of Gratitude

My daughter gets monthly immunoglobulin infusions (IVIG) to combat her autoimmune disease. It’s two solid days each month of her little arm being hooked up to an IV as these healthy antibodies pump into her body in hopes that eventually she begins making her own.

Over the last 14 months of the infusions, we’ve had good sessions and bad. Sometimes we see the improvements and sometimes we don’t. Last month we saw great improvement and this week, I am happy to report we saw them again! Not only did we see improvement, but our little warrior took the needles like a champ, too! But it gets even better …

She finished the IVIG Friday afternoon. That evening we headed to our Church to serve in a partnered event with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) held at each of our 5 campuses. I was hesitant about a 9:30 pm serving time and thought it could be disastrous for our daughter, but do you know, that our sweet daughter served alongside me the entire time? For almost 2 hours she poured cup after cup of rice into bags to create meals for children around the world.

At one point I was getting frustrated with her because she kept looking away and forgetting her turn in the assembly line. I scolded her a little and asked her why she kept turning around. Do you know her answer?

“Mom. I looking at the kids. I see Bulgaria. Kids hungry like me. Like me before in the orphanage.”

Friends, she got it!

She got that the hungry little ones whose pictures we were seeing on the screen were the ones we were doing this for. And even more? She realized that at some point she had been one of them. But she wasn’t anymore.

I didn’t know how much our daughter would ever understand.  I didn’t know if she would ever comprehend the miracles God has worked in her life.

But she did.

And that is something for which I am very grateful!

Great Hope from Friends

I read a post this week from a friend and fellow blogger, Linda at Spring Sight, who lives with chronic illness. Her message of gratitude was clear and filled with hope. She is my hero because even though it’s exhausting and overwhelming, she chooses happiness all the time. She intentionally works to stay healthy and keep her joy alive.

The way she does it is by being grateful. Her heart of gratitude is evident as she shares hope through her ministry geared toward those struggling with chronic illness. But that hope is definitely not limited to only those with chronic illness. It is a hope for all who find themselves in the tough places of life.

When you stop by her place, would you be sure to share some hope with her, too?

What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger - Linda Perkins - gratitude feature for #MomentsofHope

And, just so you know …

I’m so glad you’re here. ♥

Soaking in hope where today it's about gratitude! Come saturate today with HOPE! Click To Tweet

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  1. Hi Lori – linked a post that I wrote for Easter. So timely that you would have the theme hope this week. We need it. Glad to hear that the infusions are helping your daughter!

    1. Thank you, Cathy! When I rolled out the #MomentsofHope link-up in May, I of course knew the world needed hope. But in the months since then, that need for hope has gotten deeper and deeper. I am so glad you stopped by link-up this week! It’s so good to connect with you again!
      Blessings and smiles,

  2. Thank you for sharing your daughter’s sweet insight.

    I’m really looking forward to starting Jennifer’s book, and the more I hear about it the more eager I become. (I’m really behind on my reading this summer . . .)

    Thanks, Lori, for hosting this warm gathering!

    1. Although there are many blessings in your new work, it sure is cramping your reading efforts! Argh … huh? I love that you still have found time to stop by each week, Michele! I’ve always loved your visits, but knowing how your time is so much more limited, sure makes me appreciate you even more!

  3. Lori- Gratitude changes out outlook so much!
    So glad you were able to pack for FMSC. We’ve done it for 3 years now and it’s such a rewarding feeling to know such a short time volunteering can feed kids for such a long time. I love that we prayed over the boxes we shipped. Kids are getting food with Food.
    The book by Jennifer Dukes Lee looks awesome. Adding it to my list!
    Thank you for reminding us to have a thankful heart!

    1. FMSC is an awesome organization! This was the first year all 5 of our Church campuses partnered with them to do the mobile event. In two days we packed over a million meals! Goosbumps!
      You will not regret getting her book. It is so good!
      Blessings and smiles,

  4. Lori, what a wonderful post! I’m so glad your daughter is doing well, and I love how she saw herself in the group of children. I’ve had moments like that with my adopted daughter as well, where she realized “that could have been me.” Special. 🙂

    Thank you for including a link to my blog! I am so glad it encourages you, as your writing blesses me as well! Looking forward to seeing you at Declare this week!

    Love in Him,


    1. I can’t wait to see you, too! Blog time is good, but real life is the BEST! God sure does teach us a lot through our little ones, doesn’t He? You share such authentic hope through your writing. I was honored to feature your post!
      Blessings and smiles,

  5. Lori, This brought tears to my eyes. My heart is just overflowing to hear those stories of your daughter. She has been through so much! And still she stepped outside of herself in those moments to look beyond to the hurt in others. That truly is a moment of hope! Praise God! Big hugs to you my friend!

    1. Isn’t it, Deb? We get these little glimpses into her heart and into her mind. I believe there is so much there that God is yet to unfold!

  6. Hi, Lori. Last week I had the opportunity to cover for a friend in her small group. It was such a great time and I love the opportunity to minister with other women and just be a part of their lives. It is where I feel happiness, talking Jesus.

    1. I love that about you, Jaime! Through your blog you create that type of environment and have your weekly gathering named perfectly! Sitting Among Friends! I’m so glad you got to exercise your happy style!

  7. Amen Lori! We have so much to be grateful for. I am so encouraged to hear the health news about yourr daughter! I can feel your joy when she shared her insight with you. God continues to love us and give us grace and hope in Him. May we always have a heart of gratitude each day. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this loving community. Have a fantastic week.. continued good health for your daughter too. May God richly bless you and yours, friend.

    1. Horace,
      You are such an encourager! I appreciate you so much! I truly did feel so much joy in that moment! We never know for sure what is in her heart and in her mind, but that moment revealed so much!
      I love having you join in this community! I missed your post last week!!!:-)
      Blessings and smiles,

  8. Hi lori,
    Thank you so much for the link up and for a wonderful blog post! truly a blessing!
    Lots of love, Alethea 🙂

    1. Thank you, Alethea, for your kind words! I am so glad you were blessed by your time here! And goodness, I just have to mention that your name is BEAUTIFUL!
      Blessings and smiles,

  9. I agree with you, Lori: my senses have been on overload with all the stuff being shown to us in the media. I unplug now and again too, but I also agree with you that we can’t put our heads in the sand and ignore it. Gratitude seems like such the right answer for SO many things! Thanks for reminding us to be grateful through all situations.

    Praise God that your daughter saw positive changes again from her IVIG infusions! And what an attitude she already has of service. Good job, Mom. 🙂

    1. Gosh, sometimes it’s so tempting to stick my head in the sand! But I know it isn’t the answer! I really think God works miracles within our hearts when we choose gratitude.Thanks for your kind words, friend! I’m a Mama in progress, for sure!

  10. Your post made me cry. 🙂 In a good way. What a blessing that your daughter was able to make the association with the children on the poster to her own past, and what an even bigger blessing that she now has a loving family to belong to. Grace to you, Tasha

    1. Thank you, Tasha. Your heart is so precious. Thank you for blessing me.

  11. Lori, this is beautiful. I had tears reading about your precious daughter and her understanding why she was volunteering. I’m thankful for good report from her treatments. Thanks for hosting the linkup!

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Lori. It was a pretty awesome moment and we are so thankful for the treatments right now! Thanks for visiting and for sharing hope with me here at #MomentsofHope!

  12. Lori what a beautiful story. I could fill this whole page with testimonies of gratitude from miscarriages, infertility and a grandson who was born with a horrible disease, but instead I want to share the gracious glory of a Heavenly Father who loves me and brought me thru miscarriages, who sent a grandson from infertility, and who has healed another grandson of a horrible disease.

    So glad God led me here this morning.

  13. Lori, what a precious story about your daughter. Thank you for sharing that, and thank you for hosting Moments of Hope each week.

  14. I love your words, “It’s tuning me into how happiness and holiness do go hand in hand.” So true, Lori! And do you mind letting me know what autoimmune disease your daughter has? I’m curious because I have RA. I will certainly add her to my prayer list! That’s gotta be so hard for your tender mama heart to see and deal with. 🙁

  15. Beautifully said, Lori. I loved Jennifer’s book as well, and the chapter on Gratitude really resonated with me. I actually wrote a bit about it this week as well.

    Gratitude is purposing to remember His goodness, and it helps to re-align my heart to His.


  16. You know this is my Party at My Place – Thankful Heart week. Would love for you to link this! Fits perfectly. Going on through Tuesday.

    1. Darn! I missed it! This summer was so full of wonderful blessings, but along with it came so much busyness! I just sent off my two boys to school this morning and my daughter goes back on Monday. As much as I will miss that time with them, I am craving a consistent schedule and routine!