I’ve got an attitude of gratitude,
A heart that’s full and thankful
for the good, the bad,
the happy or sad.
Dear Lord, help me be grateful.
When I’m standing in the middle of misery,
help me stop and count my blessings.
In our history you’ve been good to me.
Lord, help me always keep confessing…
If I win or lose it’s up to you.
Alone, you hold my future.
If I stand or fall, Lord, through it all,
Life’s a marvel of adventure.
I’m not grateful for it,
I am grateful through it,
And being grateful in it,
changes the way I look at it.
Words and music by Mark Lowry and Benjamin Gaither © 2011
It isn’t easy for a group of songwriters to go on vacation together and turn off the creative spigot, especially in a place as beautiful as Nantucket, Massachusetts. So when Mark Lowry found himself vacationing for a week in the quaint seaside community, along with Bill and Gloria and their son Benjy and his family, the opportunity for something creative to take place was set.
The group was in Nantucket for a Gaither Vocal Band performance, and decided to stay in the area for about a week for some rest. But rest and Mark Lowry don’t always go together, and soon their “rest” turned into a spontaneous creative working session.
“I was listening to a preacher on TV,” says Mark “and she said, ‘You need to have a gratitude attitude.’ I had heard the phrase through the years, so I just sat down at my computer and started writing. After I’d written two verses and a chorus, I read it to Bill. Then he got excited. Benjy got out his guitar and started playing around with melodies. Bill tweaked them until everybody was happy. That was the most difficult thing about the process —making Bill happy,” Mark laughs.
Benjy concurs. “Dad helped us work through some ideas. But as soon as Mark said, ‘I’ve got a song,’ and I read the lyrics, I heard the song in my head.”
The end result, “Attitude of Gratitude,” is featured on the new GVB kids album, I Am a Promise.
“Our hope,” says Benjy, “is that the song will get into kids’ heads and they will end up teaching us parents something about gratitude. It seems everybody’s complaining about everything these days. I’m guilty of it myself sometimes. But things can always be worse. Some people think the world owes them something. We’ve become apathetic as a nation. But the fi rst step in overcoming apathetic behavior is a grateful heart.”
Mark agrees that it’s important to have a grateful heart. “It’s a catchy tune and I hope it reminds us all to be grateful. To be grateful, you must be able to remember. ‘Count your blessings,’ the old hymn says. And it’s true. Count and then recount the blessings of God. Remember them when you’re going through trials. You have a track record with God and He has been faithful so far. No matter what you’re going through, you’re going to live through it...even if it kills you. It reminds me of another old lyric by Stuart Hamblen: ‘The things of earth that cause the heart to tremble, remembered there will only bring a smile.’”
“Attitude of Gratitude” is Benjy and Mark’s first songwriting experience together.
“Mark and I always talked about writing a song,” says Benjy. “But that was about 10 years ago. We write a song together about every 10 years!”
“Benjy is very creative,” adds Mark. “You probably already know about his upcoming movie, The Last Ride. He produced the music soundtrack for that movie, as well as producing the movie itself. I predict Benjy will win an Academy Award for the music. And I want my prediction in print so when it happens everyone will remember reading it here first.”
Both Benjy and Mark believe it’s important for each of us to have a grateful heart. “It’s important because it’s best for us,” Mark says, “And God always wants what is best for us. A grateful person is a happy person. It’s impossible to be grateful and miserable.”