I have found it to be consistently true that the level of a person's JOY is comparable to the level of his/her GRATITUDE... when we meet someone who is "low" in the JOY department...and are able to know them well...we will most likely find that they are also "low" in the department of GRATITUDE.
When we are THANKFUL to the Lord...we open our hearts to His goodness...and He fills us with HIS JOY...so that even in times of trial or suffering, if we look for the JOY, we can find it...WITHIN.
Sometimes it's difficult to understand why we should even be thankful for our sufferings...but when we look deeper, we can see that it is during those times that we often grow the most in our walk with Christ...probably because it is also in those times that we must truly face our dependence on HIM, and HIM alone...recognizing that left unto ourselves, we are capable of nothing.
Gratitude naturally LEADS to JOY and vice-versa...they are a nice pair!
Years back, I purchased a very small, cloth-bound journal. I called it "My Book of Gratitude". For one year, EVERY night, without fail, before I went to bed, I resolved to enter FIVE things in my little book for which I had been grateful that very day. No matter if it had been a productive, happy, easy day...or a stressful, tiring, chaotic day...I ENTERED FIVE THINGS...
These entries could have been as simple as writing "I was thankful for the pretty sky today"...or..."I was thankful that all went well at my Dr's appt"...or as involved as "I was thankful that we have the ability to be together every day as a family who strives to reach our full potential in living out our faith and love of Christ".
I STILL HAVE "My Book of Gratitude"...and every once in a while, I take it out and read it.
Going back through those pages is SO uplifting, and the lessons that I learned through the experience so easily re-surface as I remember many of the very moments about which I wrote.
Why not start your own "Book of Gratitude"? If "5" doesn't feel like the right amount of entries per day to you...choose your own number...however, I DO encourage you to choose a specific number as it helps to keep your resolve in this pilgrimage. (And, I do think it is a pilgrimage for it is a walk with the Lord, recognizing His goodness and blessings and strengthening us as we WRITE and SEE how many ways He bestows His generosity upon us each day...this leads us closer to Him)
When we write things down, it has a way of bringing those things to the forefront of our thoughts in a very tangible manner...so as we go from day to day, we recall our own grateful heart, which then leads us to be filled with JOY...
It is that JOY which attracts others to Christ. People see an inner JOY in you, and they want to know WHY its there and WHERE it comes from.
Gratitude is the root of the flower of JOY!
Start a "Book of Gratitude" today! You won't be sorry you did!
Copyright 2010 Judy Dudich
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