Monday, February 20, 2012

exercising the gratefulness muscle

Another Monday… and I’m struggling to be grateful.  This gratefulness thing is like a muscle in my heart: when I consistently give thanks, the habit gets stronger and stronger and joy flows steadily, even in inconvenience.  When I stop for a few days (or a few weeks), my heart-muscle degenerates quickly back into mushy complaining, and the world goes back to looking gray and dour.  
Maybe it’s because I’m so “all or nothing” - if I don’t write down a whole list in a day, I just don’t write down anything at all.  And I feel awful.  Bland.  Joyless.  Guilty.  Heavy.
How do I keep strengthening this gratitude-muscle?  What if I gave thanks for just three things a day?  What if I wrote down JUST ONE THING?
The cross of Christ.
My healthy, thriving children.
My faithful, loving husband.
A roof over our heads.
Aren’t these things true every single day?  And couldn’t remembering to give thanks for them spark joy every single time?
I write “Feb 20” at the top of a fresh page in my gratitude journal, and start new today: 

1199. New praise from Kari Jobe1200. Fresh sounds, inspiration1201. WATER RUNNING1202. Living Water1203. Chicken and dumplings1204. A little more energy1205. That even though I keep taking my eyes off of You, You shine out so gloriously that You call me back to You, and I come running

Deep down, under the tiredness and the water issues and the depressing, defeating state of affairs we’re currently walking through, I can feel the joy-trickle start.  
He never changes.  
He is always the same.  
He is always Joy Himself, Joy-filled, and able to Fill with Joy.  
What do you do to exercise your gratitude muscle when you just don’t feel thankful?


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