Inseparable Partners: Joy and Gratitude

We’ve heard it a million times: “Count your blessings.”

Count Blessings Mousepad AmazonSometimes it’s said with a wry smile – “Count your blessings – things could be worse!”

Sometimes it’s given as advice, as if being grateful for what we have will magically take away all our worries.

Sometimes we roll our eyes and try not to hit the person who said it just carry on.

But sometimes we take it into our hearts and are truly thankful for what we’ve been given.  And with that gratitude comes joy.

If someone feels joy without being grateful, isn’t that 2310969291_10a0933517_zreally just a moment of pleasure? Climbing a mountain on a sunny day, or feeling the wind rush as you ski down a smooth, snowy slope, or warming yourself by a blazing fire – those are very pleasurable sensations, but without gratitude for the sunshine or your body’s physical ability, it isn’t true joy . . . at least not the joy that we’re talking about, the joy that permeates the soul.

When you combine the warmth of the sun, the beauty of mountain flowers, or the view from the peak with thanks to God for providing them, that’s when He fills you with joy.

15286173374_592d6d8827_zYou can shovel a foot of snow, heart pounding and sweat freezing, and then toast yourself in front of the fire until you’ve recovered. You’ve done your chore and now you’re warm, and you’re glad. But if you add a gratitude for the beauty of the snow, the health to do the shoveling, and the fact that you even have a fireplace – that’s when your soul feels joy, not just satisfaction or relief.

Actually, I think it’s more than just gratitude bringing joy – I think true joy brings gratitude as well.

13609536_dc9c473c26_oThere are moments when we are blessed with a sense of joy, when warmth and contentment fill our beings. For me, I can’t help but be grateful in those moments for all that surrounds me. For the sunshine or snow or rain, for a kitchen to cook in, for a warm house with soft beds and plenty of blankets, for the happy noise my guys make when they come home. For birds to feed and stories to write and friends to visit.

Joy and gratitude can’t be separated – what are you grateful for as you Take Joy?

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