I feel like I know Joy. I have felt her sweep through my bones and make them dance.  But, there is much absence of Joy and again my bones know it; for they become...

I make allowance for its absence; fostering the idea I am too ideal and too expectant. Ever-so evasive Joy, taunting me by dreams and sighs and how can I be happy when...?

From a birds eye view, I am a happy woman. But dear reader, let us descend and into the rooms of my mind we can observe the scene. We shall stand at the evening of my day and oh! be gentle reader, for it is my aim to reveal but it is my hope to
Darkness, high moon, awaken. linger upon the pillow and I fight opening day with my discontented mind. I'm tired. I can't think this way, so I pray. And now I'm fighting my mind. So I ignore the sounds and say, It has to be done. Such a heavy brick settles inside. Crushing, crushing any chirping or soft sweeping of hope. Car, buckle in, how can we get through this again? Work. Patients rushing, also discontent and it bleeds on me. My lips are dry and my voice is tired of greeting. Canker sores slow my talking. The fever breaks and my throat's aflame; upsets and I try settling.

This is life. And I cannot expect for dishes to disappear and people to soften. I cannot expect rejuvenation every morning and easy, easy...

It is in between the moments that Joy must be found! In the dark morning light and dusty blinds. In the piles and piles of cleaning and people talk. Perhaps when mother hands me a book called One Thousand Gifts and I cry. Cry for my habits of bitterness. Lost time when I could have practiced gratitude.
Joy is here. Joy is waiting just. beyond. the door.

Only opened by gratitude. Waiting, waiting, oh how Joy waits, whilst we storm and despair, complain and vex upon war and news and traffic and betrayals and deceit. Death and sorrow are unbearable; I believe them to be all powerful, when they are but the last enemy, for "death thou shalt die."

God is in our gratitude. When we are thankful, we are acknowledging Him. The lifting of hands and singing to God is a sharp arrow to our fight. It brings victory. And when this transformation takes place; it is so subtle we barely notice the lightening shoulders and softened brow. It isn't until everything is bathed in glorious light and spilled sweetness, we realize we are different. And that our faithful creator has given us Joy.

Am I able to list one thousand things I love, for which I'm grateful?
I do not write to say I've fully achieved this; but only that when I utterly, completely fail, I remember the path to Joy, and follow it most eagerly, again and again.

This was inspired by One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. A beautiful, touching read that will leave one altered.


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