In the past few weeks our church has done a short emphasis on joy. In some sense, this is right up my alley and in others, this really isn’t. What I’ve appreciated from what the pastor and our Sunday School leader mentioned was this joy is a choice. I must choose to be joyful. It is me initiating my emotions and not me reacting to circumstances. The fact that is on me to decide makes it both a positive and negative for me personally. I am hopeful that I can be joyful in all things because it’s simply just me learning and choosing positively, but it’s also depressing to realize how many times I’m resentful, angry and upset and I know it’s because I’m just reacting.
In one of my late Mother In Law’s journal entries, she wrote how thankful she was that the roof just leaked a little bit today. I have absolutely no grid for that. I’ve always been privileged to have a sturdy roof over my head and I’ve never once been thankful or joyful that I’ve never had to worry about my roof leaking.
I’ve seen this done before as many of you probably have to, but I’d like to start a Thankfulness Project for the next 365 days. Every day, I want to write about something that I’m thankful for from the biggest things such as my family to the smallest things such as having running water in my home. I want to point my heart and mind in a positive direction because I know how easy it can be for me to be dissatisfied and ungrateful. I want to be grateful and I want to be thankful. And I know I can be those things if I choose to be joyful, especially when things are hard. It’s what I love about my Mother In Law’s entry. There was acknowledgement that things were difficult, but she still chose to find something to be joyful about. I very much admire her for that quality.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. (Phil 2:14)