Finding Joy in the Journey

“Joy in the Journey” is one of my favorite Michael Card songs. Even as a teenager, it inspired me. Now that I have jumped on the gratitude wagon, it means even more. Being grateful changes you. It changes those around you. They can’t help notice the change in you. If you are being grateful, you can’t be discontented with what you are grateful for. It doesn’t work. So, a day late in reading Ann’s blog, I am joining the 2012 Celebrate Joy Dare. Three gifts a day. Sweet Ann even helps you get started, with a calendar challenge of three gifts to look for everyday in January, with more to follow in the months to come, I’m sure. Won’t you join the chorus too? And if the change you will see in yourself is not enough motivation, she’s got a giveaway she’ll be doing at the end of the year, for those who have persevered and given thanks for 1000 gifts.

Now, you may be in a place of darkness and sadness in your life. You may have had a horrible start to the year, where not a day has gone by that looked like there was anything to be thankful for. May I humbly suggest you join us anyway? This isn’t a magic potion–you write down three things you’re thankful for today and presto! Your life is perfect and that dark situation is gone. It doesn’t work that way. But your gratitude is a tiny light in the overwhelming darkness. Even if you look all day and can only find one thing in the midst of an unbeliveably agonizingly awful day, WRITE IT DOWN. If you have found even one thing to be thankful to God for–it can be your life preserver.  For those days when you wonder “Has God forgotten about me?” If there’s one incident, one passage in a book, a Bible verse that brings you comfort, a phone call that helps or challenges you, a perfect apple ( or cup of coffee!) that warms or sustains you, a sunrise that makes you ache with the beauty–if you can find even one thing, is it not a quiet reminder of His love and Gift to us? “A whisper from Home: “You are not alone. I am here, with you always, even to the ends of the earth and the depths of the dark night of the soul.”

And once the first awkwardness of looking for His gifts, both big and small, once it ceases, there will be an eagerness in your search. Looking high and low for His gifts of the day, you will find them in amazing and unexpected places. And with the gratitude comes humility–when you think the Lord of Heaven, the Paraclete, the Savior of the World, one and all is sending you reminders of His love, with lavishness that can astonish–it can leave me undone.

So, get a notebook or grab the free app to list on your iPhone/iPad etc. Get a cheap notebook at the school supply clearance aisle, a lovely one at the book store, a folder with notebook paper inside–it doesn’t matter. Be crafty if you want and make it pretty, but don’t obsess on making the outside be so lovely that you forget the beauty of it all is on the inside–both the gifts He gives and that you were grateful for them. It truly is a double blessing, the gift and the gratitude toward the Giver. Start finding the joy in your journey.

If you want to have this song to add on your ipod, would you consider purchasing it? To bless the man that blessed us with the song, you can honor the gift Michael gave us by purchasing it legally. I mean, you pay for food at the store that feeds your body. Is it not right to pay for the song that nourishes your soul? I don’t get a “cut” of your purchase, it’s just the right thing to do. 🙂

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