Seeking joy, or happiness, for itself
is like spreading your fingers wide
to try to keep the sun from setting.
(You have to enjoy the sun while it is up.)
Joy is a by-product,
not a goal in itself.
Joy comes when you do other things well;
it mysteriously arises
where you may have least expected it,
often because you least expected it.
Surprise and wonder often accompany true joy
--not the kind of surprise that comes with a crowd,
blasting noise and confetti--
but the kind that creeps in quietly,
stealing your breath away as it strokes your sternum.
The secret to joy
is a thankful heart.
not feeling entitled,
but receiving with gratitude.
Giving thanks always and for everything
to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
Giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you
to share in the the inheritance of the saints in light.
And whatever you do, in word or deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~1 Thessalonians 5:18
my dog that barks,
and our refrigerator that keeps our milk cold.
I am thankful for blue skies,
and also for rain,
and even snowflakes.
I'm thankful for the sun and the moon,
for fields of corn,
for roads that I can travel to see people I love.
I'm thankful for old jeans,
and an overly bright pair of pink-striped gloves
that I bought thinking they would be hard to lose
(I was right--I'm thankful for that, too).
I'm thankful for colors:
pale pink, light blue, creamy yellow,
red, violet, green,
brown and black, and even orange.
I'm thankful for flavors:
sea salt, pepper and garlic,
cinnamon, butter and brown sugar,
the delectable tang of a juicy, ripe raspberry
and the luscious sweetness of a fragrant peach;
creamy chocolate, smooth coffee.
I'm thankful for the notes of a flute drifting over from my neighbor's windows,
the softness of a fuzzy blanket,
the smell of a freshly bathed baby.
I'm thankful that I can live and breathe,
walk up and down stairs
and drink water.
I am thankful for people:
family, friends, new babies, precious elders.
I'm thankful for holidays and celebrations
and Sundays to gather with the saints.
I'm thankful for books,
I'm thankful for beauty,
and I am thankful for hope.
I'm thankful for Jesus,
who has given me everything
when I deserved nothing,
instead of condemning me,
dying in my place
so I can live eternally in paradise.