I recently began reading Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" (yes, I know, I'm a little bit late), and am just in awe. I love her writing style, for one, but even more so, I love her challenge to live fully where you are, simply by appreciating the gifts around you.
One quote by Ann that I love is this: "It's habits that can imprison you and it's habits that can free you. But when thanks to God becomes a habit - so JOY in God becomes your life." Let's break that quote down a little bit.
What a difference it makes in life to live filled with joy in Christ! I wrote about choosing your attitude about two months ago, and I think this post really ties into that. Creating a habit of thankfulness is a choice, and not always an easy one. It's hard to thank God in the midst of crisis or despair or trial. It's hard to thank God when life just isn't going the way you planned. Thanks is not a task that is easily accomplished.
But just as Ann points out, thanks is a habit. Habits take work and time to develop, but they also come with reward. When you make a habit of eating well and exercising, you reap the reward of being healthy. When you make a habit of practicing a skill or hobby, you reap the reward of being better at that task. And the reward of a life filled with thanks to God? Joy in God.
One of the sayings I have on my bulletin board in my room says "Scatter Joy". Joy is contagious, and we have the ability to scatter it. Have you ever noticed that it's pretty hard to stay negative around someone who is really positive? When you're joyful and throw your joy around at others, it just makes the world a little bit happier.
So scatter joy this week, friends. Work to make thankfulness a habit and scatter joy.
And here's a little graphic just for you....you can download the page-size PDF version here.