Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 15 Joy Journal

Do we really want more joy?

We talk about it.

We sing songs about it.

We might even say we have it. 

We eat too much, stay up too late and spend more money than we should trying to attain it. 

In this season when stress is ramped up because in addition to our already full lifes, we add a host of events and responsibilities. Being jostled around while shopping for that elusive perfect gift, listening to Joyful, Joyful We Adore You, play on the radio. Honestly I'm not always feeling it. 

There are all kinds of studies written and self-help books available on how to get more joy or be more joyful. But I like what Ann Voskamp says about it over at her blog. She keeps a journal of everyday blessings which has the result of joy.

In fact she has started a true joy revolution with her book "one thousand gifts".  

She posted this on her blog sometime ago:

"It’s habits that can imprison you and it’s habits that can free you and when thanks to God becomes a habit, so joy in God becomes your life.

Maybe a life needs change over and over again — that constant turning to God? Not so much new month resolutions but revolutions.

And why bother keeping a gratitude list of His gifts?

Because those who keeping a gratitude list:

1. Have a relative absence of stress and depression. (Woods et al., 2008)
2. Make progress towards important personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)
3. Report higher levels of determination and energy (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)
4. Feel closer in their relationships and desire to build stronger relationships (Algoe and Haidt, 2009)
5. Increase your happiness by 25% — (Who wouldn't want a quarter more happiness!)(McCullough et al., 2002)
Who doesn't want all that?"

Will you join me in keeping a joy journal? Not just for the month of November (that is a great place to begin) ... but lets resolve to record our blessings. I keep a simple notebook laying in our main living space so I can jot blessings down as they come into my head. 

The practice will do us good. Someday we will pass from this earth and our full time job will be to give thanks and praise to God. 

Sweet friends. Joy is what we live out of hearts of gratitude.


#1  I'm thankful for you

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