Re-reading my gratitude journal is a strange re-living of joys, all jotted down hasty with my scrawling cursive impatient with happiness. Most entries brim with sunshine, but some recall late nights and anxiety, gripping to hope hard when the world is too big and too broken, choosing to hold onto and record the good.
But re-reading makes me laugh a little too, because who but me might find this interesting? My journal is terribly repetitive. I can’t count the times I’ve counted coffee cups and long conversations amongst my daily joys. They must be mentioned in at least thirty percent of my gratitude journal entries. I’ve become quite the proselytizer of this process of counting graces and the joy it gives. Sometimes people’s eyes widen at the mention of 1663 joys recorded, like who is this girl and what is her life that she’s got 1663 new happy things all the time?
But the truth is I don’t, just an endless recycling of the same happy themes, hugs and cuddles and dance parties and Jesus talks rejoiced in again and again. I’m not that creative. Flip pages and you can find verbatim the exact joy, “coffee in the morning with mama” colored with cold-fall air and brilliant leaves about, instead of the warm sand on summer toes coffee morning joy of months ago.
And for me that’s been part of the secret; gratitude and “giving thanks in all things” is opening my heart this quiet, consistent joy. I’m learning contentment is not a great big searing joy, but delight in mundane joys in endless variation.
And the harder entries, the times when I had to fight hard to find hope in bleak days, those are some of my favorite to re-read. They’re more real, they’re a testament to the fact that God is truly teaching me to be content in whatever circumstance I am in. And I’m not always guaranteed coffee in the morning and days that make me want to dance, but I pray and write and hope that this journaling and joy counting becomes so ingrained that I can face the future with praise on my lips and pen in hand all my days.
|all photos by merry y.|