Joy, Thanksgiving, Trials

Thanksgiving: Finding Joy in Every Circumstance

Meme with the quote: "If you let something steal your thanksgiving, you let something steal your joy, and if you let something steal your joy, you let something steal your strength." ~Ann Voskamp, Author on a backdrop of fall-leafed trees near a creek.

@JeanneTakenaka

As we are in the throes of Thanksgiving week here in the United States, I decided to add to a post I originally shared a few years ago. It’s short but sweet. And, I’m still sticking with a quote. 🙂

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I love this quote by Ann Voskamp. Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart, and it’s a choice. When we choose thankfulness, joy is the result in our hearts. We see the good things God has placed in our lives. When we take the time and make the effort to say, “Thank you,” we not only show Him appreciation, we build up a storehouse of joy within us.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving: Finding Joy in Every Circumstance”
Gratitude, Joy, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: Finding Joy

A Voskamp Thanksgiving and joy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Today, I had planned to share some tips for dealing with busyness for this holiday season.

I think it’s more important we take time and consider Thanksgiving. Both the holiday and the attitude. So, that  post will be up next week.

I love this quote by Ann Voskamp. Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart, and it’s a choice. When we choose thankfulness, joy is the result in our hearts. We see the good things God has placed in our lives. When we take the time and make the effort to say, “Thank you,”  we not only show Him appreciation, we build up a storehouse of joy within us.

It’s not always easy to choose thanksgiving in our circumstances. Some people have lost loved ones this year. Others are dealing with terminal illness. Divorce. Prodigal children. Heartbreak. Job loss. And perhaps the thought of “putting on a happy face” absolutely drains you.

Maybe, taking a few minutes to write down things you can be thankful for will help ease the sense of being overwhelmed. It won’t change your circumstances. But, choosing to give thanks will lift your heart, and begin letting joy back into those dark places.

D Bonhoeffer gratitude makes life rich1

As we Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the beginnings of our country, may we also choose thankfulness in the midst of our circumstances.

What about you? What’s one thing you are thankful for right now? How can I pray for you over the next week?

I’ve linked up with Holly Barrett‘s and (for today) Angela Parlin’s sites this week. Check out some other wonderful blogs!

Christmas, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Dwell: Where Joy Dwells

Falling leaves

 

 

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—DWELL. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

DWELL

Christmas. Holidays.

Sometimes those words strike fear into the heart of this girl.

Not because of what they mean, but because of what I think they’ll require.

Busy. Preparations. Gifts. Cooking. Oh yeah, and trying to be filled with joy.

The thing is, I can’t really fill myself with lasting joy. Oh, I may be able to for a little while . . . like when I drink a cinnamon latte from one of those little red cups.

But sooner or later, that joy filters out, and stress too often replaces it.

This year, I’ve been thinking about how to do the holidays differently. The biggest thing I can change is where my thoughts—my heart—dwell.

They can focus on everything on my to-do list. The food to buy. The gifts to wrap. The letters to write and send out.

They can focus on getting my kids to concerts, to parties, to activities.

Clouds on the mountain

Or, they can choose the stillness route. And focus on the Lord.

Only as my eyes and my heart and my thoughts are inclined toward the Lord will I be able to dwell in peace. To know His true joy.

And really? That’s what I want the most. To walk in His joy. Dwelling in anticipation of what Jesus’ coming means for all of us.

The gift of salvation. Of freedom.

The gift of being able to dwell face-to-face with Him one day.

So yes, the Christmas chaos is coming. But this year, I am choosing to not get wrapped up in it.

Instead, I’m going to take quiet moments each day. To still my heart. To think on HIm. For my thoughts to dwell on the many gifts Jesus has already given me.

Gathered leaves

His word, His amazing love. His joy.

My family. friends. A passion for writing.

Opportunities to see His fingerprints in my every day.

And the chance to celebrate Jesus and the wonderful gift He’s given us—the gift of His presence each day.

What about you? Where do your thoughts tend to dwell during the weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas? How do you find joy amid the busyness?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung. Check out her post on Five Minute Friday—Dwell