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IMG_2316_at beach2

 

 

joy is the realest reality,

the fullest life,

and joy is always given,

never grasped.

God gives gifts and i give thanks and i unwrap the gift given: joy.

***

Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts

IMG_2325_beach date

 

{again, still soaking up Ann Voskamp! May you unwrap the gift of joy today, unwrap it with thanksgiving, my friends! the photos are from a recent trip to a “beach” on the Chesapeake Bay.} 

 

yesterday i was running around frantic and breathless all day. it was like time was just slipping through my fingers and i had so much i “HAD” to do. i was stressed through the roof!

do you ever have those days? at one point i was driving on my way to one of the many errands and i was thinking of why i feel so overwhelmed. seriously?! i mean, i’m doing a little contract work and i’m trying to study but overall i should have plenty of time. how is life still overwhelming me? how do i still feel like i can’t catch up?!

then a little whisper, ” I’ve missed you. Do you have time for Me?”

yikes. how is it that when we get busy we put aside our quiet times with the Lord? shouldn’t this be EVEN MORE important when i’m busy? don’t i claim that HE is my main purpose in life?

then i started thinking about how my “word of the year” is JOY and i started to wonder where my joy is? how have i lost focus on my pursuit of God’s joy? how is it that life is seems to be just sweeping over me and taking over every little thought and moment?

sigh.

i’ve really missed Him too. i’ve realized that since i’ve been so overwhelmed with little things of this moment my heart just isn’t at peace. i’m not feeling “right” if you know what i mean. so this morning i picked up Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts again. {seriously, have you all read this? if not, go get it RIGHT NOW. just two chapters in and i’m convicted and inspired. it’s beautiful}

this morning i was quickly reminded that for true joy in this life comes from real thanksgiving.

“Satan’s sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.  Isn’t that the catalyst of all my sins?” (pg.15)

um yes. more days than not it’s hard to be grateful. i mean, maybe i’ll say i’m thankful for something but in my head i’ve usually made a list of everything else that could be better…

“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning -now; wherever, meaning-here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience…The only place we need to see before we die is this place of seeing God here and now.” (pg 33)

what i’m reminded of this morning is that thanksgiving is the beginning of the joy that i’m seeking. of that seeking feeling that my life is so overwhelming but i’m missing something! of the peace that surpasses all understanding. my focus is wrong. and it all starts with thanksgiving.

“the one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.”

Psalm 50:23

thanksgiving =  glorifying God = real joy

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may we all find moments today to notice God and to be thankful.  i’ll sure be thinking about this a lot today. i’m thankful for so much but i forget to think about it, ya know?!  to actually thank God for each little thing. really, i DO want to glorify God with my life! with my every day. even the crazy days i’ve had lately! to start that, i need to remember to be thankful.

have any of you had those kinds of days? have you noticed that your Joy is missing when you’re ungrateful or there’s a lack of gratefulness too? how do you remember to be thankful?

xo-kimberly renee

ps- in my “free printables” you can print off your own copy of my Joy painting above. tape it to the mirror or hang it by the front door to remind yourself to seek His joy!