I looked out the front window and through the bare branches, left by winter’s cold, I could see the storm clouds brewing. I turned and said it almost in a whisper, because I was afraid a voice any louder would chase away the moment.
“The secret to a joyful life is a thankful heart.”
The storm clouds made me think to say it.
The Word of God says it. In everything give thanks.
In sunshine, in storm.
With plenty, with little.
In company full, in loneliness.
In plentiful harvest, in drought.
In health, in sickness.
It is true that thankfulness in all situations has brought me joy.
It is also true that this flesh, this human heart of mine, gets off track.
My smile fades.
My heart grows discontent.
My eye dims, and if I search deep I see it.
I have lost the thankfulness focus.
It is easier to get back on track than it use to be because I have experienced the fact that a thanks filled life produces a joy filled life.
If I want my daughters to learn a hand full of the most important things in life, this is at the top of my list.
Thankfulness is joy.
And joy is in the storm clouds of life as much as it is in the promising rainbows.
It is in the love of a worried mother’s kiss on her child’s fevered brow as much as it is in the smile of a healthy growing baby.
It is in hearts hoping for rain in a thirsty land as much as it is in the flourishing tulips promising Spring.
It is in wondering where the next meal will come from as much as it is in the luxury of roasting marshmallows over an open fire.
It is in the longing to be reunited with a loved one lost as much as it is in living with all our loved ones within arm’s reach.
It is in our mess-ups as much as it is in our victories.
It is in the sorrow of death as much as it is in the fullness of life.
What Paul says is true (Philippians 4:11-12). We really can be content in all things. And this contentment comes from a heart of thankfulness.
And this thankfulness produces a joy inexpressible. A joy I do not want to live without.
A joy I want to pass on to my children. And my children’s children.
Tina has been blessed to be married to the love of her life for fifteen years, is Mama to 10 beautiful children on earth with many more sitting at the feet of Jesus and is a daughter of the Almighty King! She tries to live her life every day in the belief that the children gifted to her are blessings from the Lord. You can read more of her writing in her blog, A Gentle Mother. Her writing is a reflection of her heart. The kind of wife, mother and child of God that she is striving to be each and every day. She doesn’t always succeed, yet she knows the Lord knows her heart, and He isn’t finished with her yet! She has experienced many joys and has encountered many dark valleys on this narrow path as she journeys homeward. There has always been one thing that she knows for sure…the Lord has never left her alone.