24 Apr 2015

start / keep that gratitude journal - here's why.

It's nearly a standard medicine that I dole out.

Women and men, children of all ages, if you come to me with a woe or worry, after listening... I will definitely tell you among other things, to keep a gratitude journal. Yes, each day, before the dark blankets, write down on your phone, notebook or Typo journal 3 items you are grateful. It doesn't have to be huge, grand, interesting, or life-changing. Just 3 things you notice, stuff that made you -
smile {that silly pigeon cleaning itself for Ms World?}
blush {that affirmation, wow, thank-you}
gush {funny, interesting, thought-provoking, maybe ice-cream}

Like this:

(got you!)

This is how to do 'rejoice always'. It's to notice that there is an undercurrent of defiant joy in life. A force that refuses to beat down and defeated by naysayers, blues and even evil.

Look at these children in Calcutta -

I know we have disappointments, frustrations, hurts, and pains - some ongoing and not seeming to get better. But if you are a middle-class Singaporean, I am guessing you can find some relief - a good book, spa, high-tea, even travel.


These things may not lead us to that river that sends out those currents of joy! You see, the joy is there. It needs to be noticed, recorded, practiced. Slowly as the joy seeps into our crevices and cracks, it flows to all the places and spaces ..... washes, feeds fills and ... it flows forth from us.
Joy can become us. We can be joy containers and bringers!

And if more of us were open, receptive, and laughing? If more of us were generous, forgiving, chill? If more of us were teachable, tender, humble.....

.... What will the world shape up around us to be?

There is now enough scientific evidence* to tell us that God's call to us to rejoice is not only practical, it is needful. Gratitude strengthens our immunity, raises our resilience, infuses hope, and even re-wires our neural circuitry! Giving thanks taps into Joy and this amazing force of heaven can crack the hardest nut!

Friends, there will be darkness out there. But there is light given to those who desire it. And that light enters your being and shines from there. The darkness loves to encroach and have us believe that it is far too strong and massive, a deep, penetrating, sense-surround reality. Like its Master of deception and denial; the dark loves to flaunt its influence way beyond it's actual ability and powers. It fools us into cowardice, fear, and despondency.

If you have turned your life over toe God and accepted His forgiveness and gift of eternal life; the enemy knows he can only fool you. So he sets out an elaborate scheme, scheduled and timed to volley one in your direction, to  target your weakest areas, to deafen you to The Voice by doing voices which sound so much like your own, those you love and even God's!
I'm so stupid to make this choice
Now you are stuck, there's no way out!
You had better not sin, or things will only get worse
The Light? It just shines and dispels the dark. But not under a bushel, or under a bed. Not in some hidden spot. Take that light out! Put it someplace prominent. Let is draw your attention to its lovely glow. Bask in its warmth.

Easy first steps to do this? Light Spotting. Joy jotting. 

God is light.
He is Joy.
In him is Life.
From him comes healing, and hope.

Start from the strand that easy to grasp: spot and record 3 things each day that made you smile, blush or gush.

Try it. Start today. Get a friend to do it together. Share it on Facebook.

"Keep your eyes open. keep each other's spirit up so that no ones falls behind or drops out" {Ephesians 6, The Message}

And  O friends, I am so grateful about this I just wanted to shout it out! A new friend, someone I whose thoughts and words I respect and read has written a long, kind, meaningful review of my book, Shed Those Leaves.

This one is in the gratitude journal along with my cat's antics, the son's jokes, the less gruff reply from the mighty teen, and being able to walk in the park.

*some sources:


  1. Thanks Jenni. I love what you have written and will post on my timeline. Indeed, "Joy can become us. We can be joy containers and bringers!"

    1. yay! it is god to spread this vision and hope God has placed in our hearts. we do have hard days and every day has its load; but the current of joy is there too! thank you!


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