From Wonder to Joy

I am still reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. In it, she points out how different concepts seem to be linked together. For example, loving and belonging go hand in hand. And so do gratitude and joy. She is not the only person to have seen this connection. In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp points to the same connection.

Gratitude and Joy.

We can all, if asked, easily name things we are grateful for. Our house. Our health. Our kids. Our incomes. Friends. Family. Love. And yet … does is really mean anything? Do these things really bring us joy? Brown suggests that there needs to be more than just an attitude of gratitude. We need to put gratitude into action. Write a journal, practice gratitude meditation, pray. And still … we do these things, then put them away and carry on with our harried, hurried life.

I love the way Voskamp talks about being arrested by wonder. Wonder. What a great word. Not just been grateful for what we have, but being amazed, in awe, full of wonder. Wonder that your eleven year old can do long division. Wonder that your husband loves you, truly loves you, even when he is annoyed and irritated at something you did. Wonder at how many shades of orange a single tree can display in the fall, or at the way a snowflake falls so silently to the ground on a dark winter’s night, the dance caught momentarily in the streetlight. Instead of being grateful, can we find the wonder in the mundane?

Voskamp goes on to say:

The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here is the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be – unbelievably – possible!

But what is joy? To understand we should first understand happiness. Happiness is what we feel based on our circumstances. Joy is the deep feeling of peace that we have despite our circumstances. The word joy comes from a Greek word that means good mood for the soul. That is what I want. My soul to be in a good mood! This week, instead of just listing the things I am grateful for, I want to spend time each day lost in wonder at the miracles that we take for granted.

What are you finding to marvel at? Share your moments of wonder by leaving a response.

One Response

  1. liz
    liz October 19, 2014 at 10:05 pm | | Reply

    I am always in awe and wonder that I am blessed with the gift of such amazing students. It is such a privilege to get to know each of them so well, different folk who put their trust in me. I hope I never take that for granted!

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