Today, we are bringing you a guest post from Ashley’s second cousin, Joy Humble, whom lives “a simple yet enjoyable life”. Joy writes at Choose Joy about finding joy in the everyday ordinary and we are so happy to have her sharing here on Canvas & Table today!
Psalm 100, Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing, know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.
Today I am going to talk about how gratitude has changed my life, and even more specifically, how it helped me battle depression. I have found that it is easy to be grateful when you get that job you’ve been wanting or when you get a new car or a raise, but it is much harder to be genuinely grateful when you are going through a hard season in life. Maybe you are struggling to pay the bills, maybe you are having relationship issues, maybe you have lost a loved one. In times of hardship and suffering its really difficult to believe that there is any good in your life. My personal journey of learning how to be grateful has largely come through battling depression.
My parents named me Joy and I believe that the name I was given is a prophetic word of the personality and person God created me to be. I believe that the last thing the devil wants us to do is live out the calling that God has placed on our lives. I also believe that the devil tries his best to sabotage and destroy those plans and our destiny. Depression is the opposite of joy and I have dealt with depression for many years. I believe that the enemy likes to attack me with depression because that is what is most effective at killing my joy and hindering me from being the person God created me to be. When you are in that dark and hopeless hole called depression, it is very difficult to be grateful for anything. Gratitude is the opposite of depression. Gratitude says, “God is good”, while depression says, “Is God even there?” In the last year I have learned that, while in that dark place, I must choose to make conscious choices to see God’s goodness and be grateful for all of the amazing things He has done in my life. A large element of depression is self pity. Poor me, my life sucks. And its really difficult to get out of that cycle. Forcing yourself to be grateful begins to break that cycle. I started writing in my blog once a week about something I was grateful for. Some days it was hard to think of something. It is pathetic I know, but true. But, when you start to make those conscious choices, it becomes easier and easier to see God’s goodness in your life. Those daily choices will change the course of your day, your attitude, and the cycle of depression and self-pity.
I have taken many things for granted in my life. I like to call them the “Thanksgiving List.” These are the things we all list off at Thanksgiving when we go around the table. Things like our family, job, house, car, children, pet, food, etc. I don’t know about you, but many times it seems like Thanksgiving is the day I am grateful for all of those things and then I tend to take them for granted the other 364 days of the year. As an American, I expect to always have a home, a job, and food on the table. At times I feel like most Americans feel as if they are entitled to those things as human beings. But it is not that way in other parts of the world and even in some places in America. Because of this mindset I believe many Americans struggle with being grateful, because our lives are already so blessed, but we are too busy looking for even more amazing and wonderful things to happen to us to notice. We want a better job, a newer car, a bigger house. And while we are so focused on what we don’t have, we completely lose focus of all of the many blessings that God has given us already. The majority of Americans have what they need to live a very full life and usually a bit extra. I think it is important to understand that this is not as common in other parts of the world and realize how much God has blessed those of us living in areas of the world where we have all we need. This is one of the reasons why I have a desire to travel outside of the U.S. – I want to see the world outside of my own little bubble. I think it would be a great perspective to have.
Everyone can find something to be grateful for. If the only thing you can think of today is that you are breathing, great start. Tomorrow think of something else to be grateful for and as the days go by it will be easier and easier to see all of the blessings that surround you. Don’t wait until you have everything you want in life to be grateful. Start today and give God glory for all He has done and the goodness He has displayed in your life. Think of the good things He has done in your past, the good things He is doing today and thank Him for the good plans He has for your future!
My name is Joy and I am married with 2 little boys, who are very active and curious. I live in a small rural town in Indiana. I am a work from home mom and a Christian. I love to write and cook and I also ave an interest in food photography. I live a simple yet enjoyable life. I post regularly on my blog, Choose Joy.
Comment below and let us know- What are you choosing to be thankful for today?