OK, I’m just going to say it. I love the discussions this book has been fostering. I really do. When friends back in the States talked about their book groups and I sat with my books but no one else reading them at the same time, these are the kind of discussions I dreamed of having. (I also dreamed of having a bookmobile and driving around rural China with a portable library — not all dreams come true, but that one still makes me smile!)
Anyhoo, back to my point. My point is this, if it were not for you, I’d still be reading books by myself and wanting to talk to people about them. But because of you, I’m not a alone and neither are you. So, a simple thanks for getting the book, reading it, and commenting. I love hearing about your a-ha moments and the ways that God is using this book to draw us to him and closer, even, to our true selves.
It you’re wondering what book I’m talking about …. join in with us today we continue with The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and are talking about Guidepost #4 — Cultivating Gratitude and Joy. If you’ve missed any of our earlier discussions, you can find them by clicking on the introductory chapters, The things that get in the way and Guidepost #1 (Cultivating Authenticity), Guidepost #2 (Cultivating Self-Compassion), and Guidepost #3-– Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting go of numbing and powerlessness.
As you know, the word and concept we are gathering around at The Grove this week is sorrow and the posts all touch on sorrow and suffering. So, is talking about joy and gratitude inappropriate? Actually, I think they are right where they should be. Life is an intertwining of sorrows and joys. And Brene helped to tease out the differences between happiness and joy — saying we need each, but helping to understand the distinctions.
I appreciated Brene emphasizing practicing gratitude and joy and not merely having an attitude of gratitude. Anyone else smile at her yoga example? And the Greek word for joy is related to the “culmination of being”? No wonder joy is one of the fruits of the spirit! There are 214 uses of the word joy in the NIV. Of those verses, and this is really cool, nearly a quarter of those verses are found in the Psalms.
The scarcity part of the chapter reminded me of the garden of Eden and how it was a lie about scarcity that has made so. many. lies. over the years stick like glue. You are risking your children’s health by being overseas. You’ll never meet a man if you stay on the field. Your friends back home will forget about you. Your financial needs will not be met and you’ll have to go “home” and then what will you do to support yourself? Your language skills will never be as good as hers or his or your kids.
Every single lie is based in scarcity — that you won’t have or be enough.
I believe this is why we need to be a people who take the practice of gratitude and joy seriously and find ways to weave them into our every day lives.
After our discussion at The Grove last week on ordinariness, did it jump out to you when she wrote, “In many instances, we equate ordinary with boring or, even more dangerous, ordinary has become synonymous with meaningless.”
So, how much does scarcity color your thinking? How do you practice gratitude and joy? What else got stirred up in your thoughts and soul this week as you read?
Until the comments … Amy