Lover of God, wife, mother, British missionary in Peru... click here to learn more about Anna and this blog and how it can serve you.

Key to the gates of joy

Key to the gates of joy

Key to the Gates of Joy 

Have you ever seen a canal lock being opened? In order for the water levels on the canal river to align, a large metal key is wound into the lock gate which slowly opens sections of the lock gate to allow water to flow through.  The more the key is turned, the more water is allowed through until finally the water is at such a level that the gates of the lock can be opened and the flow of water is aligned.


If there was ever a key to flinging open the gates of joy for me it is thanksgiving.  


Until I read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, and undertook my own list of one thousand things which I am thankful for, I never truly understood the power of thanksgiving to entirely shift my mindset and open the gates of joy.  


Thanksgiving seems so easy and childlike but put me in the mix of three squabbling boys, a discouraged husband, a to-do list that never relents and a cold and suddenly those canal gates seem unmovable.  The first turn of the canal lock key of thanks is hard and resistant. 

I begin to speak out thanks. 

Thank you, Lord, that my children are alive.  That they have legs to run around on, that they have voice to scream at each other with but that they are going to use those voices to speak encouragement to many. 

Thank you, Lord, that there is nothing I cannot do because You give me strength for everything. 

Thank you, Lord, that I can walk slowly through today and have relationship with You. 

Thank you, Lord, for all the people and blessings you have placed around me.  


And suddenly, my perspective shifts. I breath deeply and take in the blessings He has put around me.  I let the huge balloon feeling of being overwhelmed deflate as I choose to instead take this moment for what it is - a moment of inflated stress in a life that is blessed.

 ...and giving joyful thanks to the Father...
— Colossians 1:12 (NIV)
...he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done...
— 2 Chronicles 7:10 (NIV)
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Let's put on joy together:

What are you thankful for today? Take a moment to speak those things out loud. 

Thank you for joining me today. This is Day 2 of a 21 Day challenge to put on joy in practical ways.  You can receive these posts by email by clicking to sign up here.

Canal lock image by D Rosenback, found here

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