Gratitude is the key to a fuller life, the way to find joy. Eucharisteo (thanksgiving)
envelopes the word charis (grace), and chara (joy). Augustine said that, "without
exception, we all try hardest to reach the same goal- joy". We all want a full life. We are
desperate for joy and will sacrifice everything for it. What most people don’t understand
is that joy is found within gratitude. Gratitude comes first. Gratitude is the planks of
the bridge of trust from here to joy. When you are grateful for all your blessings you
learn that God is good. It allows you to open your hands to freely receive whatever is
given. It is based on things that we already have, so joy cannot be “taken away” from us.

Practicing eucharisteo is essential to stress reduction because it allows us to encounter
everyday epiphanies and fully experience transformation. Joy is, in many ways, the same
feeling as freedom & peace. We practice because we have amnesia and constantly need
filling. So count your blessings everyday and be grateful. Keep a list of all the things you
are grateful for. Unless you call attention to the things that pass before your eyes you
simply won't notice them. So, name them and write them down. Acknowledge God.

See the blessing through, and in, the ugliness of this world. Every person enters the
world with clinched fists. We must learn to open our hands as a receptacle to God. How
do we wake up to joy when we have to stay numb to loss and disappointment? "What if
everything that feels like gravel in the mouth is just that- a feeling?" Gods purpose is to
transfigure all things into a joy that fulfills. He knows how it all works out, we don't.
Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance to everything God gives.

Ingratitude is Satan's lie that God isn't good. It is blasphemy. We are not satisfied with
what God gives. We hunger for more. But who deserves any grace? Everyday we deserve
death. If we do not die we should be surprised and grateful. When you feel thanks it is
impossible to feel angry.

Voskamp, Ann. (2010). One Thousand Gifts.  Zondervan Publishing.
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