Monday, July 18, 2011

When Joy Comes Without Condition

I can see the water from where I lay. Eyelids squint early, tucked beyond the trees, I witness the calm of His creation in another little corner of the earth.

Hot, sunny days are an exception, in this corner, to the drizzling out the window and overcast heavens.

And what we are reminded of in these conditions is that joy does not come with condition. 

When overcast does not keep you confined to peering through your window and when a little drizzle does not stop you from jumping in, there is joy to be had - even when the conditions are not just right.

Like I heard in service yesterday, we don't receive just when we are in the right place to receive - when the conditions are just right. But, we receive because we are not in that right place. Because we need to receive in order to live. Live fully.

If every moment is a gift, will we receive it - in spite of the conditions? In spite of our condition? 

Only when we receive every moment as a gift can there be joy.

And as Ann Voskamp points out in her book, One Thousand Gifts, " thanks is the way into joy." So, we do this - we receive by giving thanks. 

And as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states, "Give thanks in all circumstances..."

I can see the water from where I lay, and by the end of the day we will have submerged fully into the beauty of what is; not depending upon condition (as in circumstance), which determines happiness; but without condition, which determines joy.

#120-135 of all this thankfulness for:

a seventeen hour car ride
a cooler filled with lunch for a park
rain throughout the day
sunshine peaking through the clouds
fog resting on the water
overcast skies
new life
boat rides after dinner
bat mitten
ping pong
water tucked beyond the trees
exploring something new
anticipating three-weeks of this
reading program going strong

working my way to One Thousand Gifts and beyond of gratitude and linking up with Multitudes on Mondays at Holy Experience, Sol Deo Gloria at Finding Heaven, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday at Graceful: Faith in the Everyday, and Playdates at The Wellspring

Finding Heaven


  1. the life changing words of God shared through the humble, vulnerable and raw Ann Voscamp! That book is one that left its mark on my life. It opened my eyes to God in a new way. Beautiful pictures of your sweet family:)

  2. I'm joining you from multitudes on mondays. I enjoyed you list. Ping Pong takes me back. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I used to believe that I could only trust someone if "the conditions were right," but the truth is, won't we always be failed at some point? So the choice is to accept that conditions will never be perfect and live or never trust and spend all our time being guarded.

    I'm choosing the latter...finally.

  4. Wishing you much thanksgiving and joy and continued eyes to see . . . as you keep counting.


  5. Beautiful pictures and a great list. I'm so thankful that the conditions are also right to receive God's grace and mercy. Stopping by from A Holy Experience and Hear it on Sundays, Use it on Mondays. Many blessings!

  6. Such a good reminder for me! I always get so caught up in the "circumstances" instead of the true gift of the moment. Teresa, I truly appreciate your words that send light into my life. Thank you.

  7. I love that you are in this place of peace and enjoying it for what it is...allowing the Life He has for you to find you and choosing that this will be a beautiful time:) thank you for your words of encouragement, dear sister:)

  8. Just reading in I Timothy 6 that Godliness is actually great gain if accompanied by contentment. That has definitely been my prayer!

  9. I love this: to receive every moment as a gift brings us joy. How true.

  10. Oh, this is so lovely. I watch the boat sail out in light and wait with bated breath for its return. And doesn't He? Always come? Always abide? I'm so glad to meet up with you, Theresa, in this big world. So glad our good Lord allowed our paths to cross.

  11. I love coming to your blog! It feels good here. I'm reading "One Thousand Gifts" now. I'm inspired by your list. I read a quote on Michelle's Charm World's blog that said, "What if you woke up today only with the things you thanked God for yesterday?" It really made me stop and think!

    Many blessings...

  12. Such a peaceful post, and I am so grateful for that after a long day at the office. I read Ann V's book twice through -- it made such a profound impact on me -- and I am counting toward 1,000, too! It's changing how I approach the everyday.

    Thanks for linking up such peace and beauty...

  13. I like this, "Will we receive a gift despite conditions?" How many times has it "drizzled", and I've been ready to throw in the towel because I didn't deem the conditions right? Too many.

    Ps In response to your comment at my place and bragging:
    Here goes, I can make mean enchiladas. I am decent at building community in groups. I can be a good listener. I’m a good friend. Whew, that’s hard, isn’t it?

    Thanks, Theresa.

  14. Beautiful! Thanks for the gorgeous reminder to celebrate "now'" rather than waiting for "the right conditions." Anne V's book is changing my life. Keep counting!

  15. I agree, it's about being IN the moment, regardless of how it looks from the outside. BTW, it looked pretty fun there too!


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