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Gratitude Can’t Stay Silent

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I sent my kids to school this morning. The older two, that is. The youngest has decided I make a great jungle gym as I try to peck out a few words before we start the long list of things that didn’t get done during summer vacation.

But instead of to-do lists and chores, my mind keeps flashing pictures of children like Arminda, above, who were abandoned by their parents and left to die in the streets. I see the children in the Horn of Africa who have seen no rain in 3 years.

I can be thankful for things like seeing my children off to school, school buses, children who cook their own eggs, melted egg turners, and eating lunch at school (I have a first grader this year). I no longer take water and mattresses and carpet and tile and hardwood flooring and drywall and shingles for granted. But that doesn’t seem like enough any more. The gratitude in my heart must go somewhere outside of me, outside of us.

We are giving what we can — sponsoring children, donating to the famine relief in Africa, donating clothes and toys to local charities. But even that doesn’t seem enough.

So I offer up my words. These words.I write. And I pray that God will use these words to open the door of your heart, to stretch out your hand to love the hopeless, the abandoned, the forgotten. This is my gift of love to them too, pouring out of my gratitude for what God has given.

It is my call to you — join me. Pour out your gratitude in a tangible act of love.

Sponsor a child.

Donate to famine relief.

When you do, email me (or if you’ve already done so) — it would really encourage my heart. joy at joyinthisjourney dot com


{Today’s post includes gratitude list items 423-434.}


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  1. Turned the news on this morning and the needs and hurts of people were breaking news. As Christians we have to be a part of the healing … Thanks for spreading the word …

  2. Yes! The gratitude must go outside of us! Worship has to spur us on to obedience. Great post!

  3. I came here via your Intro post for the Relevant 11 link up and wanted to say hello. Our journeys have been different and yet we have traveled with some of the same companions (depression and doubt). Have you read Hinds Feet on High Places? My favorite book EVER! Anyway … our blogging goals are similar and I wanted to take a moment to say hello and let you know that I have followed your blog and I’m looking forward to becoming friends … in addition to being the sisters that God already made us!

  4. Hello, I am stopping by from the link up for Relevant.
    Your blog is beautiful and so heartfelt.
    So nice to meet you.

  5. The hardest part of your post today is the acute knowledge I have of what it is to get mired in the challenges with those we reach out to. I adopted two foster kids 7 years ago, and the younger one is now in a mental health hospital – very likely headed in to a group home. We got her at 1 1/2 years old and nothing we do has been able to effectively help her. The need is so great it nearly sucked the life out of our family. This is NOT to discourage people from opening hearts, reaching out and sponsoring children. But it is an admonition to PRAY and know your calling as you do it. That knowledge is the only thing getting us through what is the hardest situation we’ve ever faced as a family.

  6. Hey Joy! Thanks for sharing!! Love this! I actually just went online about an hour ago and made a donation to the Horn of Africa food crisis. Just FYI.. I’ve been telling Arminda’s story to several people since I got back and I’m starting a house raising fund for her and her family to have a home… a new home away from the livestock. I am so encouraged at how many people are ready to give… we’re on our way! 🙂