Gratitude and Joy: Highly Recommended

Feeling…joyless lately?

Gratitude and Joy: Highly Recommended

The season of gratitude is upon us again. Yes, this wonderful opportunity (known in the U.S. as Thanksgiving) is set aside for time with family and friends, meals, traditions, and most of all thankfulness for all the goodness God has bestowed upon us. Yet, how is it possible that most of us homeschool parents are feeling… deflated? Any feelings of true joy seem distant in the midst of managing homeschool projects, co-op classes, church responsibilities and the like.

Worst yet, it’s often easy to attach guilt to our joy. Why is it so tempting to think “Stop! The kids are not really learning because they’re having too much fun!” Or “How dare you smile and enjoy this? You’ve got too much responsibility!?”

Lock me up and all my friends too, because we are guilty of allowing this thought pattern to run around like crazy within our minds. The truth is that the enemy works hard to deceive us into thinking that joy is somehow a distraction or a frivolity in our attempts to walk faithfully as Christians.

Check out a fun (yes FUN) printable Thanksgiving game your whole family will enjoy here.

While listening to a Christian podcast, I was recently reminded of the numerous benefits of taking on an attitude of gratitude and joy. In His divine wisdom, the Lord God designed our human brains to thrive on joy.

Let’s check out the science behind joy and human health:

  1. Promoting Mental Well-being: Experiencing joy directly influences mental health by fostering positive moods and diminishing stress and anxiety. The release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, during moments of joy contributes to a sense of well-being, alleviating symptoms of depression and fortifying overall mental resilience.
  2. Alleviating Stress for Better Physical Health: Joy serves as a natural stress reliever, leading to a reduction in the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Lower cortisol levels contribute to enhanced physical health, mitigating the risk of conditions associated with chronic stress, such as cardiovascular issues, digestive problems, and compromised immune function.
  3. Managing Pain through Pleasure: Joyful experiences have been correlated with pain relief as the brain's reward system, diminishes the perception of pain. Engaging in activities that bring joy may enhance pain tolerance and contribute to effective pain management.
  4. Fortifying the Immune System: The profound connection between joy and the immune system is noteworthy. Positive emotions like gratitude and joy are linked to improved immune function. The release of neuropeptides and other immune-boosting factors during moments of happiness fosters a robust immune response, resulting in overall physical well-being.
  5. Longevity and a Life of Joy: Research suggests that maintaining a positive outlook on life, marked by regular experiences of joy and happiness, could extend longevity. The impacts of a joyful lifestyle sustain both mental and physical health across the lifespan.

Wow, wow, and wow! Just think: What kind of homeschool parents would we be if we determined to fuel up on joy before tackling life’s daily tasks? What kind of spouses would we be? What kind of brothers and sisters and Christ would we be?

Need some more encouragement? Let’s take a look at what God’s word has to say about the matter:

Proverbs 17:22 - A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Romans 15:13 - 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Friends, let us be found thriving on the joy of the Lord this Thanksgiving!

Meet Teacher Krys Winn

Meet Teacher Krys Winn

Check out my $5 classes:

 Let's Learn Psalm 103:1 In Spanish! (All Ages)

Let's Learn John 3:16 In Spanish! (All Ages)

Categories: bible, Christian, Devotional, Gratitude and Joy, Holiday Fun, Homeschool Resources, Moms, Thanksgiving