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Joy Comes in the Morning

The bestselling author shares five ways to get a spiritual start to your day.

By Debbie Macomber, Port Orchard, Washington

As appeared in

That experience became a symbol to me of how I would choose to walk through life, not with “a spirit of timidity but of power and love.” I would walk boldly through the most impossible doors. Claiming and clinging to God’s promises.

Of course, I keep a Personal Journal. Always have. In my opinion, a journal or diary is indispensable for a writer. I can record a snippet of what someone said or what they wore for later use in my novels. It’s a way of capturing life, of preserving its details.

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Not long ago I looked through the diary my mother kept during World War II. Three days after she and my dad were married, he was on a troop carrier to Europe. Mom wondered if she would ever see him again and hoped he knew he was always in her prayers.

Probably through the help of his younger sister, Gerty, he had roses delivered to Mom on their first anniversary. The entry in her diary says, “Roses from Ted. Oh, my heart.” Six simple, unforgettable words that speak volumes.

In many ways my Gratitude Journal may be the most important book I write in. Every day, no matter how I’m feeling, I put down five things I’m grateful for. My family, a friend, something in my writing, a mentor, a perfect sunrise.

It might be something that happened years ago. I’ll always be grateful to Sister Seraphina, my eighth-grade teacher, who saw me struggle through reading, math and just about every other subject. But she knew I was really good at one thing: knitting. So she organized a fashion show of my sweaters.

My classmates were amazed. It was a terrific boost to my self-esteem, and to this day I am a devoted knitter.

Gratitude sustains the soul. How can we experience grace if we don’t feel grateful? How do we know we’ve been blessed?

Norman Vincent Peale said we should be grateful for blessings not yet received, for blessings unknown. I find that to be powerful advice. Gratitude is a practice that opens me to God’s gifts every day.

So now you know why poor Wayne always grunts and groans over my luggage. And I think you know that he doesn’t really mind. These are the books I must write in before I start work writing my own.

 

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