- Sidle up to joy. Don’t have any yourself? Deliberately hang with those who do. Can’t think of anyone? Visit a kindergarten room. Or work in the church nursery. Those lovebugs have oodles of joy, and they share.
- Give away something you value. Expect nothing in return. It will decorate your heart with a smile you can’t wipe away.
- Volunteer your services. It might be at a hospital, a food line, at a rehab center, etc. Volunteering will enhance your gratitude and remind you what matters.
- Use your gift. Drag it out of the closet if necessary. Your gift might be cake decorating, watercolors, singing, hospitality, etc. My friend MaryLou reads to the disabled and disadvantaged. Whatever is your “thing” . . . bless someone. God gave us gifts so that we might be extravagant toward others.
- Unpack your gratitude. Share with others what you’re thankful for. You might be surprised what you learn about yourself and God. Some gratitude comes with hindsight and can transform past pain into a purposed path. (I never imagined that my agoraphobic days would be used to help others with their troubled emotions. During the drudgery of getting well, I confess, I was not applauding my splintered condition. But today I can clearly trace God’s hand in my redemption and I’m grateful that those years have taught me compassion and usefulness.)
- Visit a senior. Let her talk. It will be cathartic for you both. I’ve been on both sides. Trust me, it matters.
- Compliment a stranger. It can change the day for both of you.
Excerpted from Twirl © 2013 by Patsy Clairmont (Thomas Nelson) Used with permission. All rights reserved.