Joy Note #3: Thankfulness…no matter what

Thankfulness matter what

Happy Sunday, everyone!  Today is my Joy Note #3:  Thankfulness…no matter what.

Joy Notes are my way of encouraging those of you who struggle with joy.  I want you to enter 2022 with hope, joy and a smile….no matter what.

I completely agree with the quote above….thankfulness is the quickest way to joy...and the Sunday before Thanksgiving is the perfect time to focus on it.

Thankfulness no matter what

Sadly, I grew up in a household that did not practice counting our blessings or contentment.

The best example I can give were our Sunday afternoon drives.

After church and lunch of whatever my mother left cooking in the oven while at church, my father would load us up for a Sunday afternoon drive.

That might sound nice, but it always went awry.

We would drive the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city and my parents would comment on the beauty of the homes and what they coveted.

My father inevitably would say, “That is where I would live if I wasn’t strapped with these kids.”

Once home, they would be in awful moods…grumbling over our meager means…and lamenting all that we did not have.

The mood would be a gloomy, even angry, one until the Wonderful World of Disney was turned on at 6:00, and grilled cheese sandwiches were served with soup.

Thankfulness no matter what

It would be years before I climbed out of doom and gloom.  I was hungry for joy.

I have never been wealthy like the families who owned those houses, but I have been wealthy with blessings of my own family.

I learned through my own faith that I could have joy no matter what was happening around me or even to me.

It means you learn to be grateful for what really matters and not regret the loss of the material things.  

I learned around age thirty to make lemons out of lemonade and even enjoy doing it!  I also learned to forgive and show grace…and ask for grace when I need to.

Those are all important for thankfulness and joy.


Just before I sat down to write this post, something happened that made me deeply sad.

Then I opened my computer to see my oldest grandson’s THANKFUL HAND….I love it and am so blessed to be on his hand (Gigi).

He filled my joy jar in just that moment.  I still get sad and have disappointments, but underneath it all is a well of joy that continues to flow.

I protect that joy and no longer give anyone the right to take it away.  Life is just too short to allow anyone to do that.

Discontentment…anger…unforgiveness…and fear can rob us of joy and our health.  Use thankfulness as a way to put them behind you.

When I begin to have regrets, I look for something that will pull me back to this moment, today.  Like his little hand. I have so much to be thankful for. 


Of course, one of the best ways to allow thankfulness to feed your joy is to say THANK YOU to others.

When you bless others, those blessings come right back at you!

No matter who it is… take time this holiday season to say THANK YOU!  Look for people around you who need it.

Your joy will grow as a result of it…..(I shared some ideas in Joy Note #2)

Thankfulness no matter what

My JOY grows immensely when I open my blog each day and read comments and encouragement from you….I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THE READERS AND FRIENDS I HAVE HERE.

I hope you know how much I value your support!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Joy Notes goes for five more Sundays through the end of the year…I hope it blesses you and others.

Joy Note #1

Joy Note #2

Have a fabulous Sunday…I will be here every day this week as I also prepare to host my Texas Thanksgiving….and I hope all of you will

KEEP SMILING…no matter what!

By Pamela Lutrell

Thank you to everyone who supports me through using the SHOPPING LINKS.…and….

Goli on Over 50 Feeling 40

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Season of Joy on Over 50 Feeling 40















  1. Being grateful for what really matters is huge and so important! My son, daughter-in-law and grandsons are here this weekend to help me get a jump on my move. I’m so, so happy to be with them and am very thankful for the fun and the willing spirits they all brought along. I’m so thankful that we get along so well, have fun and love each other. My local son and daughter-in-law were with us too and we went out to our favorite Italian restaurant for a noisy, fun dinner. Such a blessing! This is what you’re talking about, things that really matter. Your story about the Sunday drives made me smile. I know this is not funny, but I honestly had the same experience, and remember sitting silently in the back seat by my sister, afraid to speak for fear of setting something off! And we always sat together and watched Wonderful World of Disney, also very quietly, always afraid to speak and make my father mad! love your grandson’s Thankful Hand! What a joy to receive that! That is something to always treasure. Today, with the encouragement you offer here, I’m going to focus on the blessings!

    1. I so often discover areas we have in common, Karen. Those car rides were brutal. How wonderful you have family to help with the move. Moving is stressful, so keep counting the blessings of a new home!!

  2. Thanks for today’s wonderfully positive message, Pam. I’m known as an optimistic person, but at times when things are in a fray around here, I try to dwell on what I have ( and had as a child.). So after reading what you just wrote about in your own childhood, I realize I was fortunate to have supportive and loving parents. I count my blessings every day.

  3. Oh, thank you, Pam! I used to do this hand exercise with my junior high students before I retired. I will do it at Christmas when I see my grandchildren. I am putting a bag together with art projects. We have rented a farmhouse with 100 acres of land to explore. We are bringing all our food in. No trips off the property. My husband and I just want to be with our 3. kids and grandchildren. It has been a long time since we could just travel together and enjoy one another. Thank you for sharing your joy.

    1. Debbie, my first thought was “ I will do this with my grandchildren this week”. My next thought, make one myself. We have rented condos for large family gatherings but your idea of a farm is genius. May I ask how you located a farm to rent. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to your family!

  4. I, too, grew up with very little joy. I like to think I have grown as a person and forgiven my parents who are both gone now. They both grew up very poor during the depression and didn’t know how to have joy. My husband whom I married at age 33 was the first person in my life who valued me as a person and taught me how to be joyful. He is also gone now but I thank him for the joy he brought into my life. Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving for all.

  5. Pamela, what an uplifting entry on your blog today. I am grateful for too many things to list, but one thing I will mention is Over50feeling40! I look forward to reading your blog every morning. Thank you for your faithfulness in creating a unique, fun, and informative space every single morning without fail! I’m going to try diligently to remember to shop the links in your menu; we don’t want you leaving the blogosphere to “hit the pavement,” as you mentioned the other day. Be blessed today, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your precious family.

    1. Bless you, Linda! For the encouragement and support! I do hope I will not need to return to that pavement. One day at a time…I am so thankful to be here today! Bless you!

  6. What is it about so many families of ours when we were young, and those Sunday afternoon rides were our weekly entertainment? However, I have wonderful memories of those drives around the county roads where I grew up. My father was a farmer, and he loved to drive dirt roads, looking at crops, or cows, or woods. We explored local gullies, fished in local creeks, bought ice cream at country stores. Then watched Wonderful World of Disney with good laughter and fun. I was blessed to have loving parents who rarely argued, or at least, not where we children could hear. Not wealthy with a big house and fancy cars, , but wealthy in love, care, friends,
    community. My husband and I have been married 52 years with two sons and five grandchildren who live close to us. We also are not wealthy, but I’ve never felt if I needed something, I couldn’t work or figure a way to get it, but then my wants have never been extravagant. In our church bulletin this week there is printed a “Thanksgiving Prayer” by Kay Hoffman. At the end the verse says “ Seating at the festive table, I bow and humbly prayer: Give me a heart that overflows with ‘thanks-living’ everyday”. THAT will become my daily thought…thanks-living everyday….don’t you love it?!

  7. Words of wisdom on Joy: “Joy doesn’t ever leave you you know. It’s always with you and one day you’ll find it again.” (Louise Penny) .
    She’s one if my all time favorite authors.. this might be helpful to someone who has lost their way….temporarily.

  8. Hi Pamela,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog this morning,
    It’s so nice that you share about your life experiences.
    We are driving to LA (Beverly Hills) on Monday to be with my niece (more like my daughter) and wonderful family. First time away in a long time.
    Enjoy all the comforts of home, you are cooking and with your family. What more could you ask for?
    I’m thankful for the blessing of you.

  9. I read something today that goes with today’s Joy Note. If we lose our thankfulness, we lose our joy. If we lose our joy, we lose our strength. It all goes back to being thankful. I have so much for which to be thankful, even though things aren’t at their best right now. Thank you for reminding us that there is something to be thankful for each day.

  10. Oh boy, does your Sunday car ride strike at my heart. My sister and I were made to feel guilty for every bad thing that happened. My mom would say there would never be enough money to overcome my dad’s insecurities. She got the sharp end of his tongue as much as we did. Dad figured as long as he didn’t hit us, he was a good dad. His childhood was extremely abusive. So in a way, he was a better. As an adult, I can see through it all and forgive and find joy. I just had to learn to be in charge of my own happiness and keep my relationship with my dad at arm’s length. Not at all easy.
    I’m sure your children and grandchildren find you a blessing and a wonderful person to be related to. I think each of us is can move beyond our childhoods. Not easy, but you are an example that it can be down and live a wonderful life with many blessings and much happiness.

    1. Your description, Susan is very familiar. I know what you have been through. And yes…anyone can be an over comer.

      1. Pam, thank you for your response. I think it’s hard for people who have not experienced this kind of childhood to understand. Sometimes in my book club, other members find certain characters or situations a little too far fetched and not very believable. I try to explain that these childhoods are very believable to me and share a bit of mine. They just look at me with their mouths agape. I think they must have been very sheltered. As a teacher, I could empathize with some of my students over the years. In that was, I felt blessed.

  11. As I put my finger out to click on your blog this evening I thought, “Oh, today will be a Joy Note,!” I have been enjoying these immensely. Your Sunday story brought tears to my eyes. You are such a wise woman who has learned to choose joy. After reading your first Joy Note I try to wake up each day and choose joy as well!

  12. Oh Pam, your story about the Sunday car rides brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for you.

    But in spite of that you have turned into such a positive person and one who inspires others to find joy and confidence!!

    I’m sending you a big hug of thanks!!

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