I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions, however, this past year I did actually attempt a New Year’s project that I’d seen on facebook. I see plenty of neat crafts and ideas online, but rarely do I actually follow through and try them. Can anyone else relate?
The project is called a Blessings Jar. Starting in January, you write down blessings and other memorable moments on little slips of paper and put them in a jar. These can include surprises, accomplished goals, funny moments, memories worth recording and daily blessings. I also encourage you to include some challenging or painful moments. Then on December 31st, you open the jar and read all the slips of paper. You can look back and remember enjoyable moments from the year as well as see how God has grown you. If you’ve included challenges and difficult moments, hopefully you can consider how God has worked amidst those situations and grown you through the process.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (ESV)
While this idea could be fun for anyone, as Christians, I would really challenge you to point all of it back to God. Give Him the glory for every moment of your day! .
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
In every moment of the day, we have a choice: to worship God or worship idols (including ourselves and our own pleasures). As you go about your life, I encourage you to thank God throughout the day, both for the enjoyable moments as well as for the challenges that He uses to grow you. God is omniscient (knows all things) and we are not! We cannot always understand why we face challenges, but we should discipline ourselves to give thanks in ALL things.
My 2014 jar was very simple. I peeled the label off an old salsa jar, taped a note card with instructions to the front of the jar, wrote “2014” with a sharpie on the lid and then cut some strips of paper. Very simple!
My goal for 2015 is to have a slightly nicer jar, but please don’t let the appearance of your jar distract you from the point of the jar. This is an excellent way to practice gratitude.
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 118:1 (ESV)
Do you have young kids? A friend of mine suggested that you do this project with children and open the jar every week. This will help teach gratitude but without having to wait a year to reflect.
On December 31st as I read through 100 notes from my past year, I had several hearty laughs, many sweet memories and also a few winces as I recalled difficult situations. However, in all of these things, I can see God’s hand on my life leading and teaching me to depend on him and give thanks in all things.
“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 (ESV)
About the Author
I am a Christ-loving woman who is continually being stretched by the Lord. I live in small-town Texas and love playing soccer, baking cookies, playing games and hugging trees. I split my time between working towards the conservation of endangered species and training up the next generation of children and youth at my church.