For the past few years I have been practising the discipline of using a Gratitude Jar. If you are new to this subject for those who are new to this, let me start first by explaining what a gratitude jar is all about.
A gratitude jar (or happiness or joy jar) is simply a jar filled with gratitude. It is a fun way to provide a visual reminder of the many blessings in our lives. It is a very powerful tool to help us remember and focus, especially towards the end of a period, like the end of a year, the good that has happened to us and what we have achieved.
over the past few years, I have been practising the discipline of using a gratitude jar to help me appreciate the ‘little’ and ‘big’ events of life! My first gratitude jar woke me up to my behaviour and then understanding of gratitude – not a very good one. I realised that I wasn’t quite as active about saying ‘thank you’ as I thought I was, simply because I was prone to moving on the ‘next’ thing or phase and never really paused to reflect and be grateful. Keeping a gratitude jar made me realise that gratitude wasn’t really playing an active part as I wanted it to.
Living a gratitude life with the help of a gratitude jar was no different for me and my family in 2018! We did not always remember to put a note in the jar! However, for the days, weeks and months we remembered to do, come 31st December 2018, we were totally gobsmacked at all the wonderful and beautiful things God did for us individually and as a family; more so as we were truly convinced that 2018 was our most challenging and stretching year to date!
…and below are pictures of our filled Gratitude jar and its contents emptied as at 31 December 2018.
What we experienced and learnt from reading through our Thank-You notes include:
- Nothing is ever as bad as we always imagined! The contents of our jar made us laugh, cry, praise God and become exceedingly humble and totally blessed. We thought we had a really bad year, but the reality is that the year was truly a blessed one! It seemed that for all the challenges we faced, God multiplied it with goodness and blessings!
- Humility: As we were reading through the thank -you notes, there were times of absolute silence and reflection. The goodness,mercy and blessings of God truly is humbling. In the midst of a crazy year, we realised that God did more than we actually dared to pray, ask or believe for! That is the nature of the God we serve!
- Faith and boldness: Our faith was strengthened and we made a decision to be even more bold in our believe in God and walk with him this year! If He could exceedingly more than we asked for in 2018, imagine what he would do if we trusted more, believed more and obeyed instantly!
- Gratitude opens the doors to blessings: There was a pattern that emerged from our thank you notes. As we expressed gratitude for one thing or phase, we realised that issues in totally different areas of our lives were being sorted out and doors we forgot we prayed about, opened!
All in all, we realised how awesome our life really is, despite the devil trying to make us think otherwise. If we had believed all of the lies of the devil, at 31 December 2018, we would have been filled with the burden of failure and total despair! Our gratitude jar helped us to see the reality of how beautiful life can be in God, despite issues and challenges.
Finally, it made us realise what is really important to us – our relationship with God, His daily direction and guidance and our total faith and trust in Him.
2018, yes has been our most challenging year yet, in every area, but it has also been the most blessed and rewarding year. It has been one in which we experienced the mercy and extreme love of God in so many ways.
So guess what? In 2019, yes, we will be keeping a gratitude jar (I will try to make the jar a bit more colourful this year so that the little ones can be guy engaged).
With all that being said, how about you? Would you like to embark on a journey of living everyday in gratitude through the help of a gratitude jar? Would you like to practically count your blessings, daily or at the end of a year or season and have the opportunity to look back and see how good the Lord has been to you and your family? If so, why not start a gratitude jar today.
You don’t need a fancy jar like mine, a little box, a pen and some pieces of paper would do. It is more about the state of the heart. Gratitude is a decision that comes from within. It must come from a point that declares, regardless, I am going to think about the goodness of God and I am going to thank Him for the big and small aspects of life and continuously too! The devil will do his best as always to keep our eyes and minds focused on negativity, doom and gloom, however keeping a gratitude jar is one way to overcome this.
I really do hope you are moved to start a gratitude jar and would be thrilled to read about it and how you are getting along.
Please do watch out for the next post, I will be putting up some guidance on how to start one and how best to keep it very much in focus so that you remember to fill your jars of gratitude.
Until next time, stay uplifted, inspired and encouraged in God!