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How can a blessings jar make a difference in our lives?
Gratitude is a necessary part of a joyful life. Let’s face it. If you cannot think of anything to be thankful for, you’re probably living a pretty sad life. Well here at One Exceptional Life, we see gratitude as an essential daily activity. The blessings jar is a great way to share your gratitude.
Counting my blessings has been instrumental in helping me get through some super tough times. That includes learning to move on after becoming a quadruple amputee.
If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ll know that we have a formula for helping you to overcome your challenges. We do it through faith and prayer, gratitude, kindness and positivity. Each part of the formula is helpful to create a life that leans on the Lord. These pieces are also helpful in growing our faith, which brings us peace through any type of challenge.
Philippians 4:6-7 KJV Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault
How does the blessings jar fit into the One Exceptional Life formula?
By finding something to be thankful for in everything, good or bad, you’re keeping an optimistic attitude. There is already too much negativity surrounding us. Staying positive and thankful takes our thoughts off of what’s hurting or sad in our lives. And instead, we’re able to focus on the good, the positive and the hopeful parts.
The ultimate goal of the blessings jar is to simply count every blessing. Truly, we all have so very much to be thankful for. Personally, I don’t want to take anything for granted. I know where my blessings come from. And even though we’re doing an activity of writing those blessings down and putting them in a jar, it’s important to be thankful to the One who makes all of our blessings possible.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
What is a blessings jar?
Blessings jars are a fun way to document the things that you’re thankful for on a daily basis. Pay attention to the things that make you smile throughout the day, and write them down on a blessings card. The blessings jar holds them all. Typically, keeping the blessings jar is done with 2 or more people in your family. But what is important, is being thankful, regardless of how it’s done or who you do it with.
Then, as a family, you can decide how often you want to dump the jar out to count your blessings. You might like to do it on Thanksgiving, at the end of the year, or monthly. Or, if you’re having an especially tough day, you may just want to dump out the contents of the blessings jar right then.
When you do this, you might just realize that God’s blessings really are big enough to overcome any struggle you may be going through. If you have young children in your life, this adorable book teaches your kids this exact message.
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
How to make a blessings jar?
You have a couple of choices when getting started with your family’s blessings jar. It’s very simple to make one and I have a created a wonderful kit that has everything you’ll need to get started. Here’s a picture to give you an idea of what it contains. But if you don’t want to take the time or you don’t feel motivated to get the supplies together to make one yourself, I’ll give you some options.
Great pre-made blessings jars
First, let’s take a look at some of the many really adorable options that are made specifically for a count your blessings jar. These are basically grab and go. Although these are my personal favorites, you may find some that you like even better.
Making your own blessings jar
If you’re crafty or you’re looking for a DIY project that you can do with your kids or grandkids, putting together your blessings jar is a pretty simple project. But you’re first going to need some supplies.
Supplies for a DIY blessings jar
If you want a head start, grab the “In every thing give thanks” blessings jar kit. I like to start with a 1-quart mason jar. It’s big enough to hold many notes of gratitude. But truly, you can use any container that you want. It’s important that the container that you use to count your blessings is big enough to hold quite a few cards or papers. Ideally, you want to be able to accumulate a year’s worth of blessings. With that said, here’s your supplies list.
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)
Blessing jar instructions
Grab your “In every thing give thanks” Blessings in a Jar Kit. Or…
- Choose your favorite container
- Cut out your labels from card stock
- Color your labels
- Decorate with stickers or however you like
- Attach the label to your jar with scotch tape, washi tape or punch a hole in your label and hang it with string or yarn
- Write your first blessings idea on a note card, fold it and put it in the jar
- Decide how often you’ll read through your blessings jar
- Enjoy the process and choose to be thankful every single day
- Repeat as often as you like
The blessings in a jar idea makes a great gift. So, if you like, as you’re gathering supplies, be sure to get enough to decorate and make multiple jars. Your friends and family will love them.
How to use a blessings jar?
The whole idea behind a blessings jar, is to accumulate a list of things that you’re thankful for throughout the year. Oh sure, a gratitude journal essentially does the same thing. But imagine dumping out a jar full of blessings on the table and sorting through 365 different notes. Compare that to flipping through dozens of pages of a gratitude journal.
Which activity brings more excitement? Truly, both ways of keeping track of the things you are thankful for work. It’s all about your personal preference. When you have children participating in the activity, there’s no doubt, the blessings in a jar will win every time. Plus you’re teaching them the importance of gratitude that will carry them through for the rest of their lives. And remember, gratitude is an important part of growing spiritually and learning to overcome the challenges that they’ll face in their lives.
What to write on your blessing cards?
A blessings jar is simply a place to write down the things that you’re thankful for on a daily basis. As I mentioned in Gratitude Lists: More than just the Latest, Greatest Fad, the idea behind creating a gratitude list or gratitude journal is to write down anything that you’re thankful for, plain and simple.
It’s easy to write the same things every day. We’re all thankful for our family, home and health. But with any type of gratitude project, it’s important to dig deeper. When you subscribe to the One Exceptional Life community below, you’ll receive a printable calendar that helps you push your memory a bit with 40 days of idea prompts.
Basically, just write what strikes you, at that moment, that you want to say “thank you” for. Let me give you a couple of ideas.
- The privilege of buying groceries
- A warm sweatshirt on a cold day
- The propane that was delivered to heat your home
- The pretty leaves on the trees
- A nice chat with an old friend
- A hug from your child
- Ice cream (a regular subject on my gratitude list, haha)
- The blessing of being married to your best friend
Why bother putting our blessings in a jar?
The blessings jar activity is a fun way to share gratitude with others. Typically, if we keep a gratitude journal or pray to God thanking Him for our blessings, it’s very often a private activity. But with blessings jars, it’s a project done with others.
When everyone contributes, each person offers a different perspective and gives us new ideas for what others consider as blessings. When adults share their blessings with children, it’s a teaching moment. And when we glorify God for all we have to be thankful for, our kids learn and grow in their relationship with Jesus.
The goal of writing your blessing jar ideas on your note cards is to tap into the large and small things that you are thankful for each day. As time goes by, you’ll see your jar fill with wonderful memories. Having a full jar is exciting and it’s a great reminder that gratitude is more important than grumbling. A full blessings jar is also especially exciting if you’re sharing this project with a young child.
I can tell you from personal experience, that it’s a lot easier to smile as we’re going through challenges, when we’re optimistic and thankful. Compare that to focusing on our pains and sorrows and a pessimistic mindset. Which one makes life easier?
I’ve always chosen to look for the silver lining when going through the dark clouds. That’s the only way for me to overcome the struggles of living without my hands and feet.
“Count Your Blessings, Not Your Problems, and you’ll realize how beautiful your life truly is.” – Author Unknown
The Blessings Poem talks about how to look for the blessings in every burden. I believe counting our blessings in spite of our challenges, helps to cope with the struggle in a more positive, optimistic way.
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.
~ Author Unknown ~
Can a blessings jar give your life new perspective?
Let’s wrap things up by addressing this question. If by developing a stronger gratitude habit, you gain more optimism and courage and strength, does that give you a greater perspective? A greater outlook?
Perspective is really all about your mindset, right? So if we are counting our blessings on a daily or weekly basis, doesn’t it help us to see things more optimistically? Which is better, finding the good in things? Or would you rather look for faults? Which person would you rather have a friendship with?
Personally, I like to spend time with people of faith who look for the good. Counting our blessings is always a good thing. Using a blessings jar is a great way to grow your gratitude habit. But it’s also a great way to teach gratitude to our kids. So yes, it’s a good thing.
Now it’s your turn. Have you ever made a blessings jar or received one as a gift? What has been your experience? How has it helped? Would you rather keep a gratitude journal? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
***All Scripture has been taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible
What is your favorite way to count your blessings?