“It’s a grumpy morning, Grammy. An icky, awful morning. Nothing fun is going to happen today.”

That’s how the story starts, but Grandma has other ideas! With an empty jar in hand, they set out to fill it with things that remind them of God’s blessings.

In goes a ballet slipper for the blessing of a strong body that can move and dance.

In goes a napkin from the ice cream parlor after a delicious triple-dipper ice cream cone.

In goes an autumn leaf, a sea shell, and some sparkling sand that kind of looks like stars.

In goes the bookmark from a favorite bedtime story…

In goes one thing after another until the end of the day when the jar is full of blessings and their hearts are full of joy and thankfulness.

It really helped turn that icky, awful morning around!

The Blessings Jar, by Colleen Coble is one of my four year old’s favorite books and she loves to collect blessings for her own jar. A tattered white feather, a blue glass bead, a sparkly rock, a deflated balloon…a jar full of things that look like junk at first glance, but a jar full of things that remind her of God’s blessings in her life! It’s a great thing to focus on when she gets caught up in all the things she doesn’t have or a scary sound she heard or how unfair life is…for a 4 yr old….in middle class America :)

As an adult, I find an actual jar to be a bit cumbersome and chaotic. Honestly I would probably forget why I put that beat-up feather or grubby napkin in there in the first place! I do, however, think I’ll start a “happiness file” in which I will write down all the happy things and answers to prayer I receive, big or small. I will record the trip to the grocery store where no one fought or cried, I will write down the day we moved into a new house and found God had answered our prayer for neighbors with kind children who would be friends with our girls. I will make a note of the times our family giggled on the floor together, and pizza nights, and getting soaked With rain and puddles. I want to remember the times when things lined up so perfectly that God was the only possible explanation.

Then, on the days when I’m overwhelmed by unexpected moves, warring children, finances, not enough sleep, a sink piled with dishes, terrible things in the news, deployments, or life in general I can look back, see a record of God’s faithfullness in my life, and be encouraged. After all, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is [His] faithfulness. (Lam 3:22-23)

Sometimes I just need some little reminders!

-Jaime Adams