I’m going to fill my jar.

Sometime late last year I saw a picture of on Facebook of gratitude jar. It was a pretty simple idea; just a glass jar filled with little slips of paper, each of those slips containing something worth being thankful for. I’ve never really done anything quite like that but writing down good things that happened for the sake of remembering seemed like something worth doing. So I went to Hobby Lobby and got my jar, 2015 was going to be the year that I would wake each day more aware of the blessings in my life.

And then as it does, life got in the way. Oh, I tossed in a few notes in here and there. And I was happy to not be able to see the bottom of the jar any longer. It that made me feel like I was really doing something good. Soon, I’d go a few days without putting anything into the jar. And then a few weeks. Something that seemed like a pretty good idea when I started now was just a nagging reminder every time I passed it. When I stopped filling my physical jar of gratitude, I think I also stopped filling my internal jar. And when that jar isn’t being filled, when I’m not living a life of gratitude, my attitude changes. I think the main goal of that Facebook post was to help approach each day from a grateful perspective. Through that lens, I can see that things aren’t always as bad as I think on the rough days and I can savor the good days even more. It reminds me of a quote I really like,  ‘It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy’.

And I guess I could finish the rest of this year at that same clip. Writing something down when it’s really awesome. The kind of thing I’d want to tell others about or just a personal moment worthy of fireworks, filling the jar with tweetable moments only. Or I could force myself to put pen to paper just to fulfill the commitment.  But neither of these ideas keep in line with the original ideal behind this. So I’m going to take a few moments to remind myself of a few things that should be in that jar. And maybe come out the other side with a better perspective.

First, I’m thankful for the church family I’m a part of. There have been a lot of changes in the last year at Christway but I’m blessed to be journeying with some pretty awesome people there. It wasn‘t that long ago that the idea of a bible study seemed like something I’d only find the time to make a good excuse not to attend. Now I spend time with guys who’re concerned not just with how work is or what I thought of the game, but honestly concerned with my spiritual growth.  Sunday lunches and being reminded to stay away from the pretzels have been pretty great with Rudy, Ryan, and Deli.

I’m also pretty lucky to have a few friends outside of my church family who’ve been great for me too. Countless rounds of both Catan and disc golf or just talking the latest sports headlines are how Cory, Peck, Jordan and Shawn and I spend leisure time. But it’s good to know that these are good dudes who are willing to lend a hand any time, whether I’m ready to say I need it or not.

I’m grateful for a family that has always loved me even when I wasn’t very lovable. 

I’m pretty blessed to be at a job that’s been steady for such a long time. I know a lot of places have had to downsize the work force and I’m thankful that I haven’t had even that threat. I’m not in a place of great wealth, but I can pay my bills.

For a little over a year now I’ve been lucky enough to be dating a wonderful woman. Amber is a great encourager and best friend. She builds me up and makes me feel cared for. She hopes great things for me and lets me know how I can show care better. She’s an incredible woman and I’m lucky to have her in my life.

Even just reading back through the few things I’ve gone over here put me in a better place. And that doesn’t begin to cover the things I should be thankful for. I think thankfulness flows into more thankfulness. I just need a reminder from time to time.

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Author: Jeff R

Writer, podcaster, storyteller. I believe everyone has a story worth telling.

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