The Blessing Jar

Blessings jarAs a kid growing up my family had a blessing jar. A blessing jar was an oversized jar filled with little pieces of paper that had thank -yous and blessings scribbled on them. Each Thanksgiving day myfamily would sit down and read the hundreds of blessings that had accumulated throughout the past year. Of course, my mom was the one who contributed most of the notes, but even as a child I remember writing and placing my thank you in the blessing jar. “Thank you for the A on my science test.” “Thank you for the points I scored in basketball.” “Thank you for the day with Grandpa.” Reading each of them brought back memories and smiles from the entire year and was a great way to start off our Thanksgiving Day (after going to church, of course!). It was important to take the time to thank God for all the blessings He had surrounded us with, even the very simple thank-yous of a child.

How often do you thank God? Do you thank God only when things are going well in your life? Or do you still thank Him during the tough times? I must admit, I was one of those who only thanked God when my life was going well – up until a few years ago. It took a prison experience to show me and open my eyes to the many blessings that surround me daily, blessings that I now thank Him for all the time. Even when times are tough, there is still so much to be thankful for. If I had a blessing jar here today, here are a few blessings that would be in it.

  • Waking up every morning
  • Having a conversation about God with someone
  • The ability to run and work-out (for five months in solitary I was not able to do that)
  • Attending church, even here in prison
  • Sense of smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch
  • Letters from friends and family!! The best blessing of all!!!
  • Twenty 15-minute phone calls every month
  • Ability to read a book
  • Hot humid days in Texas
  • Listening to the birds chirping
  • Able to see the green grass and blue sky
  • Supportive and loving family and friends
  • A job here making 12 cents an hour. True.
  • Scratching a mosquito bite
  • The smell of an incoming rain storm
  • Writing a letter
  • Hearing crickets
  • Worship music
  • Watching the sun rise and set
  • Cheese cake
  • Strumming a guitar
  • Speed walking to chow
  • Listening to another inmate who needs someone to talk to
  • Sleeping with a pillow (not every place allows pillows)
  • Wearing sweat pants (not every place allows sweat pants)
  • Windy days
  • A sun burn on my face
  • Taking a nap
  • Air conditioning
  • A God who overwhelms me with love every day!

These are just a few things that I’ve come up with. I know there are thousands of things I’m thankful for. What kind of list can you come up with? Or try the blessing jar for a year. And don’t forget to give God thanks in all circumstances!


One thought on “The Blessing Jar”

  1. Craig, What a cool idea to have a blessing jar. I think it’s a great way to train us to be grateful. You note many blessings even where you are now. God is surely using and growing your faith.

    Stay in His Word and trust Him and others will see God’s love in you. Betsy


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