Last year we as a family started a 'Praise Jar".
Basically, it's a jar that we fill with notepad sheets or any paper pieces containing short writings of our gratitude. Everytime something good happens, we take the time, mostly less than 1 minute, to write it down and store it in the jar.
It's not a new idea. I have seen it done by others, and I thought it's a good habit to have for my family - being grateful can help to frame our mindset around positivity for our lives. So, I asked my kids and my husband to join in. However, a habit takes time to develop. Thus, 2017 jar contains mostly my sheets alone. Well, one of Joshua's too. And that's it :-).
1st January 2018 came and we all sat down out on the deck, enjoying breakfast and coffee in the morning sun. I got the jar out onto the table, started reading them one by one to the kids and my husband. Some notes are good, some are great, some are just plain unbelievably awesome! But some are also just a record of hard circumstances and what we hope to happen...our prayers. It's like a family kaleidoscope of the whole year!
My husband really liked the reflections that happened around the table listening to the readings of those notes. There were a lot of those 'ahhh...", or "oh yes, how could i forget about that!" moments.
He started writing down his lists of all his 'thank-you's' on a notepad sheet and asked the boys to stop staring at their ipads and join in the reflection time. Before long, the table was filled with of sheets of our own thank you's. We didn't stop there though. Each of us also filled in our 2018 goals on our to do list. I think mine has the longest list...unrealistic maybe, but hey it's good to dream, isn't it?
So, how about you - how do you start your 2018? Do you also have your own "gratitude" jar, or journals or files? How do you keep your 'notes'? If you have any, would you share your own experience in the comments below? A picture would be awesome!