Monday, November 4, 2013

Count Your Blessings

 I thought a great way to start off November would be to focus on gratefulness and our many blessings. Chris Carter is our guest blogger today. She is passing along  a great idea that she uses in her home-weekly- and you can too. Be blessed by her words. ~Lori

We have a blessings jar. I got the idea from someone, somewhere... and I am forever grateful for this creative and easy way to count our blessings as a family.  (I wish I could give credit where credit is due!)  Our jar is filled with scribbles of gratitude on random pieces of paper written by my husband, my kids and me. Every Sunday evening, we have dinner together and I bring the jar to the table and a bunch of paper and pens.  My kids know full well that it’s time to reflect and realize all those moments that brought us joy. I am convicted of this incredible purpose in teaching my children the art of gratitude.  In any situation, we can always be thankful.  His Blessings are abundant, even in trying times. 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, 
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 
Philippians 4:8

Nothing rewarding is never really easy.

This is a task and a chore at times, as my kids may groan or sigh in this assignment. Even my husband and I struggle to remember the significant and sometimes small blessings that have occurred throughout the week’s fullness and busyness.  I remind them that we can find gratitude in so many little things in our lives, not just the big events or celebrations or victories.  This is why I find the practice of gratitude to be so important:

Over and over again, in hopes that we develop the unconditional habit of praising Him in every detail of our lives, always striving to “think about such things”.

It would be easy to pass through our days and weeks and months with a smile and a nod, a flittering thought and a brushing breath of gratefulness.  But I want to record and affirm in our hearts a deeper cultivation of true thanksgiving.  I seek to further our thoughtfulness and grow and stretch us beyond a mere “thank you”.  There is always this overwhelming tide that pushes furiously to the next day, which can tend to leave us taking our riches for granted and not for glory.

I want to teach my children the art of threading gratitude into their every day life.  

I want to impart the greatest treasure in living with a heart that sees and recognizes each and every moment God offers us His Greatness. 

Perhaps my intention flows even deeper. For in my children’s lives, there will be darker days and moments that bind their hearts with grief or sadness or anger. There will be loss and rage and injustice and pain. There will be questioning and confusion and searching for answers. It’s those times, I pray they steady their course with intentional thanksgiving, and realize its illuminating power.

Every New Year’s Day, we open our jar filled with a year’s worth of blessings that we have captured on paper.  We read each one of them together and bask in the celebration of our bounty. 

I will keep that jar, and date the year. I am collecting them as we grow and learn what it means to live, bringing to light all that is worthy of praise. 

How do you practice Philippians 4:8 in your home?  

Meet my friend, Chris Carter!
Chris Carter is a SAHM who regularly shares inspiration through faith, encouragement and laughter on her blog, She also contributes to as a regular Momtor, sharing her wisdom and faith in motherhood. She has an active life with her two school age children and is involved in various ministries within her church.  Her passion is to reach out to women both on line and off line, in hopes that God’s Light will shine through her words and her life-stories.  She also leads a women’s group and a small group in her home, where she finds joy and blessings of many fruitful friendships within the fellowship she holds so dear to her heart!
After twenty years in a career of Music Therapy in Psychiatric settings in Chicago’s inner city, she has seen and experienced the suffering and the brokenness that is in our world.  Her passion is in helping those who are lost and suffering in their lives, as well as those who are in need of surrendering to His Loving Grace and everlasting Power.  Her prayer is that God blesses her gift to do His Mighty Work. 
Click here to find Chris on Facebook.

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  1. I absolutely LOVE this & will be beginning this in my home as soon as possible!!!

    1. I agree! Such a great idea. It's a hands on way to train hearts! LOVE IT! Thanks for your comment. ~Lori

    2. I'm SO glad you love it Amber!! Isn't it awesome? I wish I could claim where I found it, and give that person some serious cred. But we have really found it to be a wonderful part of our lives.

  2. Again Chris love this idea and so happy to see you featured here today!! :)

    1. Oh Janine... you are such a love. Thanks SO much for your amazing support. YOU my friend, need to go in my blessing jar!! XO

  3. Janine,
    I am blessed to have her guest! Thanks for your encouragement and support of Chris ...and Eternal Moments! :) ~Lori

  4. I love the idea of recording what we are thankful for. It reminds me of The Smile Epidemic's 30 days of happiness where you record and post at least one thing that made you smile for 30 days. I introduced this to my son's 2nd grade teacher last year and she still starts the day with her kids recording something that makes them smile. Love it. Counting our blessings is good for our heart and soul if you ask me.

    1. Jennifer,
      Thanks for your comment on Chris's post. :) The Smile Epidemic-cute idea! I have a friend who challenges her kids each day to do something to make God smile!
      Have a happy day! ~Lori

    2. I LOVE that idea Jen!! That resonates a lot with the blessings jar. Counting our blessings is quite possibly one the greatest things we can do for our souls. I wholeheartedly agree. XO

  5. I love the idea of the jar since it's tangible. It's more than talking about gratitude. It's an action. Well done, Chris!

    1. Yes- practical, hands on, and on going. No better way to encourage character and faith development. Thanks for your thoughts, Ilene!

    2. I could TOTALLY see you dong something like this with your kids, Ilene! You are always sharing light and love in your life- day by glorious day... it's just like you said: More than just talking about it- it's tangible. And just tonight I got the jar out and the kids moaned! You bet I gave them a lot of talkin' to about taking a little 'effort' to count our blessings. They consider it a chore at times, but I know better.

      It's an act that will ground them in gratitude. :)