These images of the Blessing Jar Challenge have been popping up all over social media as January 1st approaches. Generally, I like the idea, but… why wait until the 31st to remember? Why only relive and recognize the constant blessings in life once per year?
This year, I am going to begin my own Blessing Jar, here. But, instead of only checking it 12 months from now, once, my plan is to check it any time I get SUPER down or angry, or experience any other fear-response (might have to set a reminder somewhere). I cannot guarantee that the updates will always be posted here, or visible to the wide world, but my goal is to record them for myself. Perhaps at the end of the year I will make a collage or something and hang it somewhere or… something. But for now, the aim is to remember the many ways that I am being blessed, as often as possible.
A few verses come to mind (cause that’s just how my mind works):
Look to the Lord and His strength;
seek His face always.
Remember the wonders He has done,
His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced… (1 Chronicles 16:11-13a; Psalm 105:4-5).
They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles You performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore You did not desert them… (Nehemiah 9:17).
Ooh, this one speaks to me quite a bit. It is essentially my whole reason for beginning this project. When we forget the blessing and freedom we have been given, and when we forget who we are, we allow others to enslave us and fall servant to weaker masters. I WILL NOT FORGET. We are being pursued by a passionately devoted Lover, but we constantly reject Love in favor of, what? The familiarity of fear,pain and hopelessness? Boo. I am no longer ruled by such chains. And so I strive remember my name.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember You… (Psalm 42:5-7a).
On my bed I remember You;
I think of You through the watches of the night.
Because You are my help,
I sing in the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 63:6-7).
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out His right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all Your works
and meditate on all Your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:10-12).
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).
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
Anyway, yea. So… thas where Im headin. Train my mind and spirit to LOOK for the hand of God in my life so that when things get tough I can STILL see Him and remember to LOOK to Him instead of cowering to myself as if I could ever be alone.
First shout out goes to my lovely, lovely neighbors and friends J & K. As this year draws to a close I am deeply moved by the trust and generosity that they have shared with me and my family. They lent us their bicycle, their car and their home as if lending me a pencil – without a second thought. I think, in this last phase of hermitry, I had begun to take the warmth of friendship for granted. Not only did I hide in my little apartment, but I got kind of uncomfortable when others were around in general. When someone made an effort to pry a door into my life, I all but punched him and ran. So to see with such clarity that there are some who saw through my fearful defenses and chose to nurture a friendship anyway really touched me. J & K, WonderW, Harold, D & G just to name a small handful – thank you for being my friends. It means the world to me.
I couldnt possibly wrap up this year without a HUGE thanks to Pa for sending Rocco’s Dad, Blelbelrbler, Mexi, Mis Tangeros, The Artist’s Fairy Godmother & Brother, and Glitterbell into my life. I’m pretty sure that I would have drown without You. Thank You for the lessons and thank You for the hope that you showed me this year.
And to my wonderful, amazing, crazy, beautiful family, thank You. We are a strange lot aren’t we. Thanks for putting up with my me. As I sit here across from my mother in the last few hours before they head home, a few hours after my brother returned to his own bed, I must say, I am pretty lucky. They said that I’d turn out to be just like them. They were right. Frankly, I’m pretty happy about it. As my dad used to say, “Would you rather I be NORMAL???”
Well… No…. That wouldn’t be any fun at all, would it?
So here we are. On the precipice of another new beginning. The only thing between me and the next exciting phase is 32 degrees and some padded shorts. So, salud. I’ll see you on the flip side.
I love you all.