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January 10, 2017 | Sharon Davis
If your New Year's resolutions are wearing a little thin, there's a different way to approach the year. Instead of what we're doing, focus on what God is doing, Track the year with what an Our Daily Bread devotional calls, "Thanks-Living."
During the year, after a memorable event, or happy circumstance, grab a little piece of paper, jot it down, and drop it into a jar--your "Thanks-Living" jar. Then at the end of the year, spill out the pieces of paper and read about the blessings you've experienced over the past year.
Courtney, our Star 991 Promotions Coordinator, did it in 2016, and said it brought smiles to her face when she reviewed her year. She called hers, a "Good Things" jar, and this year will update the name to "Blessings," because she knows Who the good things come from: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with Whom there is no change or shifting shadow." [James 1:17] If you take a look at Courtney's notes (picture), you'll see it can be anything from volunteering on the Relief Bus, to the fun of a great dinner, to hangin' with the youth group she leads.
What a terrific way this is to give perspective! 2016 was a difficult year for a lot of us. To have a reminder of those good occurrences in our lives can not only outweigh the negative, but puts our focus on God.
Keeping a journal is a terrific way to chart the year's challenges and answered prayers, the times of joy, and occasions that have helped us grow. But, to be honest with you, I often find that I run out of time and energy at the end of my day before I have a chance to write about it. I love the Blessings jar idea. It's quick and user friendly, and has the advantage of recalling a good occasion right then and there as you're writing it down. It's a good focus for the end of your day instead of grappling with burdens and cares when you try to go to sleep.
Accentuate the positive in 2017!