Friday, January 2, 2015

Blessings Jar 2014

Top: the full Blessings Jar
Bottom: The cards arranged by month ready to be reviewed.

I just read through my Blessings Jar post from last year to get an idea of how I wanted this post to go this year.  I liked my format so much last year, we're going with that tradition.  If you want to see how similar my 2013 was to my 2014 read here.  Otherwise, just trust me, my blessings look very similar, with a few exceptions that I will highlight as I go.

Themes from the year:
~Games with friends and family 
~Productive days at work and home
~Resisting temptation/working on a sin habit (This one in particular is new.  I worked really hard to conquer a sin habit this past year.  Some days were better than others and that was reflected in many of my cards.  But it was good to see how hard I worked on this sin habit and how faithful the Lord is to encourage me and forgive me when I fail.)
~Talks with friends
~Working on my prayer life (Another resolution I had last year that I worked really hard on at the beginning of the year but then struggled with toward the end of the year)
~New relationships
~Snail mail (I love that this was a theme from last year and that it always makes me happy)
~Weddings and engagements
~“And Can it Be” (I LOVE this song.  I think it made the blessings jar every single time I heard it at church or BSF)
~Lunches and dinners with friends
~BSF and Bible study
~Billing good units at work (this was such a struggle for me this last year and caused a lot of stress, so it was good to see the days that I did my job well)
~Birthdays (and not just my own!)
~Scripture memory with Ginger ( a new project that Ginger started and I joined her on.  So far we've memorized 14 chapters of the Bible and are continuing into the new year!  It has been such an encouragement and deserves a post all its own one day)
~Great weather
~Good sessions with clients

~Quiet evenings reading books

Here are specific cards from the year:
Jan 5th—Snow day!  No church L but it was a blessing because Emily and I would have been gone when the sewage backed up in the laundry room; finished another puzzle 
Jan 5th—Blessed by friendships far away—knowing that Elizabeth is fasting and praying this week and has included me in those prayers.
Jan 10th—Mail with pictures from John and Michael!  Games at the Burkes with Emily and Amanda.  Resisted temptation! Yay!
Feb 5th—The maintenance guy shoveled out my car for me.  Sunshine on snow and a great sunset.
Feb 10th—Talked to Dad on the phone; snail mail from Amy! J
Feb 14th—blessing of friends who will pray when I feel overwhelmed/stressed; Kaylay’s for a Valentine celebration.  Thank you , Lord, that it is not a holiday that makes me hate being single
Feb 26th—Good conversation about loving others with one of my AWANA girls
Mar 9th—Good sermon about being joyful and challenged to better recognize my own sin
Mar 17th—Laughing until I cried and almost peed in my pants (with Susan)
Mar 19th—Kari bought me a cookie cake “for my birthday” J
April 18th—Good Friday baptism service at church—amazing, as usual!
May 4th—“Take every thought captive” Sunday School lesson—just what I needed after a teary night missing family and a random dream where I got married
May 8th—Relaxing evening at home; reminiscing with college friends through a Facebook picture
June 16th—Talked to Danell—first step in planning a Texas trip this year
July 24th—Josh was baptized at Mission Peoria
July 26th—Back Pack Peoria—tied a little kid’s shoe and made him smile; following Dad around and watching him do what he does J
July 27th—Prayer meeting for Janelle—seeing the body of Christ do what it does best; perfect outdoor weather and spending the day with Acres kids in Edelstein
August 2nd—Never left the apartment!
August 22nd—Morning thunderstorms; dinner with the Burkes and Scripture Memory with Ginger
August 25th—woke up praying for Daynah’s first day of school and Janelle’s first day of chemo
Sept 4th—Struggled with a poor attitude because of client cancellations but I was able to repeatedly turn my mind to Scripture to refocus
Sept 5th—lunch with Ginger at Chickfila; low key evening with Amanda and Emily playing Ticket to Ride and Skip-bo; really long texting conversation with Daynah
Sept 17th—several leaders reported good things happening in their groups in AWANA
Oct 6th—Before I was out of my room hearing Lucy say, “I hope Teresa gets up soon”; 7Wonders with Danell and Ken
Oct 10th—Last full day in Texas; stayed up late talking with Danell and Ken and reminiscing
Nov 18th—Janelle’s post on Caring Bridge—her cancer is no longer growing and she won’t have to do another round of chemotherapy!!!
Nov 24th—Laughed a lot at BST—good to connect with small group
Dec 21st—Made it to Arizona!! Quiet evening with the family resting
Dec 24th—Finally felt 100%!!  Kurt Warner and family.  Even more cheesy Christmas movies J

It was again good to see how often my blessings came out of adversity and hard days.  Sometimes those days are the easiest for me to see the blessing, which is surprising to me.  The hardest days to name a blessing are often the days that are just normal and ordinary.  Those are the days I want to focus on more this year in order to list more than what I did on my cards but to focus on what the Lord does in those days.  I know I talked last year about how much I have enjoyed my Blessings Jar.  I love that it is still something that I enjoy and want to continue.  It has been a good day to day reminder for me of everything I have been given.  It is also fun to look back through the cards and see blessings that I would have forgotten if I had not written them down.  

Here is to a 2015 filled with great blessings from the Lord!

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