The Blessings Jar
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by James and Blake Davis
(This article originally appeared on James' Facebook blog.)
Once in awhile there's just SOMETHING to be thankful for???
It saddens me how nowadays Thanksgiving seems to be mainly about food—lots and lots of food. And, of course, football games. Hopefully there will be family time, but getting to the turkey and then on to the TV seems to be uppermost on everyone’s mind. I've actually heard people refer to the holiday as “Turkey-day” instead of “Thanksgiving day”.
Believe me, I love food, and I love eating food, but the Pilgrims weren't celebrating food. (Well, actually, maybe they were a little. After all, they had been through a winter where their daily ration was five kernels of corn. So I imagine food was a big part of what they were celebrating.)
But my point is, what happened to Thanksgiving being about, well, Thanks-giving?
When I was little we had what we called a "Blessings" jar. It was just an ordinary looking pottery jar with a cork top and the word “Blessings” stamped into the clay.
Next to this jar was a little pad of paper and a pen. Throughout the year we would write our blessings, as they happened, on these little pieces of paper and place them in our Blessings Jar.
Needed gifts we received, Prayers answered, Friends who touched us, Health problems averted. It didn’t matter what it was, if it blessed us, we wrote it down on a small slip of paper and placed in our Blessings Jar.
Every time something good happened, we'd write what happened on a little piece of paper, fold it, and put it in the jar.
For 364 days of each year, nothing came out of the jar, things only went in.
But once a year the "Blessings" would be emptied out of the jar and read aloud.
Each year on Thanksgiving we would enjoy my mothers fantastic turkey with gravy, stuffing, rice, cranberry sauce (I liked to kind of mix everything up except the cranberry sauce and pour gravy over all of it, Yum!) and maybe some vegetables. Maybe follow it up with some mincemeat pie.... Wow, this is making me hungry.
But after the last person had finished the last helping of dessert and we had thanked Mom and prepared our defense against dishwashing assignments, we had a special tradition. We would pull out the Blessings Jar and start passing it around the table, reading the different blessings God had bestowed our family in the previous year.
Sometimes the words were too big for us when we were little, so my parents had to help us read them.
In this way, we got to celebrate every good thing that happened during the past year once more.
We got to be thankful for them once more.
Many things we had forgotten about until we read them again, and we all smiled and laughed.
Every year, we REMEMBERED.
After Thanksgiving began a new year of good things to write down.
A new year of things to put in the jar.
A new year of exciting stories waiting to be read.
A new year of good things waiting to be remembered!
What are you thankful for this year?
What are YOU thankful for? Are there blessings you want to share about this past year, or about right now in your life?
Get a Blessings Jar and write down all you can remember, or just think on them, but REMEMBER.
THINK and REMEMBER.
Blessings Jar. Here is a jar identical to the one we've used for years and years. It's stood the test of time and it stays in our kitchen on top of the microwave all year long, so it's easy for us to remember to write down a blessing and put it in the jar. This jar also makes a great gift.
Time to think Christmas. Below are some of our favorite educational fun and games.
We love the Klutz products. They are good,creative lasting fun and they also teach interesting concepts and skills. All supplies are included in the kits. Our kids loved the Klutz books as they were growing up.
Book of Paper Airplanes. This is the original, the best, of the paper airplane books.
The Explorabook: A Kid's Science Museum in a Book. Like the title says, this is kind of a science museum in a book with all kinds of science experiments and explanations.
Window Art. Make stained glass-looking designs on any window. Really neat!
Paper Fashions: Design Your Own Styles. If you have a girl who likes to design clothing, this is for her!
Lettering in Crazy, Cool, Quirky Style. A combination of calligraphy handbook and crazy decorative writing styles.
Super Scissors Book. Teach children how to make designs with scissors.
Book Of Knots. OK, this is the old standby. Our boys learned their knots using this book and in fact were the hit of a variety show by demonstrating how to tie various knots.
Shrinky Dinks Book. Our guys loved making these Shrinky Dinks. You cut out special sheets of plastic, then when you heat them in the over they shrink and thicken. Great for making novelty key chains.
Paper Flowers. Make beautiful paper flower arrangements following the instructions in this book.
Big Bubbles. This is the mother lode of all fun toys. Make a bubble the size of a truck with the instructions and special bubble wand that is included in this kit.
Melty Beads. Make all sorts of things with meltable beads.
Introduction to Embroidery. This is an embroidery primer that includes supplies as well as a lot of great patterns.
Knitting Kit. An introduction to knitting that includes supplies and easy-to-learn knitting instructions.
Face Painting. Our boys loved this kit and were the hit of parties. Face painting make-up and instructions for making all sorts of "faces."
Bead Rings. Create your own bead rings.
Magic. Learn a dozen magic tricks. Supplies included.
T Shirt Art Book. Everything you need to make your own specially designed (by you) T shirt.
Juggling for the Complete Klutz. This was our boys favorite book. They all learned how to juggle using it and amazed their friends. Juggling balls included.
Paper Stained Glass Kit. Make stained glass looking designs out of paper.
Foam Gliders. For the younger set, these gliders are safe to use and easy to make.
I want to spotlight a product I've found that has made a real difference in my health. It's called Juice Plus+.
I've always been concerned that my family was never getting enough fruits and vegetables because a lot of times, in spite of my best intentions, breakfast wound up being something quick like cereal and lunch wound up being something even quicker, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I went through periods where I would try and make the meals ahead, but that only lasted a short while. Then I tried getting a juicer, and that lasted an even shorter while because it took three times as long to get the fruits and vegetables ready for the juicer and then to clean it afterwards than it took to make and drink the juice. And I always got stuck cleaning the strainer because no one else wanted to do it.
Then a friend recommended Juice Plus+ to me. It has 17 fruits, vegetables, and grains in capsule form. Somebody has already done the juicing for me, then dried the juice in such a way that all the enzymes from the raw produce is in the capsules, and--big bonus--they are carbohydrate free.
Being the skeptic I am of any kind of health supplement, and wary as I am of any multi-level marketing business, I decided to give Juice Plus+ four months to prove its claims.
What did I experience? More energy, better skin, hair and nails, and better sleep. And did I mention that I had more energy. A friend of mine started on them at the same time and experienced significant improvement in a long-standing chronic disease.
So that's my story about Juice Plus+. It is an easy, affordable way to make sure you and your children get all the fruits and vegetables they need. And Juice Plus+ even has a children's health program that lets you get the capsules free for children between the ages of six and fifteen. Plus, there is a family plan to make Juice Plus+ even more affordable.
Another bonus is that Juice Plus+ makes a great home business that Moms can run to make money while they're home schooling.
So, check it out by going HERE>>