I find myself reflecting on the where, what, and why’s of my life. Where have I been, what have I done, and why aren’t I where I want to be. I ponder on those expectations, and I start to set new goals and expectations for my life. A while ago both my husband and I decided to start acknowledging not only the abundant blessings in our lives but the small ones that happen to us on a daily basis. To do this, we had to stop and acknowledge the moments when they happened, and this is how we created our blessing jar along with a little help from a favorite T.V. show.
If you’ve ever watched the T.V. show, New Girl you are probably familiar with the character Schmidt played by Max Greenfield. Schmidt’s character is known to make some pretty arrogant and inappropriate comments. In a way to keep his comments under control and allow him to recognize that he has crossed the line, his roommates created a douche jar. Every time Schmidt makes a statement that could be considered “douchey” they make him place money in the jar. At times, he stands dumbfounded, not grasping that what he said was, in fact, inappropriate. In the end, he pays the jar and us as an audience laugh and shake our heads thinking, “that Schmidt is crazy.”
So, what do Schmidt and his douche jar have to do with the blessing jar, this month's issue, and me? It’s all relative, I promise. The blessing jar is a way to take a moment and reflect. You don’t necessarily have to put money in a jar, but it’s a way to help you reflect on the small good moments that happen in your life every day. So, during the day, we would jot things down on post-its and drop them in a jar at home at the end of the day. Afterwards, we could share them with each other and reflect on how God had placed interactions with others to allow us to reflect on more positive things in our lives. There are countless of times we go through life unsatisfied and unhappy that we don't appreciate the goodness of life.
I remember feeling very frustrated one day. It was one of those, waking up in a bad mood days. The week was rough on me, I had been laid off months before, still hadn’t found a job, and nothing seemed to be getting better. I started my day in a Costco facing crazy drivers, attacked by grocery carts, shoved for food samples, and had an encounter with a very rude cashier. I was at my wits end. As my husband and I waited in line to exit Costco the woman at the door checking receipts looked past my husband and smiled at me. I didn’t even want to make eye contact with anyone. I mustered up some strength to give a half smile and looked back down. The door greeter then turned to my husband and said, “You are very lucky to have such a beautiful wife.” That unexpected moment immediately softened my heart and made me smile. “Why am I such a grouch? I have to choose to be happy and continue to move forward,” I thought. This positive comment was just as caring as the couple of strangers we saw a day later who decided to pay it forward to me and my husband and buy our groceries for us. They didn’t wait for us to thank them. They didn’t want any gratitude. They did it out of the kindness of their heart. They couldn’t imagine how appreciative we were and how their sacrifice had helped to strengthen our faith.
Our blessing jar may have only lasted a little while, but I believe it was a great exercise. I still take a moment to acknowledge and fix my perspective and faith with the reminders I receive throughout the day. It is humbling. I count my blessings, and I encourage you to start to also. Cherish the small things, even if it’s a person smiling at you in passing. Smile back, hold on to that moment, place it in a literal or figurative jar, and share some of the positivity. You’ll see how impactful one gesture can change your outlook on everything.