Gratitude Jar

Our kids have been learning about gratitude at church this month and each week they send a "God Time" paper home that has four small devotions on them. With each devotion there is a project or activity that goes with it.  Last week they read one based on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." This was so great for me to read not just for my kids. Sometimes being a Mom comes with constant interruption and too often the silly things that don't go my way end up stealing my joy. I tend to get into these"Negative Nancy" moods, no offense to anyone named Nancy out there.  I fixate on all the things that went wrong in the day or not the way I intended them to. Sometimes my kids behavior even seems to dictate my mood.  I don't have to let it control me,it's really a choice.  My parents have always told us growing up if we said "that made me mad or she/he made me mad" they reminded us that so and so didn't make you angry- you chose to be angry. This devotion was a huge reminder that I need to CHOOSE to be thankful and change my attitude no matter what random and inconvenient thing may happen during my day. Even when my child dumps the entire jug of orange juice on my freshly shampooed carpet (don't ask why he had the entire jug in a carpeted area to begin with). I need to say thanks for the fact that we have orange juice so readily available nearby and we have carpet to pad our feet. I need to remind myself daily of these things we seem to take for granted. The activity with this devotion was to make a thankfulness jar.

I chose a  coffee mate creamer container and spray painted it a fall gold color.  Then painted the lid a complimentary burgundy red.  I found some really nice shaped chalkboard labels at Michael's and glued it to the front.  With a chalk pen, this was a new tool I just discovered and was pretty stoked about, I wrote "We're thankful for..." on the label per my son's request. I would have just been generic and wrote "Gratitude jar" but my oldest son told me to write the latter because it has an ellipsis and he likes those.  I didn't even know what those three dots were called. Someone has been paying attention in school!  Now when I am having one of my "Nancy" moments I can remember to add a paper with a note of thanksgiving to the jar because there really is always something to be thankful for. At dinner I might have everyone contribute a note of thanksgiving about their day.  At the end of the month we will take all the papers out and read them aloud.  This jar is something that should stay up all year round not just during this holiday season, don't ya think?

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