A friend recently gave my wife Holly and me a glass cookie jar for Christmas. On it, she stenciled the word “gratitude.” The idea is that you write notes of gratitude on scrap paper and you put the piece of paper in the jar throughout the year. From now until December 31, Holly and I will be putting notes in the gratitude jar. We write what we’re thankful for, add any pertinent details and date the note.
I recently had a surgical procedure done on my knee. On the day of surgery I woke up in the middle of the night without any power in my home. I went around the house flipping on light switches hoping one would turn on. I tried to get on the internet to contact our electrical provider, obviously without success. Then I realized I couldn’t shower in my home. On top of all that, I wasn’t able to eat anything prior to my surgery and I gone without food for over 12 hours at this point. Frustrated and hungry, Holly and I packed up our things and headed to a health club to shower and prepare for the day.
Leaving the health club, I was suddenly reminded of the gratitude jar. I spent the morning flipping on light switches and I had completely taken for granted that when I flip a switch, the light is going to come on. I had taken for granted that I can take a shower in the comfort of my own home anytime I want. I had taken for granted that I can eat what I want when I want in whatever quantities I want. I had taken for granted that I can walk without pain. As we headed to the hospital for my surgery, I was overwhelmed by the number of friends who showed up to pray for me. I had taken for granted my friends.
The gratitude jar helped me realize all the things I have to be grateful for. Each of these negative events should’ve put me in a sour mood, instead I felt very grateful for the things and the people in my life. Since my surgery, I’ve discovered a renewed gratefulness. There are so many things I can appreciate, like being able to make a living, having relationships, and being in good health. I encourage you to take up the habit of contributing to a grateful jar and take a few moments each day to be grateful.