Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!! ...Reflecting on 2013 and Counting My Blessings. :)

Hi everyone,

I wasn't planning to post today but if I learned anything last year it's that plans change. ;) Last year at this time we didn't have any idea how the year would unfold and I really didn't think life would change all that much for us. I'm a creature of habit and so I was more than happy to "keep on keeping on" as usual. :)

In late spring my husband had the opportunity to interview for a station manager position within the company he works for. There was one particular station he had his eye on and I knew that if he got the position it would be so good for him (and as a result good for our whole family). It was a couple of long months before we found out he got the job but in the meantime we had already decided to move to the community where the job was. We bought our dream home before our house was even ready to sell. With an unconditional offer on the table we worked like crazy to get our place ready to list. Two weeks after we had our house listed (and there was an offer put on it) we discovered we had a leak in the lower level. We fixed the problem and the offer went through. Two weeks later we moved! During this whole time we were also looking into getting a new family doctor as ours (who we loved greatly) had suddenly died. I struggle with anxiety over anything health related and so in many ways I think this change was actually the more stressful one for me. Yet, as I look back over this past year I see how God's hand worked through all these changes and how He guided us through every step. Along the way, and with every new challenge, I felt Him asking "Do you trust me with this?" He has shown Himself to be faithful every step of the way. Even so, the stresses of this past year have caught up with me and taken their toll both physically and emotionally. I'm not sure what to expect this new year but I do know that God is faithful and unchanging and will continue to lead me.

As I was talking to my mom about my worries she mentioned she was planning on starting a blessings jar. The idea behind it is that every day for a year you write down one way God has blessed you that day and put it in the jar. At the end of year you open the jar and go through your blessings, remembering God's goodness.

I loved the idea and got to work right away getting my jar ready. I die cut a circle from my favorite patterned paper ever: Basic Grey's Piccadilly 6x6 paper pad and stamped a great sentiment from the Simon Says Stamp Blessed Stamp Set on it before adhering it the the lid of my jar. I decided to write my blessings on the white side of some of the same Basic Grey 6x6 patterned paper (I'm starting with the reds) so that when they're folded up the pretty patterns will show on the outside.

 I'm looking forward to working on this little project and to focusing more on the goodness of God this year.

Supplies (I've included Simon Says Stamp's Holiday Hellos stamp set because it also has a great 'blessed' sentiment on it that I was considering using for my lid):

Thanks so much for stopping by this past year and for letting me ramble and reflect today. I truly appreciate each and every one of you.



Nancy K said...

Hi Sarah, I hope 2014 will be a wonderful year of counting blessings for you! I love your blessings jar; using the patterned paper is such a clever idea! I think I will do the same, thanks so much for the lovely inspiration.
hugs and blessings to you!

diana said...

What a lovely idea!
Best wishes for 2014! ;-)

judkajudi said...

Sarah, I needed this today! I am a chronic worrier and need to focus on my blessings instead of worries! So glad you shared this idea ... it is such a visual reminder to count our blessings. I am so happy everything worked out for your family ... Happy New Year!!

Lin said...

This is the 2nd little message I've had today that's told to me focus on my blessings, and I thank you for that, Sarah! I am not a worrier, but I can see that it isn't something you can turn on or off. Try to remember that all that worrying accomplishes is robbing yourself of the joys of today. Sending hugs! ♥♥

Froggietalks said...

Great idea Sarah! I think I need to get a jar and start on that.

Happy New Year!

Leni said...

Hi Sarah, great idea, the blessing jar! Would be a wonderful idea for me too. I am the one who always say the glass is half empty instead to say it is half full . I need to think more positive. So good to read that you see the hand of the Lord in your life, again and again! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this issue. Wish you so much blessings for this new year!

Unknown said...

That says it all...we are blessed because we know Him! And our greatest blessing is His sacrifice for us! Happy New Year!

Miriam Prantner said...

Quite a year for you guys! And what a great way to reflect on what truly counts throughout the year!

Cecilia Hsieh said...

What a great idea Sarah! It would be good to get them out at the end of the year and read them all!! Happy New Year!

jeannine said...

I hope you have a wonderful (less stressful) 2014! Great idea for a blessings jar!

Krista Ritskes said...

A wonderful idea, my friend. Hugs!

Cindy C. said...

Wonderful idea Sarah! Wishing you all the best in 2014! Happy New Year!!

Janis said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing your life and even your struggles with us. God is good...ALL the time. Love what you said abt "Can you trust Me in this?" I have a hard time trusting sometimes and lose sight of all the many, many ways the Lord Jesus shows Himself faithful each and every day. The blessing jar is a lovely idea!
<3 J

jwoolbright at gmail dot com

byAnnette said...

What a great idea!
Perfect stamps for this
and for everyday encouragement!

Exciting to see how much God loves us and cares for every aspect of our lives!
Thanks for sharing!

T said...

oh I love the idea of a blessing jar. I'm not just saying that... I really, really like it. I think I need one. Thanks for the reminder to count your blessings.

byAnnette said...

I'm thinking of making these to give as gifts.
There are lids you can get now with slots so
you can drop the note right in!
I thought a tag hanging on the side would be good
if I use the slotted lid.