Last year around this time, I started a blessings jar. Every time something positive, no matter how small, happened, I wrote it down, folded the paper and put it in a bean pot.
As I am writing this, it is the morning of New Year’s Eve and it seems like an appropriate time to unfold the blessings.
The first one reminded me that I succeeded in getting my property taxes reduced last summer. That was a huge deal for me. At that time, the board of review had already denied my appeal, and the assessor, who gets paid to help ensure a positive cash flow for the city, had refused to budge. As it turned out, we met in the middle before my case went to the tribunal.
I typically avoid conflict, especially in situations where I am at a clear disadvantage. I had no idea what I was doing, but I prepared for battle. It was good to learn that I don’t always have to just walk away from a fight. And, as a result, I got a nice little refund check just before Christmas, which I spent on myself and I’m not going to apologize for it.
Most of the other blessings had to do with family. One note reminded me that my oldest son came over and cooked dinner for me. He has done that many times since. Another reminded me that my youngest son brought me Excedrin when I had a migraine; another time he spent an entire Saturday chauffeuring me around. He and several of my friends also rallied to help when the basement started to flood. And, my brother installed gutters on my house.
I am very, very blessed to have all of these people, and other friends and family who have helped me get through this year and changed my life. I fear that, had I not jotted down those blessings, I might only have remembered the times when family members were jerks or friends hurt my feelings. It seems like an appropriate time to let all of that negative stuff go; clean the slate.
Most of my notes were very clear: I got a raise, I had some luck (I hit four numbers on Keno), I got a oncein a-lifetime deal at an antique store. Apparently, I stuck to my budget two weeks in a row.
A couple were more enigmatic. I prayed for clarity and God delivered. I remember doing that, but I don’t remember what it was about. The final paper I unfolded simply said, “Someone loves me.” I have no idea why I wrote that or to whom I was referring. Was it family? A friend? God? Me? Was it just a random thought that I felt compelled to write down in case I needed to remind myself that I am loved? I have no clue.
In any case, I’m going to tuck last year’s blessings into an envelope and put them with my important documents. I’m going to save one out, though – “Someone loves me” – to start a new blessings jar for 2018.