re:wind 2009: a year in a jar

Jan 2, 2010 by

dave and i have a tradition we started a couple of years ago called the “blessings jar” which was in direct response to our failing memories and both our brains’ inability to recall, well, many things. even important or influential or amazing or miraculous things. so i found this fabulous looking jar at a marshalls that sits upstairs on top of the linen dresser on the landing, next to a pad of scrap paper and a pencil. and every time we see God work in, around, or through our lives, we write it down.
I have to say, we felt very blessed as we sat snuggled up on the couch, sipping wine, listening to john mayer’s new album (yes, it’s important to know what we were listening to…gosh). there were so many slips of paper, so many ways God blessed us, healed us, provided for us, used others to bless us, and showed us some serious love this year.

not that we earned it, and we certainly don’t deserve it, but He just loves fully and blesses immensely, full of incomprehensible grace. and we are grateful. every every every day.

i wanted to share some of the ways we saw God work in the every day. here are some of the “blessings” we saw in 2009:

we have healthy (and happy, adorable, intelligent) children.
seems like a uninspiring one, maybe, but not for us. between piper’s hip dysplasia miraculously disappearing and elias GI issues being on the right track for a few months now, 2009 has taught us that it’s important to realize health is a gift, not to be taken for granted, and when you’re children aren’t healthy, life can be complicated and worrisome and far more difficult.

God’s has protected us.
elias and dave were rear ended by a truck with a plow on it back in the summer (yeah, he was selling he plow, not over-anxious for snow) and they weren’t hurt. at all. by a truck with a plow. who lost his brakes. going full speed. those are the times you suspect angels have to be floating around :)

family…is awesome.
there were so many slips in our jar with the details of monetary gifts given to us from our family for various holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the like. like so many people living in these times and in this expensive state, being newer home owners with two children, it can be tight. so when you get cards in the mail with checks that make your eyes jump out of their sockets, you feel especially grateful that those who have gone before you can help you on your way. it’s a special thing. and there are so many other ways our family gives, from babysitting, to wood for our stove, to advice, to love, and always there for us. it’s HUGE.

we got money back in taxes!
you’re probably all like, “umm, yeah, don’t we all” except we never have since dave’s been in ministry as a pastor. we pay quarterly taxes and it’s complicated and awful and we always leave the accountants wanting to drive into a tree. but THIS year?! we wanted to leave the country quick before the IRS decided they had made a big mistake and given us someone else’s money! it was an unexpected, inexplicable blessing.

i started a new job, dave took on three more new piano students
need i say more?! all goooooood.

God made our garden grow.
seriously- that’s a miracle. i kill plants, i don’t grow them. and it was such an organic and natural thing to have our hands in the earth, to see how God created, and how he gives life to everything. and even if my lettuce did end up growing almost as tall as my corn, and my carrots were mutants, i loved it. and i look forward to next year.

we went on vacation. to nantucket. for free.
yes, free. we just had to get ourselves there and feed ourselves, but through the amazing hospitality of the ozias family, we were able to get away to a beautiful place for 8 wonderful days. God really orchestrated that one, and it was a great vacation.
our backyard is flat!
listen- our backyard was a cliff and a wasted 3/4 acre of land. now, after hundreds and hundreds of yards of fill being dumped for free, and the construction company giving us a steal of a deal to grade it AND the option to pay it off monthly, we have a great big flat backyard. no grass yet, and more rocks than we could count, but it’s flat. maybe God wants to crash a sod truck in front of our house in 2010 ;)
our 5 year anniversary was…perfect.
and we celebrated in newport by renewing our vows in the very spot we said them the first time. and got away for 24 full hours. now THAT’S a miracle, people.
God has given dave a clear vision for new hope.
it’s exciting, and inspiring, and if you want to know more about it, then show up on sundays and hear what God’s been saying to him.
we paid off the debt from buying our house!
not to be confused with our mortgage. no no, we’ll be paying that for a while :) i meant the money we borrowed as a down payment, that was supposed to all go back to dave’s folks when we closed, butttt our closing had some surprises to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars. and it’s all paid back in just 3 years! can i get a hallelujah?!
there are SO many MORE.
how about this one: old portuguese mason walks into our backyard and is the perfect solution to the question “what do we do now that we used a bobcat to rip up our front yard and we have NO idea how to make a stone wall that won’t fall down?”
or this one: our washing machine just so happens to break when dave’s parents are visiting us, and they generously help us purchase a brand new one.
all i can say is 2009 has been an amazing, busy, wonderful, and blessed year.
ugh, 2010, you’re reminding me that i didn’t just graduate from high school, and that a whole lot has happened in a decade. time, how you flyyy.
happy new year everyone :)

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  1. suzannah

    i LOVE the idea of a blessing jar, and i'm totally stealing that.

    God is so good. thanks for all those reminders! happy new year:)

  2. WitchyEditor

    that is a great tradition! And if you follow the law of attraction, counting blessings creates more blessings =)