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My Jar of Joy

Last December I decided to create a “Jar of Joy” for 2020 which seems a bit ironic now knowing what 2020 would hold and yet, I think the Lord knew I would need a gentle reminder that joy can be found everywhere regardless of how you feel. What’s a “Jar of Joy” you may ask? Well, it’s an idea I found online of keeping up with all the happy little moments that happen in your life throughout a year. I found a BIG jar because I was optimistic and I kept little index cards next to it with a pen so I could easily jot down a memory and throw it in the jar. Some weeks I added several cards to the jar but some weeks required me to really think about how the Lord had blessed me because it’s not always easy to see when you’re overwhelmed by other things.

Making myself find at least one joyful moment every week challenged and changed me in the last twelve months. My 2020 “Jar of Joy” has taught me so many things and it has been wonderful to review these moments, especially the ones I had forgotten. So, I’d like to share a few of my favorites and encourage you to try to fill a jar with joy in 2021 even if it’s just metaphorical.

February 22: Had a great day of baseball with the girls. SMTTT!!!

March 15: Had an awesome trip to Atlanta for Meg’s birthday even with the new virus in the area.

April 12: The tomb is empty!!!

May 23: Completed the Murph with Meg and Kristi!

May 27: Had a silly and fun photoshoot with Kristi and Meg.

June 17: Won Miss Elite Beauty USA which has marked one item off my bucket list and pushed me out of my comfort zone.

May 31: I got to walk back into Temple this afternoon and be trained for the reopening next Sunday. I’ve missed everyone!

August 22: Made it through the first week of “Covid” school and my in-person kids are absolute sweethearts!

September 11: My nephew Nate was born.

October 10: Had a great Sunday teaching and worshipping!

October 18: Yesterday I got to celebrate Rachel's birthday, see the Windsor Ruins, go to an abandoned town and potentially got a ghost on film!

December 4: My OGHS Warriors went undefeated and won the 6A State Championship in the last few seconds!

I think my favorite thing about looking back through my jar is how unexpected many of these moments were and not just because it was 2020. Yes, the February 22 memory is amusing because little did we know that that was our last baseball game to experience and our world would shut down in less than a month but September 11 was also unexpected when I began this journey. See, I didn’t find out that my sister-in-law was pregnant until into the new year so I could have never guessed that I would have a nephew this time last year. I also have many memories like the one from October 10. Two years ago, that wouldn’t have seemed worthy of writing down but getting the opportunity to teach Sunday School and worship in person has become a great joy that I realize I took for granted until this year. If nothing else, I hope that the little joys I’ve come to appreciate will continue to be moments that I truly savor and remain grateful for when 2020 is a distant memory.


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