Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Focusing on Blessings and Growing in Virtue

 I have never been a big fan of New Years resolutions. (I do realize it’s February but stay with me!)  I can never seem to keep those resolutions. It can be so defeating to begin something big at the start of a fresh year and then “fail” at whatever change I have made. A year is a L O N G time!  Plus there are SO many things I want to work on, how do I decide which ONE thing to work on all year through? Why do we feel such a need to start fresh on the first day of a new year, or even the start of a new month or week?  I am so grateful God’s Mercies are new EACH MORNING! We are offered a fresh start each and every day! That just gives me such comfort. 

 Something we like to do all year as a family is to keep a Blessings Jar. Basically this is a simple jar that each family member places slips of papers into now and then describing how they feel blessed. On New Year’s Eve we read all the blessings. It’s really neat to remember things from earlier in the year that we have since forgotten. We skipped this past year and decided to do it again this year because we missed reading those blessings on New Year’s Eve. I also wanted to do something more, but not those New Year’s resolutions! I have been seeing some different things about a virtues jar. I was intrigued. That’s it! We can work on all kinds of virtues! Shortly after this thought a friend shared her virtue jar and gave me a virtue to work on this year. Between her suggestions and a little research on virtues we were up and running by the beginning of February. I know, a month late, but hey, the year does have 11 more months! 

 The way we are using our virtue jar is by choosing a new one each month to six weeks. There are so many virtues and I feel like that may be a good amount of time to study our virtue and work on it. I have printed out a number of virtues on slips of paper and placed them into our jar.

 I used different colors based on the main virtue. I have many virtues that branch off of each of the four cardinal Virtues; Prudence, Fortitude, Justice and Temperance, and the three theological virtues; Faith, Hope and Charity.

 As each person takes one out, their virtue goes up onto a chalkboard hanging in the kitchen (if they want) so we can all help each other out along the way. They have the option of keeping that private. We discuss how everyone is doing with their virtue about once a week during dinner. About a month in I am amazed at how much you can learn about virtues. And now I want to just keep learning. This site has been extremely helpful.

  I have also had a strong desire for the whole family to focus on one word each month throughout the year. Many people are doing the “One Word Challenge” where they choose a word to focus on all year. My sister especially encouraged me to try this when I read her blog post about it. But my attention span must just be too short! The idea of one word the entire year is too long for me as well, but I do love the concept. 

 To do this I am going to have the word front and center where we can see it each day to be reminded of it. I also will have quotes or Scripture verses based on that word in a little frame next to our word. I began with Love since it was February. Love on a deeper level. I wanted us all to work on serious Christ-like love. I printed two Mother Teresa quotes and used them in the frames on either side of some blocks that I created with the word "Love" on.  

 The blocks were easy to make. I simply cut some squares of paper with my 1&1/2 inch paper punch and used Mod Podge to glue them to 1&1/2 inch blocks. I just glued the papers to each side and the tops. Then once they were dry I used pretty letter stickers to create the word Love. Easy peasy!

 So, our plan to grow this year is to focus on our blessings, work on our virtues and to live out a new word each month. Hopefully, with His Grace, we'll keep the momentum going.
 If you find yourself discouraged about some resolutions you may have made and have not kept, rejoice in the fact that God’s mercies are new each morning, and begin again!

Blessings to you,


  1. What great ideas for a family. Thank you for sharing these! A blessed Lent.

  2. You're welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read my post!
    Blessings to you~