The gratitude jar can turn life into miracles.
‘The Gratitude Jar’ is a book written by author Josie Robinson. It was published in small quantities over six years ago and has since become a national phenomenon. I became curious about the gratitude jar when I saw a post from a friend in early January. There was a picture of my friend’s blue and white ceramic jar sitting on the floor surrounded by little pieces of folded paper. Since the jar is a gratitude jar, I assumed little messages were written on each tiny piece of paper that had something to do with being grateful.
After seeing this post, I decided to find out more about the concept. That’s when I stumbled upon the book written by Robinson. For this particular journey, I decided to order the audible copy so I could easily take notes as I listened. I had a feeling it would be a subject that would require note taking. After all, the project would be ongoing and require forethought and mindfulness.
The author opened with some background information. Robinson was a young mother, wife, and part-time counselor. She didn't log many hours as a counselor, so the majority of her time was spent as a stay-at-home mom. Most of her friends worked and had careers outside the home and imagined Robinson's life to be a fairy tale. One in which she got to stay home all day everyday with her children.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a blessing to Robinson. She said that everyday she woke up with a ‘knot of dread about the day ahead.' In fact, she hated her life and said, ‘she hated that she hated it.’
To deal with the depression she started drinking heavily. The drinking actually started after her four year old son, Lucas was born. She called her mental state after giving birth to Lucas as ‘the postpartum blackhole.’
Robinson said she suffered from anxiety as well. Hence, the drinking. She couldn’t wait until after 5 pm when her husband got home from work to hand over childcare responsibilities and start the party. 'The party' that would last through two bottles of wine or a tumbler of whiskey until the next morning when it was time to start again. The knot in her stomach and the dread of endless laundry continued day-in and day-out.
Then, she hit rock bottom. After attending a party with friends, she got incredibly drunk, embarrassed herself and her family, cursed, stumbled over furniture, and really blew her cover as this together mom that everyone thought had it so easy at home with the kids.
The next day, she fell to her knees and prayed. She hadn’t prayed to God in a decade. Her idea of prayer was to talk to God like she was talking to her best friend, very conversational.
Three days later, her sister Emma told her about a psychic or ‘spiritual healer’ named Maleah. Robinson received a free session as a gift from her sister Emma for Christmas. Robinson was skeptical. After speaking with Maleah on the phone for only a few minutes, Robinson said she knew too much to not be the 'real deal.'
Maleah said Robinson needs to work on receiving help. She needs to ‘ask and then receive.’ Robinson admitted she wasn’t good at this concept. She considered herself ‘scrappy’. Maleah told her that she’s not scrappy. She needs to learn how to lean on people, people like her husband. She needed to receive help joyfully.
“How you do anything is how you do everything,” said Maleah. For instance, the laundry was something Robinson dreaded. She said it was the ‘bane of her existence.” The advice given by Maleah was to Do it Differently. Crank up the music. Listen to 80’s tunes. Make it fun. Robinson thought, 'I could try that.'
The answered prayer from God was bringing Maleah into Robinson's life. It had been a decade since she’d prayed but our God is a forgiving God. He will take you back anytime as long as you come to Him with a willing heart. Robinson knew of God’s power. And in three days’ time, he answered her prayers.
Bold, persistent prayer that is prayed according to the will of God will get God’s answer. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Pray without ceasing.”
You will find yourself praying without ceasing when your desire is to:
To glorify God
To seek God’s wisdom
To be set free from the guilt of sin
To sync deeply in fellowship with God
Believing that God will meet all your needs
To be delivered from temptation, worry, and anxiety
To grow in Christ-likeness and become a fruitful believer
In the coming chapters, we’ll learn more about the gratitude jar.