On the first day of January 2016, I had an idea. Well, actually, Pinterest had an idea. (Pinterest is right up there with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and dry shampoo among God’s best ideas EVER.) Anyway. Among latte art and fairy lights in my feed was a jar, filled to the brim with little scraps of paper. It had a cute little label that read: Memory Jar.
And I thought it was a simple, yet amazing, idea! At the time, my mom had taken a happiness dare and was writing a book about it. She had encouraged us kids to cultivate happiness in our own lives, and a memory jar seemed like the perfect way to do just that! So I raided our cupboards in search of a mason jar, cut up a few scraps of paper, grabbed a pen, and sat down at my desk.
Over the months, my little memory jar has filled up more and more with memories from the year.
Saw a sea turtle while snorkeling in Maui. (January 2)
Performed as Mrs. Noah in the Junior High Musical “Go Noah!” (March 31)
Prayed with my jazz band before going on stage for finals at Iowa Jazz Championships. (April 5)
Went snake hunting and caught a snake. (May 29)
The memories are as big as seeing the Statue of Liberty, and as small as learning to play a new song on the piano. But I treasure them all.
At the end of the year, I plan to read the memories from my memory jar, and remember the stage lights warm on my face, the lake water up my nose, the little hand grasped in my own. I will remember the happiness I felt. I will relive the happy times and memories that I made, and see how God had blessed me through the year.
I am a part of my mom’s– Jennifer Dukes Lee’s– launch team for her book, The Happiness Dare. She loved my idea of writing down and remembering happiness and encouraged the launch team to do the same.
I want to encourage you to be on the lookout for happiness every day. I want to challenge you to write down and remember your happiness, whether you journal, make a memory jar, or do something else.
I dare you to cultivate happiness in your daily life.
I have very exciting news! I am going be adding a few more memories to my jar when I travel to Haiti! I am traveling to Haiti with my mom and sister and more awesome people from the organization Vi Bella Jewelry. It will be a great trip, and you can expect some pictures and blog posts after I get home and process my experience. We are leaving tomorrow, and I would really appreciate prayers for a safe and God-centered trip.