Today’s action: think back over the last year and say thank you to God for the things that made you most happy.
If I remember correctly (and I’m sure the lovely Paula Gooder will correct me if I’m wrong) the New Testament uses the word ‘Makarioi’ to mean ‘Blessed’ or ‘Happy’ in Matthew chapter 5 (The Beatitudes): Happy are the meek… Blessed are the peacemakers… etc. So at its simplest today’s action is a way of counting (and cherishing) blessings.
There’s a ton of ways you can do this, here are some:
1. Put your happy things in a jar
You remember that pot from yesterday? The one you may or may not have decorated, in order to put money in it for charity? You may be needing another one, if you decide to go with the suggestion on the Love Life Live Advent Action Support page for today. The bonus with this idea is that it’s ongoing – you can use it to store up happy things as they happen, so you can enjoy them again and again, especially when you most need them.
2. Put a tangible reminder of your happy things in your ‘special place’ (See December 1st)
Often our blessings aren’t things, but people, or events (or even moments that might have looked ordinary to the outside world, but were actually minor miracles or shafts of grace breaking through dark clouds). If there are happy things that you want to keep for ever, how about writing them with sharpie pens on small stones? If they are people, why not make yourself some concertina-people out of folded paper, and write the name on each person? If they are events, print out a photograph taken at the time, or use something else tangible from the day (wedding invitation, christening order of service, ticket, baby sock etc)
3. Give thanks online
If you use facebook, set up a photo album of the happy memories you particularly want to treasure, and call it “2014 blessings” or something similar – post a comment on why you’re doing it, and invite others to do the same (this is along the same lines as the ‘three good things today’ idea that was circulating recently). As always, be safe when you’re online, and only share what you are happy for others to see. Don’t forget you can make particular albums private or visible only to close friends. God can see what you’re thankful for even if you choose to keep it private!)
Ask other members of your family what their happy things are for the last year – celebrate together those blessings that you have in common, and enjoy those that are different – you may find that others remind you of blessings you’d forgotten about.