Our Jar

We didn’t have plastic gloves small enough for her little fingers, but that didn’t stop us.  We marched towards the woods, our hands wrapped in grocery sacks, determined to gather up the trash that littered the earth and littered our view.  As we picked through the dirt and tied shut bag after bag, she looked up at me, her blonde hair whipping her face, and called out, “Mommy, this can go in our I swear I lived jar!”

I swear I lived.  Here, on this beautiful fall day, my daughter saw us together picking up someone else’s trash as worthy of remembering – worthy of going in our Jar.

Our Jar is nothing fancy.  A glass Mason, silver lid screwed on top, sitting quietly in the middle of our wooden coffee table.  Inside are folded and crumpled pieces of paper with words scribbled in black ink depicting occasions from this year, like:

We cuddled on the deck and looked at the stars.  We made sandwiches for the homeless.  Girl talks.  We stuck our toes in the sand.  We ran in the cold.

Simple moments that cause us to take a deep breath, widen our eyes, warm our hearts, and proclaim, “I swear I lived.” 

It’s in these times that the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The small moments weave together and are the most memorable of our lives. Whether we are the young naïve girl learning to be a woman or the wiser adult raising her, appreciating the simple stirs up gratefulness, touches on our humanity, and sparks a fire in our souls that is unquenchable.  Let’s never forget to notice these worthy moments.

When this year ends, we will unscrew the silver lid, dump out the contents from our Mason, unfold the crumpled pieces of paper, and relive the occasions scribbled in black ink. I hope I never forget the look on my little girl’s face and her wide bright eyes as she realized at that moment, picking up trash together, we were truly living.  “Mommy, this can go in our I swear I lived jar!

It is going in The Jar.  We Swear We Lived.


We encourage you to join us on this adventure of “The Jar.” Whether you have a literal jar containing scribbled memories from the year or you choose to look back and reflect, both set our hearts on gratefulness for the little things and exclaim, “I swear I lived!”

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