Instead of sharing how to do a Gratitude Journal today, I am sharing with you “Purple Gratitude Boxes”. About 20 years ago I spoke to a Women’s Group on encouragement. A book, Silver Boxes, written by Florence Littauer, my inspiration. Excellent book; I still own my original copy. Her concept, to become an encourager, make others feel special, transmit trust, mend broken dreams and challenge others to be the best they can be through words of encouragement.“Our words should be like little silver boxes with bows on top”. That book spoke volumes to this gal’s heart, during a time I craved to hear words of encouragement.
Her book influenced my life so much so, I created “Purple Boxes Ministry” in my local church. The world beats us down and many people are lax in offering words of encouragement. I devised a way to encourage others and make it easier for others to do the same. At every woman’s event the gals would see a large box decorated in Purple. The goal … to place in the box an encouragement for another woman, such as, “Madeline, your smile always brightens my day”, or Irene, “I love the way you keep-on-keeping-on in spite of physical challenges”. They were welcome to place words of encouragement for any gal within the church body regardless of their attendance at the current event. Then throughout the following months, as the Director, I would select one paper from the “Purple Box” and send it to the intended recipient. Trusting always that God would choose the correct timing. I cannot tell you how many times the gals would say, “Wow, I really needed to hear those words the day I received my purple envelope. Yes, I sent their treasure in a pretty envelope of purple. The simple process of offering words of encouragement to others was life changing, not only for the recipient but for the giver as well. One lady shared, she could hardly wait for the next Women’s Event so she could stuff the box 🙂 Many of the gals did not sign their slips; they felt these were words God wanted the recipient to hear through them, not from them 🙂 🙂
Several years later, I came up with “Purple Blessing Boxes” the concept really caught on with variations of all kinds. Purple because it’s my favorite color and representative of royalty in biblical times. I desired to honor God by remembering and giving thanks for his blessings in my life; in essence giving him a “Silver Box of encouragement” each day. This year I’m morphing the “Purple Blessing Box” into a “Gratitude Box”. Here is the concept:
- Choose a box and decorate it, or chose one that is already decorated which will keep you motivated. (My box for the year is this cute little kitty box, purchased at a dollar store for $1.00) Be sure your box is easy to open or cut a hole in the top to easily insert your slips of paper or pictures. A large bowl, glass jar, pottery, or vase works well too. Be creative. The important thing is to choose something which will motivate and encourage you and your family.
- Find some cute paper and pre-cut into shapes which will easily fit. For family participation you might choose to have a different color or design of paper for each family member to use. (I used scrap-booking paper (12×12 sheet) and kept cutting in half until I had 3×3 squares. If you would like step-by-step instructions using 12×12 paper, please contact me).
- Each evening before going to bed write on your chosen piece of paper a blessing or word of encouragement you received that day. You might choose to take a quick pic, print and place the picture in your Blessing Box (if it were an actual gift; such as a ring, a book, $ to pay bills, etc.).
- At the end of the year, on December 31st it’s time to celebrate! Remove each slip of paper one-by-one and rejoice over each blessing, giving thanks once again for each one. It is a terrific way to end the year and begin anew the next; remembering blessings!
Sometimes blessings that day are evident and other times you may have to think a bit. Some days it might be a word or phrase of encouragement said by a friend, or a bible verse which spoke to you. Other times the only thing you may be able to be thankful for is you made it through the day …. nothing bad happened. I love sunrises and sunsets. This year I plan on snapping a pic or two and placing them in my box. Your blessings may be indirect; your children or grandchildren may do something special, win an award, win a sports event, etc. While those blessings are “not directly yours” they certainly touch your life and give a blessed feeling. I think you get the idea.
Doing a “Gratitude-Blessing Box” each year is a marvelous way to get children involved. It is a wonderful tool for teaching small children to encourage others and to look for God’s working in their lives. This picture is my first Purple Box designed for me by a young gal, Molly, after hearing me speak. It is a blessing all by itself and I have treasured it all these years (approximately 20) Maybe someone will share my blog and she will recognize her box and contact me…. That would be one awesome blessing, don’t ya think?
If you have any questions please, contact me. I will do my best to answer. Have other suggestions or ideas on this subject, I would love to hear them.
Here’s too a year filled with encouragement.
Until next time,