The Seventeen Second Miracle

While reading Jason Wright’s new book “The Seventeen Second Miracle” and after listening to President Monson’s talk on gratitude, I was inspired with an idea for my family.  If any of you haven’t read the book, then you really should.  I totally loved it.  I bought each member of my family a little notebook and made a sticker cover for it as shown below.  After reading the story in the book of Rex, Sparks, and Flick, and relating the story of his first encounter with the lady at Woolworth’s I talked to our family of the importance of taking just 17 seconds out of your day to do something for someone else.  I even had a stopwatch and had everyone be silent while 17 seconds ticked away.  To some it seemed a long time and to others it was very short.

I then challenged each one to write down an act of kindness that was given to them that day and put the date.  We each will keep track of our own little miracles that happen to us and after one month we will come back and talk about how it made us feel as we contemplated one act of kindness given to us that day.  I also challenged them to make sure they gave 17 seconds of their life to someone else each day for a month as well.  As stated in the book, the journal is only for recording the blessings given to you from someone else, not what you did for someone that day.  I then talked about President Monson’s talk and how he related that “gratitude not expressed is like wrapping a present and then not giving it”.

Challenging our family to be more grateful, I bore my testimony of how powerful 17 seconds can be.  It can even change someone’s life.

I loved conference and the powerful messages that were given from our Heavenly Father through His servants!  What inspiration flowed through chosen vessels those two days.

For those of you who are willing to take the challenge I issued to my family, let me know. I would love to see how many of you loved it as much as I did.  After 2 weeks I would like you to comment on how it went with yourself or your family.  All those who let me know will have their name entered into a drawing for a Valentine’s Love Notes Packet. I will draw out two names.  (There are 21 different Love Notes in the packet.  See a copy of it below these pictures.)

Valentine’s Love Notes Packet

Posted on January 6, 2011, in Everything Family, LDS Families, Step Ten and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I need some help. Last year I got a school chore chart off your website and I cannot find it anywhere. I was hoping you could email me back or at least point me in the right direction. My daughter wants to change her chart and can’t do it. I love your stuff. I am really a fan of all you have. THanks for giving us tons of freebies. I love them.

  2. Valerie,
    I love how you used the word “inspired”! Great example to your family and all of us! My 3 year old can’t quite grasp the whole concept, but he’ll learn from watching us I hope. Can you tell me where you found the book? Oh and I would so love to win the love notes drawing! See even when I try to be quick I’m wordy 🙂 Thanks Valerie, Jess

    • Jessica, She will learn from example, I can assure you. My 3 year old does and we help to write down in his book everyday what someone did for him. He loves writing it down and really understands. The spirit can help testify to the little ones hard to understand concepts in a way that we never could using just words.
      You can find the book at Deseret Book, Amazon, I am sure Barnes & Noble might have it, but I just checked mine out from the local library. I rarely buy books anymore when I can just go to the library.

  3. I LOVE this idea! Thank you for the idea. (I know what we’ll be doing for FHE on Monday night.)

    Our family theme for this year is “Back to the Basics”, and this will tie in very nicely.

    I will come back with a full report, if my pregnancy brain doesn’t “help” me forget. 🙂

  4. I am so glad you are back. I love this idea, and love his books. We have been doing christmas jars for three years now, so look forward to starting something new. Thanks for your time in helping all of us to improve.

  5. WOW! What a great idea. I’ve never seen anyone do anything like this. Good thinkin’!

    • WOW!! Thank you Brother Wright for you kind comment. (I was going to call you Mr. but it just seemed wrong.) I never expected one of my favorite authors to make a comment on something I did. I want you to know I was very careful to just show the idea and not give out pictures of copyright material, and it stayed within our own home. However, if you feel that I should take off the pictures as well, because it infringes on your copyright, I would gladly do so as I strive to be an honest person in my dealings with my fellowmen.

  6. Our family has been doing this for almost two weeks now, and it has definitely made all of us more aware of how other people help us, even if it’s by something as simple as a smile.

    I also find myself thinking, “How can I be someone’s miracle today?” My kids have talked about that, too. They are excited about offering service to others because they see how much they’ve been blessed.

    Fantastic book, fantastic lesson. Thanks so much for sharing!!! It sounds cheesy, but you’ve really changed our lives.

    • Kemi,
      Thank you for taking the challenge!! You are being an inspiration to your family and those around you just by taking something small and incorporating it into your family. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!!

  7. Our family accepted your challenge. My husband and I gave each of our children, even our little 4 and 2 year old, a spiral bound notebook to daily record 17-second miracles that happened to them. As a result, our family is learning to recognize and look for the small kind acts of service others do for us daily. And we in turn, are trying to reciprocate with kind 17-second miracles of our own.
    I just love Jason Wright – what an inspired man! I love how his books show simple ways we can serve others that are quick and easy, yet very heart-felt.
    Thanks for sharing your family’s challenge with mine.

    • Rachael,
      Don’t you just LOVE how something as simple as this can help your family to grow and increase in love and kindness towards each other?! I too LOVE Jason Wright’s book and am glad he chose to use the talent he was blessed with to help inspire others around him.

  8. Hey Valerie,
    Thanks for the challenge, we decided to keep all our miracles in one “family” book, where we recognize the miracles done for us individually as well as family. It was hard starting out, but now it’s going very well. It has helped us to consider even the smallest of gestures, where we usually overlook them. It has also motivated my family to seek out people in need. We listen for promptings excitedly! Thank you so very much for the challenge! Jess

    • Jessica,

      Congratulations!! I love how you incorporated the idea and made it fit for your family. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I love how the Holy Ghost can prompt us to do things we previously tuned out before.

  9. Hi there! I am impressed with the way you incorporated this book into lessons for your family!

    I am an English teacher, and I am currently developing lesson plans based on this book for my high school classes. I have not found anything on the internet, so I am starting from scratch.

    I have several activities planned. One of them is the keeping of journals as part of the book study. I can’t wait to see what they write!!

    • Nathalie,

      Thank you so much for letting me know this, as I LOVE LOVE LOVE sharing with other people ideas that were given to me from above. I hope all goes well with your students and I would love to hear back from you how it went with them.

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