Then one day last October, I came across this girl named Jami's blog. It is amazing. It is crazy how I could read a blog written by someone I've never met, who lives half-way across the country, and realize how much her heart speaks to mine. It's like she speaks the same language. But I've never met her in real life.
Anyway - one of her blog posts was about being a good steward of memories. Not losing them. Preserving them for my kids and their kids and their grandkids. Giving my kids something to look back on when they grow up to they see how much I loved them and their dad, what we did, what I thought about them and life and Jesus.
I thought of all of our family's pictures. Our memories sitting on my computer. Neglected. Funny things my kids had said that had gone unrecorded. Details of family memories that are probably lost forever. And I decided to do something about it. I opened up my Macbook. Logged into my Blogger account, and started again. It's never too late.
Little did I know the adventure the Lord had for me through our little blog. Soon after I started to blog again, I knew the Lord was moving me to share more. To go beyond the surface of the pictures. To dig into our lives. Reality. That some of life is fun and sweet and pretty. But some of life is hard and ugly and struggle. Yet Jesus takes it all and makes it good and beautiful. He redeems. He saves. And, I was bursting inside, so badly wanting to give God the glory for it all.
Pretty soon, I found myself sitting on my bed with my Macbook, this stuff just pouring out of me onto the computer screen. And Eric kept saying, "yes, keep writing this stuff, keep sharing about real life and about Jesus." And some friends and family kept saying "yes, keep writing this stuff, sharing about real life and about Jesus." Jesus kept saying "yes, keep writing this stuff, sharing about real life and about Me."
And, He rewarded. I know I've said it before, but I just can't get over the way that He has encouraged me to keep going. When I've faced criticism or discouragement, time and again - exactly when I need it- Jesus has sent other voices to say "keep going, keep writing this stuff, keep sharing Me."
|My sweet friend, Jen. She and her wonderful mom are two of my biggest cheerleaders.|
Sometimes I don't even know what I'm saying, or if my words are clear, or if any of it makes sense to anyone but me. But, Jesus has used my blog to start conversations with other women that wouldn't have happened otherwise. It has deepened my already-existing friendships immensely. And it has given me new friendships with women who I'm coming to dearly love.
Last night we sat on a back patio having dinner with new friends. A friendship the Lord brought together in real life via two girls writing two blogs. Sarah and I could have crossed paths in many other ways and other times. But the Lord chose to use now and our writing to cause our families's lives to collide.
And we get the joy of experiencing the Lord, as He pulls back the veil just a bit so that we can see the way He weaves our lives and days with the journeys of others around us. And in those moments there is just no denying that He places us where we are. That He is Sovereign over our moments, our comings and goings. That He alone orchestrates where we are and who are we with. That He hems us in behind and before.
In Joshua 4, the Israelites finally crossed into Israel, under Joshua's leadership. The Lord told Joshua to tell twelve men to each take a stone from the Jordan River. The men were to carry them across the Jordan River, into Israel. The stones were set up as a memorial for the Israelites and their children to remember forever what the Lord had done for them.
We (thus far in life) don't have a river that needs crossing and we haven't been wandering in the desert for 40 years. We have other wanderings, other struggles. But, God shows up in the midst of it all in so many ways. Sometimes it's in providing a new friendship when we weren't expecting it. Such a blessing. And as we interact with people who He has placed in our lives, they are almost like a memorial in themselves. They remind us of the way the Lord orchestrated a friendship. Far more fun than a dozen stones, I might add.
And, recording those moments where the veil is pulled back gives us memorials to look back on, later in life, in times of doubt. It gives us another way to remember. And then for our children to know and remember the ways God was at work in their lives, too. Ann Voskamp, in her book One Thousand Gifts, says, "[i]n memory, the shape of God's yesterday-heart emerges and assures of God's now-heart and reassures of his sure beat tomorrow."
Ann's words articulate my heart in blogging and recording our memories. That our family would look back and, in our own history, see God's faithfulness in the biggest details and the smallest. Then, when the next storm comes, we would be able to trust His goodness in the midst of it, even when we can't see clearly what He is doing, because He has always shown up in the past. And that we could live, walking into each of our tomorrows, without anxiety and worry because we know by experience just how Good He is.