I’m sure you’ve seen people posting their daily “thankful things” on social media. November is about thankfulness but more than that… it’s about being aware of right now and remembering.
Steven Curtis Chapman’s single “Remember to Remember” stopped me in my tracks the other day. I’d been trying to put my arms around the ideas I had to recount the faithfulness of God this month and his words took my blurry ideas and focused them.
“Well, I’ve been looking back over my shoulder
Retracing every step trying to unforget
And I see the mountaintops I’ve journeyed over
And I see the valleys deep where I crawled on my hands and knees
Pages and memories filled with joy and stained with tears
They call my name and if I listen I can hear them saying
Remember the way He led you up to the top of the highest mountain
Remember the way He carried you through the deepest dark
Remember His promises for every step on the road ahead
Look where you’ve been and where you’re going
And remember to remember”
So, today begins a month long series about remembering.
When I think about the past, it’s the big moments that pop in first. Depending on whether you’re more of a pessismist or an optimist, the good ones or the bad ones glow brighter.
I think of big moments like walking into my first classroom, his bended knee in the pines, wedding dresses and ultrasounds, job changes and new houses, phone calls about heart attacks, first moments in hospital rooms seeing new little faces and last moments in other hospital rooms saying goodbye to older faces… so many big moments.
Then the millions of little ones…
Watching little faces light up when they understand a math or Bible concept, sitting with them and praying on September 11, 2001, knowing that teaching them is one way I get to bring glory to Him, walking out of that classroom for the last time – not knowing I would never teach again.
Learning what it means to be a Mrs not a Miss, riding the rollercoaster of pregnancy hormones, early years of parenting together, changing diaper after diaper after diaper, her blue eyes and thick dark lashes!
Giggling as she giggles for the first time, reading her favorite book over and over, my first baby boy with his unashamed joyful smile, tickling little bellies, hearing her coo “My Baby Michael” to her little brother, sweeping up cheerios, snuggling and singing for naptime…
That first time we went out on a date as the parents of two and just looked at each other.
Smelling that new baby smell one last time, how his chocolate eyes follow my every move, hearing his deep mellow laugh while his comedic brother and sister do their thing, “Wuva you” with soft arms around my neck, his squishy little hand in mine as we walk into Meijer each week, first eye appointments and glasses for a set of blue eyes and brown eyes.
Looking across the table as dinner descends into chaos and knowing he’s in it with me – for life.
These moments, big and small, have me remembering.
I remember how those days of little people and their many, many needs seemed to last forever.
I remember His grace and deep provision even when I thought I was so alone.
I remember how He carried me when I thought I had it all together.
I remember finally understanding His deep love and grace for me – this real me – no strings attached. So many tears shed.
I remember the deep pain of loss and change and broken plans and how He is my good Abba.
I remember the joy and sweetness of using the gifts He’s given me to serve Him.
And, I remember a girl with a gap between her two front teeth and a pageboy haircut with 80’s glasses wondering if there is anything she would ever be good at. I wish I could tell her.
As we start this amazing month of Thanksgiving, I hope you can join me each week remembering – put yours in the comments below!