Redeeming Memories

Wednesday, July 06, 2011  ::  

A couple of weeks ago at the Second Mile gathering, Chad talked about the importance of remembering. He was teaching through the story of King David taking care of his dear friend's son, Mephibosheth. David had made a promise to Jonathan to remember his family. While David was enjoying peace in the kingdom, he probably had time to reflect and think about how God had brought him to such a pleasurable season of goodness.

Through much of Chad's talk, my head was racing with thoughts of the importance of remembering, setting up memorials of what God has done, and teaching my children to reflect on what God has purposed in our family. Mental association is powerful and as Chad was talking, some of the mental associations I was having with my past took me to deep places of thankfulness for what God has done in my life. Psalm 130 is one of my favorite passages because it talks about God's amazing forgiveness and that He brings full redemption our lives. Some of my memories are pretty terrible because of many choices I made, but because of the amazing work he has done in me, those memories no longer move me to grief, but to an overwhelming, tangible understanding of His love for me. Again, with Jesus is full redemption.

Some of our memories should move us to action. There are people with whom we should reminisce. Some people should be thanked, some to whom we should apologize. To be honest, some memories should just be mulled over with God alone, but again, not so you can punish yourself over and over, but so you can experience His unfailing love for you.

During Chad's talk, I had a wonderful brainstorm. As I was taking notes about what was being taught, I was also frantically writing short reminder phrases of good memories from my childhood.  I don't know about many of you, but Christmas and birthday gift ideas for my parents don't come easily. My heart is to give something meaningful or something they really want which most of the time is more than I can afford. I take great pleasure in making meaningful things for my mom whether it's stepping stones with grandkid handprints, worship cds, or even just a silly little framed scripture that seemed perfect for the occasion.  However, truth be told, I'm not crafty. At all. It's bad. Really bad.


I had an idea and decided to go for it.  She loved it. I'm sharing this with you all because maybe you can adapt it to share some great memories with someone in your life who could use a blessing.

First, choose or make a cute box. I thought about making one, but realized World Market would probably be a better choice for me.  Cute, yes?  $3.99...even better.

Next, type out as many memories as you can think of or whatever number you decide. I wanted at least 25. Because I'm so artsy (sarcastic, of course) I typed each one in a different font and changed the margins so they would look different. Being even more creative, I printed them on different colored card stock and cut them out with different shaped pinking sheers. They turned out pretty cute. 

Finally, lay them in the box so that they look like the treasures that they are. My intention is to continue to send memories in cards and gifts for years to come so that my mom can put them in her memory box.

Memories are powerful. We all have good and bad memories. What we do with those memories is up to us. Do we allow abuse, bad choices, terrible situations to move us to fear, bitterness, alone-ness? Do the hard times overtake our brains so that they choke out the good memories we have? Even in the most difficult circumstances, good memories are part of our lives, but just like so many areas of life, it may take work, mental exercise and discipline to draw them out over the pain. And, one of the beauties of the cross is that Christ's sacrifice allows us to come to Him with those stinky memories and ask Him to work His redemption in us so that those memories no longer move us to tears of anger, grief, or sorrow, but to tears of joy and peace because in those painful places, we can more fully realize the depth of his love for us.

7 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

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Karen said...

what a wonderful idea! I think I just may steal our parents get older, they don't want "stuff" any more. This is perfect.

One year -- many many years ago when we were younger -- I had no money at Father's Day. Instead, I wrote my Dad and told him how much he had meant to me, and I was specific with the incidents and the memories. I thanked him for being a great dad. He carries that very work piece of paper in his wallet to this day.

Karen said...


Anonymous said...

Love this idea! So creative- you should give yourself more credit! :)

I have been mulling over similar things since Chad's talk. I am not the best a recalling memories unless I have talked about them with people. My fear is that I am glossing over worship that God deserves because I am not clearly remembering certain things from my past. This is definitely something I plan on changing as I move forward for myself. But more importantly, for my kiddos, I want glorifying God through memory to be a part of who they are !!


Candice Brevard said...

What an awesome and creative gift! I love it

Regan said...

Sweet Friend...Thanks you for being open to share with us your heart...I am honored to be your friend....No wonder your mommy was so touched :)

Getting together with family and friends and reminiscing about our past experiences is definitely one of my favorite things to do. My sister, daddy and I do this quite often and when my college or high school friends get together and reminisce it inevitably ends with running to the restroom because we may pee our pants from laughing so hard. There is probably no better way see where God has brought me from, then to look at my past journey... the good, and the ....ugly! We often save these moments for special occasions or once a year gatherings, but several years ago I decided I was not going to wait for special days to remember and give thanks for the wonderful and the not so wonderful experiences of my life. I was going to reminisce and give thanks every I created a thankful jar. The notes are random... words, praises, specific memories etc...and it often leads me to call a friend or a family member and say remember when??? ....Often our tendency it to remember or focus on the challenging times of our life, and while this DEFINITELY has its benefits, I believe remembering, being thankful and living in the joy of God's blessing and "goodness" of our past is something we should all consistently and intentionally pursue...

I miss my jar, I need to get it out of storage and start putting my notes in again... my heart is overflowing....

Thanks again for sharing my friend....I LIKE you!!!! wink, wink!

Stephanie said...

I so love that you did this. I've done similar things for my family through the years.. One of my faves was when we Hung hearts from the ceiling with reasons why my girls love their daddy. They were all over the house.. He still has them. My oldest daughter has a family of her own now and it's so sweet seeing her do stuff like that with her girls.

I know if my girls would make me a memory box, it would be the best give ever!! Seriously!! Your mom is blessed.

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