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Learning to Remember

Learning to Remember
 

Not Wanting to Forget

With the birth of our son, we write down all of his “firsts” in a baby book. As many first time parents do, every step along the way must be documented! We have kept track of his first smile, his first laugh, the first time he rolled over, the first time he sat up, etc. In the future, we will probably even write down the first time he uses the bathroom on his own. Each one of these milestones in our son’s life are extremely important to my husband and myself. Even his grandparents are thrilled when he reaches one of these mile markers.

In a previous post, I shared that my Mom has created a sacred space in the woods on her property. This space is available for individuals to walk through a contemplative garden. At the beginning of the garden there is a small stack of stones where passers by can pick up a stone and take it with them. At the end of the path there is a place to leave the stone as a symbol of what God has done in their hearts during the short journey in the garden.

Finding Ways to Remember

I recently imagined a small stone pile around my home wherever I had a special memory with my son. As I have been thinking about writing down all of my son’s remarkable feats (remarkable to me at least) in life so far, I am reminded of how the Israelites would use “carins,” to mark moments in history when God did something extraordinary in their journey with Him. These carins are often translated “standing stones”in our modern translations. Even today, Israel has piles of stones around the land as symbolic reminder of truths in Scripture.

cairn2

When the Israelites had finally crossed the Jordan river and walked across dry land, God instructed Joshua to build a “carin” at Gilgal from twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan. This “carin” represented the Lord’s covenant faithfulness and deliverance of Israel (Joshua 3-4). This “carin” was a literal stone marker to help the people not forget what God had done.

Essentially, I am following the same principle with my son. I am writing down the dates and times so that I don’t forget what my son has done in his journey. However, how much more does our Father, God, got excited when we reach a new marker in our own spiritual formation; when we learn something, when we spend time with Him, overcome a sin, encourage someone else in their walk and/or pursue Him whole heartedly?

cairn1“Carins” in the Old Testament were literal reminders to the people. In my own family’s life I desire to remember what God has done and what he is doing in our spiritual journey. I am not sure my home would be safe with small rocks all around it so I have been contemplating other ways to have symbols and representations of journey markers. For now, we have decided to keep a book on our dining room table to write down these important moments in our family’s spiritual life formation. My hope and prayer is that our son will be able to look back and not only know when he started teething, but what God has done in our family’s journey.

I would love to hear from you. What do you do to symbolically remember moments in your journey? If you don’t do anything, what could you potentially do in your home to keep remembrance of what God has done and is doing in your life?

Meredith Dahl
Executive Directory at Cross Connection Ministries
Meredith is the Executive Director of Cross Connection Ministries in New Holland, PA. She has received a Bachelor of Science in Student Ministry and a Master of Arts in Ministry (Concentration in Student Ministry) from Lancaster Bible College. Meredith and her husband live in New Holland with their baby boy Liam and love living, working and volunteering in their community.
  1. Lynda W.06-26-13

    Taking time to remember and marvel little and big things in our lives ,ultimately leads to gratitude for all God has done for us. Thanks for the challenge and reminder! When it gets a bit too crazy at my house, I will try to choose gratitude instead of caving to complaining 🙂 Blessings to you and your family~