Friday, February 26, 2016

Record Keeping (Lest We Forget)

My friend Evie lives with a remote people group in Papua New Guinea, and she shares stories that are sometimes impossible to grasp, as my reality is so different here in first-world America. She talks about how the people have no grasp of dates and years, so they don't know their birthdays or how old they are. She tells stories about how men that are probably around fifty years old claim to be twenty. They just have no clue.

And then there's me.
I can tell you the date I was born, as well as the exact minute. I can tell you the dates and times that my children were born. I can tell you the month they started crawling and the month they started walking and the month they got their first tooth and some of the funny things they have said. Now, truth. Most of this I remember on my own, but some of it I have to look up because I have three kids now and my brain is half of what it used to be and I forget things. But overall, I can tell you many, many exact dates and their importance.

Record-keeping sometimes feels like a lot of work, now that I have three kids. I wonder sometimes if it's really worth it. I mean, sure... when my kids are older, they may enjoy looking back and seeing funny things they said or looking through the eight million pictures I took each year. But should we just be enjoying life in the moment more and worry less about remembering it all later? Of course, I wouldn't stop taking pictures altogether. But I try to take time to reflect on everything I do and to determine what is profitable and what is taking away from the better things.

There have been forms of record-keeping that the Lord has asked me to give up in the past, such as Instagram. And there have been areas of record-keeping where I have felt the Lord asking me to be more consistent, such as what I am leaning in my Bible-reading.

But there's something the Lord has put in each person that tries to remember. Every culture around the world has stories they pass from generation to generation, because we want to remember. But the Lord Himself begs us to remember as well. The second most repeated phrase in the Bible is remember (the first being fear not). This tells me that there is value in remembering. And we are people who forget. We are finite and we can't remember everything. And it seems that we too quickly forget that which is most important.

I was working on Sophie's photo book for her third year of life (because in a month, it will be time to start working on her photo book for her fourth year of life... eeks!). People ask me often how homeschooling is going. Sometimes I get sheepish when asked this question because I'm like, "Uh, homeschooling? Are we doing that?" But when I read her development update from her fourth birthday, I saw that she only knew six letter sounds. She knows all of them now, with only two of them tripping her up sometimes. I wrote that she recognizes "a few more letters" (that's bad record-keeping, fyi... what does a few even mean?)... she now recognizes all letters. She could only write three letters a year ago, and now she can write nearly all of them without help. And I realized that even though it often feels like we don't do a lot, we have been learning. Sophie has been growing and increasing in knowledge. The records that I kept brought me comfort. They reassured me. They reminded me.

It's the same with our spiritual growth, huh? Sometimes I don't feel my growth. I can't remember the main topic of books of the Bible and I feel the same sin knocking at the door that I've been working on killing for a year, and I wonder if I'll ever be more like Christ. But I look back at a journal entry from a year ago, and I breathe a sigh of relief that I'm not the same person who wrote that entry. And I remember. I remember what the Lord has done. I'm reassured that He's still working on me.

And even more so, that's why it's important we stay in the Word of God. That was the God of the Universe's way of keeping records of Who He is and the great things He has done. We must remember! The Bible reminds us that He is in control, that He is great, that He is loving, that He is patient, that He is merciful, that He is kind, that He is a redeemer, that He is constant, that He is faithful, that He is creator, that He is persistent, that He is forever. And many more things. I need reminded all the time of Who the Lord is that I worship. So I am thankful for the Bible... God's kind way of giving us a record of Who He is and of the most beautiful and important part of history. Because I am so prone to forget.

Psalm 105:5 Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given.


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  2. There are a lot of good reminders here, thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! So glad it spoke to you <3 I just checked out your blog, and you're adorable with your baby bump!! You're getting so close!