Monday, May 21, 2012

Remember to Not Forget

I have a friend that chides me for telling my kids, "Don't forget...such-and-so."  She says I should use the positive statement - "Remember...such-and-so."  That speaking in the positive will encourage them and make them more likely to actually remember.  I see her point, and I do try to do that often, but as I read Deuteronomy, I see God using both with great frequency.  

"Remember" and "Do not forget".  

God says this over, and over, and over again throughout the book.  Remember - do not forget. 

Why do you think that is?

I think it's because we are prone to forgetting - prone to not remember.  And because God values remembering.  Not forgetting what He's done for us - what He's brought us through - where He's taking us - the blessings He's given - the disasters He has either saved us from, or helped us through.  He wants us to remember.

The engagement and wedding of our daughter to the only man she's ever loved has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me.  I think because, in part, it has caused me to remember.  To not forget...

When they are babies and we aren't sleeping, we are prone to forget that we are called to this ministry of parenting.

When they are in their terrible twos and only-precious-when-they-sleep threes, we do not remember that what we pour into them matters.

When they are 8 and 9 and the weirdest little creatures to grace the planet, we forget that they have a calling and we are helping to shape that calling.

When they are 11 and 12 and independence is beginning to assert itself, we do not remember that God loves us (while still disciplining) through our own tantrums and we need to model that for them.

When they are 15 and 16, we forget everything -- just everything.

But every once in a while, God blesses us with milestones.  Birthdays, father-daughter dances, graduations, recitals, simple graces (like watching a 3-year-old sleep), great successes, (or sometimes, colossal failures), celebrations.  He slows us down and reminds us of what matters.  This engagement and wedding has been that for me.  

Going through the process of engagement and wedding planning with Erin and Jeff has had a profound impact on me, bringing so many things into perspective.  Watching the two of them beginning to make grown up decisions:  planning their future, marriage counseling, financial planning, work choices, finding a home, and the list goes on and on.  I've been so proud of them.  

Obviously we've know Erin her whole life, and we've known Jeff since he was 13 years old.  We've watched them together from goofy teenagers, to young adults, to now, married.  The journey has been at times trying and frustrating, we've all had joy and tears along the way  There were times that we forgot - we did not remember God's purposes in this journey.  Other times, He would remind us, and we would continue on.  It's been a good journey.

The thing I've thought on over and over, as we've been planning, is how many people are truly a part of who they are today - so many people that God placed in our lives to shape us - to shape them.  

There were a lot of people at the wedding celebration.  I was just in awe as I walked through the groups of people - stopping to hug, love, and visit with people that came to celebrate with us.  People that influenced their childhood - babysitting, loving, playing.  People that influenced their adolescence - teaching, praying, friendships.  People that influenced their teen years - mentors, friends, teachers.  People that influenced them indirectly by investing in the lives of Brian and I, of Jim and Mindy, to help us in being better parents, better teachers, better people.  So many memories, so much impact, so much love.  We are not in this game alone. 

It was truly humbling to me.  As I looked into so many faces and thought about the impact they had in the lives of our children - their part in the journey to where they stand today - I was humbled at how big our God is and how many He uses to work out His plan.  

The friends that stepped up to help us make this a fairy tale wedding for our princess and her prince have been amazing.  They planned, created, held accountable, glued, cut, hung, stitched, loaned, gave,  prayed, laughed, cried, cooked, served, sang, spoke, took pictures, fixed hair, ironed table cloths, carried chairs and tables, they stood up with Erin and kept her laughing through the stressful moments, stood up with Jeff (and did whatever boys do - I'm not exactly sure what that is...), got up early, stayed up late.  They gave their talents, their skills, their time, their love.  We weren't changing the world - we weren't changing history, exactly.  But we were stopping to celebrate - to remember.

 It appears to me that celebrations were important in scripture - God called His people to times of great celebration - and these people, these friends, wanted to help create a day to celebrate what God had done and it was beautiful.  They went far and above the call of duty - the call of friendship.  They were - they are - family.  

And I am grateful.  I am blessed.  


  1. Oh wow Sherrie. You made me cry!!

  2. Loved this made me feel like i was there when i wasnt...i pray for you and Brian during the times that coming up with dylan's wedding plans that the good lord will comfort and encourage you each day until this new celebration takes place. Much love