2017 has been a full year! Much work, many adventures, abundant learning, and ample moments filled with joy to name a few. J I always enjoy looking back over the year and seeing what moments the Lord highlights!
To help me remember those moments, I have a vase sitting in my living room that holds rocks. Each rock is dated on one side and has a word or phrase on the other side. These are my Stones of Remembrance. I got the idea for my rock vase from Scripture, specifically the 4th chapter of Joshua. The Lord instructs the Israelites to gather stones from the Jordan River as they walk through it.
The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4: 19-24
I love this passage! It challenges me to remember what God has done in my life. This is not the only passage that talks about Stones of Remembrance. 1 Samuel 7:12 says, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”
The whole concept of Stones of Remembrance has been strongly laid on my heart this year. So as I thought about writing this blog, I got the idea of including a few of my Stones of Remembrance and sharing what the Lord has revealed and challenged me in this year.
Memorizing Scripture – I’ve never been good at memorizing Scripture word-for-word. I can paraphrase and find specific verses well enough, but struggle with the verbatim memorization. I’ve always known this was important (the Lord tells us to hide His word in our hearts), but I think I always kind of down-played the importance because it was so hard for me. In March of this year, I joined a discipleship group that prioritized Scripture memorization. I was very nervous at first, bet felt like I was not supposed to let that stop me. Thankfully, this group puts the verses to music and only has us memorize 1-2 verses at a time. I have loved this new gift! It’s such a sweet way to worship! I never thought of it as worship before, but there is something beautiful about speaking His words to Him, proclaiming who He is with His words, and allowing the Holy Spirit to use those words to encourage me!
Church – I grew up in the church, so going to church on Sunday is not anything new to me. This year, however, the Lord has been showing me that church is more than just a place to attend. He encourages us to fellowship together, but it is more than that. It is setting aside time to worship Him together. It is sacrificing my time to say how important He is to me! I’m learning to view church as a place where I can give back to the Lord rather than just receive. What joy He gives when I humbly come before Him and worship Him!
Choosing joy – At the beginning of this year, the Lord challenged my attitude. I was allowing my circumstances to grow bitterness in my heart and it was reflected in my attitude (even though most people weren’t aware of it, it was still affecting me). When I asked the Lord why He was letting my life be this way, He graciously told me that I was the one who was allowing bitterness to grow. I had the option of continuing to let bitterness grow or start choosing joy. I had not even been aware that I was making a choice to allow the bitterness to take root! Thus began the journey of finding His joy in the midst of hard situations. God is a God of joy and He desires to share His joy with us every day!
Praying that your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 2018 is filled with sweet moments and reminders of Him! Praying that your time with family and friends this Christmas will be filled with laughter and much joy! And praying that your Stones of Remembrance are echoes of His love for you!