One of my children's favorite part of the day is adding to their "I'll Never Forget" journal. After so many years of fighting with the kids to get them to write it hit me one night at the dinner table as I listened to each of them describing their favorite memories that the key to keeping them interested in writing was to have them write about what interested them (duh!). So the next day they each got new notebooks to decorate any way they chose and the command that at least three times per week they were required to write at least a page describing a memory or event that they hope to never forget. None of them ever forget to do that assignment either.
Those journals have become cherished parts of their lives now and many times after they've made a new entry they come bounding into whatever room I'm in to share with me the wonderful (sometimes only to them) memory they just wrote about. I'm so thankful that even in times that I thought our family was in a horrible way for one reason or another my children have found treasured memories and wish never to forget them. Those things that I feared had deeply scarred them or ruined their childhood are often things that were integral parts of one of their favorite memories.
Sometimes in the evenings as we all sit around the table reading or writing or working on whatever project we are desperate to finish we start sharing some of these memories and the conversations that develop in those times are precious to me. I often just sit back and listen as each recollection triggers so many others and it's music to my ears to hear the kids bounce back and forth in a volley that only our family can understand and share. Growing up I thought I would never have that special sense of belonging and "knowing" that comes from being a member of such a close family as what Troy and I have been blessed to have, but it is one of the things I am most thankful to God for allowing me to experience.
As I woke up this morning I lie there in my bed thanking the Lord for the day HE's given me and the time to share it with my family when the tears just started rolling down my face and I had to get down on the floor and just spend time there cuddling up in the arms of grace that have me folded in so securely. I came so close to not having that at all... within minutes of throwing it away so selfishly and foolishly. I'm so thankful that God in HIS perfect wisdom showed me mercy during that time when I truly didn't deserve it at all.
So today, before I forget, I want to remind myself to never forget just how far the LORD has brought this family. To never forget how close I came to losing it all, and that no matter how badly I may want to place the blame 100% on someone else that I have to bear my own part as well. I have prayed and prayed over the last several years that the kids will never forget where the LORD brought us from either, and how pitifully desperate we were, and to remember how blinded we all were to the real cause of our problems at that time. I want to remind myself to never stop being thankful for the grace that has been poured so freely into my life... grace that I never deserved or could earn but that was given to me by my Saviour.
I'll never forget.... who I was before HE found me, what I was and where I was going before HE saved me, and how HE set me free from all that I was a slave to, and where HE is taking me when my time here is over.