My tradition on New Year’s Eve is to grab a blanket and cup of hot tea and close out whatever devotional I’ve read for that year writing down all of the things God has done that I’ve actually been present enough with Him to notice. I usually focus on the big things. But there are quiet a few small things that were so beautiful that I have to write them down too…Basically I remember.
God told Joshua once the children of Israel finally made it to the Promise Land to put up 12 stones of remembrance. Why? Because he knew that mumbling bunch would need to remember the miracles that got them there. So anytime the older men passes the stones they would recount to the younger ones the way God had moved heaven and earth for them. Oh yes, God knows the power of remembering.
So often a year closes and our mind wants to highlight the hard. This practice has allowed me to change the discourse of my heart and highlight the holy.
There were the big things this year. The miracle this past month of re-orchestrating doctor schedules to get my dad into a heart cath quicker, only to discover his widow maker was 90% blocked and had the original appointment been kept he might not have been at the Christmas dinner table.
There was the miracle of salvation this year and baptism of three of our little ones whose mothers have come out of the strip clubs.
There was a seismic shift in relationship with a couple of our own children that brought much treasured time and experiences and conversation.
There were finally some answers in my ongoing health journey that has altered a great deal of my daily life. After many months of battling emotionally and mentally things I’ve never battled before I am finally seeing days without pain and not having to think through it to have a conversation or write something like this.
There was the holy journey of watching Philly wrestle with selling his business or not and then watching how God loved us so well and made it so clear as He spoke to us individually, in His intimate language of love that He has with us so uniquely. For me I saw a sign on an office door right after his first lengthy discussion regarding the sale that read: “Sorry for the inconvenience we are in the middle of a merger.” (Yes, God may actually speak through a literal sign!)
Oh yes, there were some BIG things worth remembering this year.
But there were also the others Those detailed love moments that took my breath away that just had me shaking my head, shedding a tear or two, but feeling indescribably loved.
Like the one day of 2019 that I needed a spray tan for a video shoot and I got to the spray tan place and it was FREE SPRAY TAN WEEK! What?! Like I didn’t pay a dime! And to top it off I had just written in my Bible that morning after reading “A good person basks in the delight of God”, “Father, show me your delight today.
Or at my birthday party when my friend Stacey came up awkwardly telling me she didn’t know why God was asking her to give me this gift as she pulls out a tent peg and reads Isaiah 54:2,3
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities”.
What she didn’t know is the morning of my birthday I asked God what he wanted to speak to me. These were the EXACT verses he had given me!
Or the “terrorist attack” that I call it from the enemy that occurred against us this year that God supernaturally intervened in only after he spoke peace to my heart through Isaiah 41:10
“fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
At that same party I had spoken a prayer in my heart, “Father, at some point tonight, let someone confirm the scripture you gave me.” My friend Tommy Quinn at the very end of his precious words, shared this exact scripture. Oh yes, it was a God loving me in my details kind of year.
What about you? How has God loved you, moved heaven and earth for you? Restructured schedules for you? Transformed you? The Big the small. We aren’t picky around here. We love to hear them all. Give your heart as you close out this year the gift of remembering. Write it down. Don’t allow 2020 to enter with the only thing on your mind being all the ways it doesn’t seem the year worked out for you. An old wise Indian Chief told his little boy, “What you feed wins.” Feed life. Feed remembering how God has worked. If you can’t remember ask Him to show you. Oh, how He loves questions like that. Then sit in the power and beauty of God’s love for you. Oh friend how He so extravagantly loves you. And then go find your tent peg. Stretch it out. Because 2020 is going to be one more kind of year…