Sunday, April 29, 2018

My Jar Runneth Over

         The past few years I have been hearing of some neat ways to record God’s blessings in a way that can be an encouragement to your whole family, and I love that! One example takes the idea of a stone of remembrance after the Ebenezer stone. Family members find a rock and paint, draw, or write something on it to remind them of a great blessing or answered prayer. Then, they put it in a decorative bowl or jar for all in the family to be able to remember what God has done.
         The most recent one I heard about is decorating a jar and putting notes in that record the blessings/answered prayers. I love the thought of reading through them when you are discouraged, and even more, I am thinking about starting a family tradition of reading through them on New Year’s Eve or Day to remember all that God has done the previous year as you look to the New Year. 
         As I said, I have been contemplating this for awhile because I know how good and encouraging it is to remember what God has done. And my current circumstances prompted me to be thinking about God’s sweet blessings!
         As Ben and I prepared for Sean’s adoption, Ben ran across a journal entry that he wrote shortly after we picked Sean up from the hospital over two years ago. He recorded that as he practiced the sermon for me, he asked a question about something that I was wanting, and I said, “A baby!” A couple days later, we brought Sean home. I didn’t remember that, but because Ben had journaled it, we had that awesome remembrance of a big answered prayer. 
         Now, as we finalized the adoption, we talked about what our hopes were for a sibling for Sean. We both expressed that while we would be fine with whoever the Lord brought to us, but we both hoped to have a little girl. Fifteen days after the adoption, we got a call for a baby girl! Of course, we don’t know if she is to stay in our home permanently, but it still felt like God was affirming that He was listening and caring about the desires of our hearts.
         We can absolutely see God’s preparation in all these things. I had worried about how Sean would respond to a new sibling, and God had provided a little baby boy that we had been babysitting. It felt like a great preparation for Sean to get used to having a baby around, and it was helpful for us to remember how to take care of a young baby again! Plus, I had already pulled out most of the baby things and done baby laundry. So even though we had only 3-4 hours between the time we found out about Marie and picking her up, we were already somewhat prepared, other than a quick run to Walmart. 
         Later on that same crazy day, we found out my dad was at the ER, initially thinking it was just a bad virus, but they discovered he had pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. Those can be so dangerous, even fatal, if not found quickly. We are so grateful the Lord sent him great advice to take the semi-minor symptoms seriously, and he was out of the hospital in a few days!
         Because of these events, I am keenly aware of God’s goodness and protection, and I don’t want to forget that. I especially will want to remember these things on days when life is throwing harder things my way again to encourage me. 
         So what about you? How do you record and remember what God has done for you, His blessings and answered prayers? Is this a practice you need to start to keep an attitude of thankfulness? God is so good to us in the difficult times and the blessed times, but in our humanity, we often like the Israelites can lose sight of all that God has done. We need reminders of God’s good works in our good and bad times to keep us strong in our faith. Our jars runneth over, but sometimes we need that physical reminder! May you all have a blessed week as you gratefully remember what He has done for you!

I Thess 516 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Psa 78:35 They remembered that God was their protector, and that God Most High was their deliverer.

Psa 77:11 I will remember the works of the Lord.Yes, I will remember the amazing things you did long ago!

Joshua 4:6 The stones will be a reminder to you. When your children ask someday, ‘Why are these stones important to you?’ 7 tell them how the water of the Jordan stopped flowing before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the water of the Jordan stopped flowing. These stones will be a lasting memorial for the Israelites.”

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