Stones of Remembrance
We are busy with preparations for Thanksgiving at the Farm and eagerly awaiting all of my siblings to arrive next week! We have a menu organized and outfits for family pictures planned! These times with family are extra precious for us, as we know that holidays with family will require computers and WIFI in the coming years. (Please don't remind my mom... it's not easy for any of us!)
I want to be able to look back on these times and remember the ways that God was faithful and the fun that we had. I want to keep track of where we've been, what God has done, and all that we have to be thankful for. I have heard from veteran missionaries that it is VITAL to always remember why we're doing what we're doing. And even more importantly, WHO we are doing it for.
Remembering takes intentionality.
Back in the old days, when we lived in a house with a foundation, I had a box of index cards. Each one had the date in the corner. For every day of each year, I wrote one thing that we did... perhaps something big like a vacation or something small like a dentist appointment. But, over time, it was precious to look back on all of the playdates and milestones in our family. Five years fit on those index cards!
Some of our memories are just plain funny... especially things the kids have done or said!
When we moved into the camper, I wanted to continue this tradition without the risk of all of the cards dumping out whenever we moved! I found a "One Line A Day" journal and we love it!
I started it just before we moved into the camper, so (if I'm able to keep up!) it will cover our years of training and travel in the camper, our year in France, and the beginning of our first term in Africa. I'm already looking forward to finishing it! So many blank days to fill!
We can already look back to see God working in our family! On September 8, Lucy was baptized! (And, in case you're wondering, Lucy's favorite restaurant is Olive Garden, affectionately known as the "Grape Shop" since she was tiny.)
It reminds me of the Israelites who built mounds of stones as altars to remember the ways that God was faithful (Joshua 4). The purpose of these stones was to spur conversations with their children to remind them of where they had been and what God had done.
Our stones of remembrance look like little journal entries about selling our house and finishing up weeks of training and travel! We also see God's hand in the people He has put into our path to encourage us and befriend our kids. So many of YOU are in our little book already!
We remember babies born into our arms and into the arms of Jesus. We see the names of people who pray for us faithfully. We can see the steps of faith that God gave us the strength to take.
And, as we look forward, we are confident that God will continue to carry our family.
Wycliffe Bible Translators has so many resources for children, and there is one specifically for this time of year. It's called a Gratitude Tree, and here's link to it! https://www.wycliffe.org/blog/posts/lets-make-a-gratitude-tree
I wrote more about stones of remembrance in a previous blog post: https://www.campbellsonmission.com/post/one-for-our-kids