I’m sitting at a hotel room desk in Denton, Texas while my husband snores in the bed behind me. Five hours from home, we’re here for our oldest daughter’s college graduation. Kelley will graduate magna cum laude today from the University of North Texas. (If it sounds like I’m bragging, I am.) We plan to have a nice little celebration with family, friends, and Jeremy, Kelley’s fiancé. Oh yeah, Kelley is also getting married in August.
The last twelve months have been filled with milestones for me and my family. They serve as constant reminders that time passes quickly, things change, children grow-up. In the last year, our second daughter graduated from high school, our youngest got his driver’s license, and Wayne and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. And still ahead this summer is Kelley’s wedding and my 30th high school reunion.
A month ago, I had lunch with two dear friends from high school that I had not seen in at least 25 years. (We couldn’t remember exactly how long it had been.) We chatted non-stop for two hours, talking about the past and catching up on each other’s lives. It was like stepping back in time and sitting down with the girl I used to be.
Kelley joined us near the end of our time together. She sat quietly while we reminisced about football games, teachers, and the boys we’d dated. It felt odd, like a blending of worlds. My high school self and my middle-aged mom self there in the same spot at the same time.
In case you hadn’t noticed I’ve been feeling extremely nostalgic. As I look back, I can see God’s hand in my life at every step. And even in the times I wasn’t particularly paying attention to Him, I now recognize He was watching over me. I feel the need to erect a few “standing stones.”
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God held back the waters for the people while the priests stood in the middle with the Ark of the Covenant. After everyone was safely across, God commanded Joshua to take twelve stones from the bed of the Jordan and stand them up at Gilgal as a memorial.
Generation after generation would see the stones and ask their elders about their significance. Their fathers were to say: “The LORD your God dried (up the Jordan) before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God (Joshua 4:23-24).”
I’m not always faithful to tell my children about the many ways God has blessed our family and worked in my life. However, just yesterday I called Kelley’s attention to God’s activity in the recent circumstances of her life. I have a responsibility to pass on the wonders of our glorious God to the future generations. If I don’t tell them then who will? I think I’ll get busy now and start standing up some more stones.
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Graduation and marriage in the same year. I feel your Mother’s heart. Congrats to Mom for doing such a great job and Congrats to Kelley!
So now I’ve got the itch to have Jon and I sit down and document God’s praiseworthy deeds, his power and the wonders he has done in our lives! oooooh! And “interview” our parents and grandparents and put it in a book. You know that hypothetical question of “If your house was on fire, what 3 items would you rescue?”.. that would SO be one of my three items! You’ve encouraged me to stop and really meditate on what current things God is doing around me right now… and share them with my kiddos.
Kathy, thank you for doing what God has called you to do. He has made you such a gifted communicator and encourager!
I think that is an awesome idea! I would love to see it after you do it. Henry Blackaby also talks about “spiritual markers.” Having an object or memento that reminds you of a mission trip, an event, or some other God thing. For instance, after teaching a number of Bible study for spiritual seekers in Canada and seeing God do incredible things in people’s lives, Wayne bought me this picture of Jesus I had seen. He is sitting with one little lamb, but you can see the “99” in the background. Every time I look at it I remember all the ways God worked during that time.